The Fifth Absolute of Quality

The Fifth Absolute of Quality

In the heyday of Phil Crosby and his “Camelot” (Philip Crosby Associates – PCA), there were four absolutes of quality. I’ve posted before about these, as well as reframing them in the Antimatter Principle vocabulary. 

In recent times, PCA have come up with the Fifth Absolute of Quality. Grounded in the writings of Phil Crosby, but not an absolute he himself listed, the Fifth Absolute of Quality describes the purpose of quality, and reads:

The purpose of quality is customer success, NOT customer satisfaction.

“We took a hard look at the original Absolutes because we realized that a company could live by them and still fail… Building an organization that knows how to focus on customer success and make it a repeatable, continuous process is the next decade’s primary challenge.”

~ Wayne Kost

The Antimatter Principle Frame

As with my previous post reframing Crosby’s original Four Absolutes of Quality, I’ve taken the liberty to reframe this Fifth Absolute similarly. It reads:

The purpose of quality is ensuring we meet everyone’s needs, NOT giving people what they want.

– Bob

Further Reading (2004). Customer Success, Not Satisfaction, Is Key. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Feb. 2022].

1 comment
  1. Really like this framing… and it’s timely for our team here, as we’re starting to gather some our thoughts on quality and its role in our work etc. Thanks for sharing.

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