Philip Crosby’ s Original Quality Maturity Grid

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This grid is the basis of the CMMI and was developed over twenty five years ago during the peak of interest in Total Quality Management.

Quality Maturity Grid – (Source: Quality is Free by Philip Crosby pp32,33 Published 1979)

Measurement categories.

Stage 1: Uncertainty.

Stage 2: Awakening

Stage 3: Enlightenment

Stage 4: Wisdom

Stage 5: Certainty

Management understanding and

No comprehension of quality as a
management tool. Tend to blame quality department for “quality

Recognising that Quality Management
may be of value but not willing to provide money or time to make it all

While going through quality
improvement programme, learning more about Quality Management; becoming
supportive and helpful

Participating. Understanding
absolutes of quality management. Recognise their personal role in
continuing emphasis.

Consider Quality Management an
essential part of company system

Quality organisation status

Quality is hidden in manufacturing
or engineering departments. Inspection is probably not part of the
organisation. Emphasis on appraisal and sorting.

A stronger quality leader is
appointed but main emphasis is still on appraisal and getting product
out of the door. Still part of manufacturing or other function.

Quality department reports to top
management, all appraisal is incorporated and quality manager has role
in management of company.

Quality manager is an officer of the
company; effective status reporting and preventative action. Involved
with consumer affairs and special assignments.

Quality manager on board of
directors. Prevention is main concern. Quality Manager is a thought

Problem handing

Problems are fought as they occur;
no resolution; inadequate definition; lots of yelling and accusations.

Teams are set up to attack major
problems. Long-range solutions are not solicited. Fire fighting.

Corrective action communication
established. Problems are faced openly and resolved in an orderly way.

Problems identified early in their
development. All functions are open to suggestion and improvement.

Except in the most unusual cases,
problems are prevented.

Cost of quality as % of sales

Reported: Unknown.

Actual: 20 %

Reported: 3%

Actual: 18%


Actual: 12%

Reported: 6.5%

Actual: 8%

Reported: 2.5%

Actual: 2.5%

Quality improvement actions

No organised activities. No
understanding of such activities.

Trying obvious “motivational” short
range efforts

Implementation of the 14 Step
Programme with thorough understanding and establishment of each step

Continuing the 14 Step Programme and
starting Make Certain

Quality improvement is a normal and
continued activity.

Summation of company quality posture

“We don’t know why we have problems
with quality. “

“Is it absolutely necessary to
always have problems with quality?”

“Through management commitment and
quality improvements we are identifying and resolving out problems”

“Defect prevention is a routine part
of our operation”

“We know why we do not have problems
with quality.”