What Is Total Quality Management?

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Total quality management is a management system for a customer focused organization that involves all employee in continual improvement of all aspects of the organization. TQM uses strategy, data, and effective communication to integrate the quality principles into the culture and activities of the organization.

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Principles Of Total Quality Management

1- Be Customer focused: Whatever you do for quality improvement, remember that ONLY customers determine the level of quality. Whatever you do to foster quality  improvement, training employees, integrating quality into processes management, ONLY customers determine whether your efforts were worthwhile.

 2-Insure Total Employee Involvement: You must remove fear from work place, then empower employee... you provide the proper environment.

3- Process Centered: Fundamental part of TQM is to focus on process thinking.

4- Integrated system: All employee must know the business mission and vision. An integrated business system may be modeled by MBNQA or  ISO 9000

5- Strategic and systematic approach: Strategic plan must integrate quality as core component.

6- Continual Improvement: Using analytical, quality tools, and creative thinking to become more efficient and effective.

7- Fact Based Decision Making: Decision making must be ONLY on data, not personal or situational thinking.

8- Communication: Communication strategy, method and timeliness must be well defined.

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TQM Implementation Approaches

You can't implement just one effective solution for planning and implementing TQM concepts in all situations. Below we list generic models for implementing total quality management theory:  

1- Train top management on TQM principles.  

2- Assess the current: Culture, customer satisfaction, and quality management system.

3- Top management determines the core values and principles and communicates them.

4- Develop a TQM master plan based on steps 1,2,3.

5- Identify and prioritize customer needs and determine products or service to meet those needs.

6- Determine the critical processes that produces those products or services.

7- Create process improvement teams.

8- Managers supports the efforts by planning, training, and providing resources to the team.

9- Management integrates changes for improvement in daily process management. After improvements standardization takes place.

10- Evaluate progress against plan and adjust as needed.

11- Provide constant employee awareness and feedback. Establish an employee reward/ recognition process.

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Strategies To develop TQM

1-TQM elements approach: Take key business process and use TQM Tools to foster improvement. Use quality circles, statistical process control, taguchi method, and quality function deployment.  

2 - The guru approach: Use the guides of one of the leading quality thinker. 

3- Organization model approach: The organization use bench marking or MBNQA as model for excellence. 

4- Japanese total quality approach: Companies pursue the deming prize use deming principles.

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Robert Broughton
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