Yoshinori Iizuka, Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo and President, Japan Accreditation Board (JAB)

Title: Quality Management makes people and organizations smarter



If you learn and practice quality management seriously, you and your organization will be smarter.  You may be surprised, but it's true.  This is because the essence of smartness is tightly packed into the concept and methodology of quality management.

What do you think is “smart”?  I have come to understand this through discussions with some graduates who come to my house to eat and drink while saying New Year's greetings on New Year's Day. We can think of being smart as (1) thinking and doing in a purpose-oriented manner, (2) thinking about causal relationships and purpose-means relationships, (3) being able to understand the essence, and (4) having high learning ability.

All four aspects of smartness are cultivated by quality management. The most important thing in the concept of “quality” is that the quality is decided by the customer.  This means that the good or bad of things is judged by external criteria, and it is nothing but purpose-oriented way. This leads to smartness (1). In quality management, we ask “why?” when something happens.  When asked what to do, we naturally think about how to achieve it.  This trains the smartness (2).

In quality management, we try to understand the essence of things and apply the lessons learnt widely, such as deep recurrence prevention, horizontal deployment, and common factors.  This may contribute to smartness (3). In quality management, we are taught PDCA cycle and recommended continual improvement. Continuing such thoughts and actions contributes to smartness (4).

We can expect that people and organizations will become smarter as they work hard on quality management and repeat these thoughts and actions for a long time.



Yoshinori Iizuka, Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo and President, Japan Accreditation Board (JAB)

Born in 1947. Graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1970. Teaching and researching at the University of Tokyo for 1976-2013. Given the title of Professor Emeritus in 2013.

His major as a university student was statistical analysis. His research has focused on quality management, including TQM, ISO 9000, Structured Knowledge Engineering, Healthcare Social System Engineering, Software Quality, and Nuclear Safety.

President, Japanese Society for Quality Control (JSQC) for 2003-05.

Chair, Deming Prize Examination Committee (TQM) for 2008-11.

Chair, the national committee for ISO/TC 176 (ISO 9000s) for 2000-2012.

A Board, Japanese Society for Healthcare Quality and Safety for 2006-.

Chair, Society of Embedded Software Skill Acquisition for Managers and Engineers (SESSAME) 2000-.

Chair, JUSE/SQiP (Software Quality Profession) for 1994-2012.

Academician, IAQ (International Academy for Quality) 2007-

Deming Prize for Individuals in 2006.

Nikkei Quality Management Literature in 96, 98, 99, 02, 03, 06, 09x2, 12, 14, 15, and 19.

ASQ (American Society for Quality)/ Freund-Marquardt Medal in 2010.

Industrial Standardization Awards/ Prime Minister’s Award in 2012.