Armand V. Feigenbaum

American businessman

Armand Vallin Feigenbaum (April 6, 1922 – November 13, 2014) was an American businessman, management consultant, and quality control expert. He started his career as manager at General Electric (GE) in Schenectady, New York, where he worked in quality control. Feigenbaum devised the concept of Total Quality Control which inspired Total Quality Management (TQM).


  • Product quality can then be defined as: The composite product characteristics of engineering and manufacturing that determine the degree to which the product, in use, will meet the expectations of the customer.
    • Armand V. Feigenbaum in: Industrial Quality Control, Vol. 14-15; Vol. 19 (1957), p. 6

Quality Control: Principles, Practice, and Administration. 1951


Armand V. Feigenbaum (1951), Quality Control: Principles, Practice, and Administration. New York: McGraw-Hill.; 2nd ed., 1961

  • Engineers, scientists, and statisticians have, until recently, been the groups chiefly interested in activity called quality control. These technologists have been primarily concerned with the technical methods which have become associated with the subject. They have applied these methods to a number of industrial quality problems.
Excellent results in improving quality and in reducing costs are now being reported from these applications. These reports have generated growing interest by industrial managers in the potentialities of quality control as a business method.
What, management is asking, is meant by the term "quality control"? Is there anything really new about it? What are the quality-control activities? What is the proper organization for quality control? How much does the program cost, and what benefits can result from it? Is quality control good only for mass production? May it be useful in a job shop as well? How do statistical methods fit into the quality-control pattern? What does quality control mean to the foreman, to the design engineer, to the salesman? How is quality control introduced to a company?
  • p. vii; Preface: lead paragraph
  • The materials presented in this book have been developed in industry for use in meeting a wide variety of practical industrial problems. They have been used in several factories both as the "plan of attack" for organizing new quality-control programs and as text material for in-service training courses.
    • p. vii-viii
  • Quality control may be defined as:
An effective system for coordinating the quality maintenance and quality improvement efforts of the various groups in an organization so as to enable production at the most economical levels which allow for full customer satisfaction.
  • p. 1
  • In the phrase "quality control" the word quality does not have the popular meaning of "best" in any absolute sense. It means "best for certain customer conditions." These conditions are (a) the actual use and (b) the selling price of the product. Product quality cannot be thought of apart from product cost.
    • p. 1
  • In the phrase, "quality control" the word control represents a management tool with four steps:
a. Setting quality standards.
b. Appraising conformance to these standards.
c. Acting when the standards are exceeded.
d. Planning for improvements in the standards.
  • p. 1
  • Several of the quality-control methods have been carried on in industry for many years. What are new in the modern approach to quality control are integration of these often uncoordinated activities into an over-all administrative program for a factory and the addition to the time-tested methods used of a few new techniques which have been found useful in dealing with and thinking about the increased emphasis upon precision in manufactured parts.
    • p. 1
  • The outstanding quality accomplishments of industry during the past decade are familiar history. Particularly during World War II, the accomplishments made by the precision equipment in our tanks and guns and planes were indelibly impressed upon the entire world. This results side of the quality picture makes impressive reading.
Not so pretty a picture is presented when the behind-the-scenes effort to assure these high-quality standards is examined. It may be summarized by noting that many industries are now in a position where, for every dollar spent in planned production, many additional cents are lost owing to the poor quality of their products while in process of manufacture.
These data show that, while we have generally found our quality failures in the factory instead of after shipment, our techniques for so doing are often excessively costly and wasteful. They can be tolerated by no industry striving to maintain and improve its competitive position.
This is a situation with which industry is vitally concerned. It is one calling for the new techniques that have come to be popularly classified under the label of quality control.
  • p. 8; Chapter 1: What is quality control?

Total Quality Control, 1983


Armand V. Feigenbaum (1983), Total Quality Control, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.

  • Product and service quality can be defined as the total composite product and service characteristics of marketing, engineering, manufacturing, and maintenance through which the product and service in use will meet the expectations of the customer.
    • p. 7
  • Total quality control is an effective system for integrating the quality development, quality maintenance, and quality improvement efforts of the various groups in an organization so as to enable production and service at the most economical levels which allow full customer satisfaction.
    • Cited in: D.H. Stamatis (1999) TQM Engineering Handbook, p. 12

Quotes about Armand V. Feigenbaum

  • Feigenbaum's philosophy is summarized in his Three Steps to Quality:
Quality Leadership: A continuous management emphasis is grounded on sound planning rather than reaction to failures. Management must maintain a constant focus and lead the quality effort.
Modern Quality Technology: The traditional quality department cannot resolve 80 percent to 90 percent of quality problems. This task requires the integration of office staff as well as engineers and shop-floor workers in the process who continually evaluate and implement new techniques to satisfy customers in the future.
Organizational Commitment: Continuous training and motivation of the entire workforce as well as an integration of quality in business planning indicate the importance of quality and provide the means for including it in all aspects of the firm’s activities.
  • James Robert Evans, ‎William M. Lindsay (1996), The Management and Control of Quality. p. 87
  • [ Total Quality Management (TQM) is] a term first used to describe a management approach to quality improvement. Since then, TQM has taken on many meanings. Simply put, it is a management approach to long-term success through customer satisfaction. TQM is based on all members of an organization participating in improving processes, products, services and the culture in which they work. The methods for implementing this approach are found in the teachings of such quality leaders as Philip B. Crosby, W. Edwards Deming, Armand V. Feigenbaum, Kaoru Ishikawa and Joseph M. Juran.
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