Since the 80s, several quality management systems/programs, such as ISO 9000, TQM, Six Sigma, Re-Engineering, Lean, etc. have been launched. Most of the above-mentioned iterations have been widely recognized and adopted by industries around the world.
Every firm expects quality results from the implementation of these programs. But the “good” and only be received only if the individuals who are working under its premises are fully aware of the functionality and the way it transforms the business. In order to help you out, we will discuss the meanings of quality, its evolution, and the practices of quality imperatives.
What is QUALITY?
As per the textbook term — Quality — means the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something. But in business terms, it takes different forms.
In business, quality is:
- Conforming to standards and specifications.
- Meeting zero defects.
- Meets customer expectations and needs
- Assessed by customers
- Determined by deviations
- Customer satisfaction
Total Quality Management (TQM)
Total Quality Management is a management approach that describes the culture of an organization that strives to provide customer satisfaction with products and services of their preference.
This “culture” requires quality in all aspects of the organization’s operations with processes being done right the first time and defects and wastes are removed entirely.
It’s a management philosophy that attempts to blend organizational functions to focus on meeting customer needs and organizational objectives.
TQM views an organization as a collection of processes. It maintains organizations strive continuously to improve processes by incorporating the knowledge and experiences of workers.
TQM’s main motto is
“Do the right thing, right the first time, every time.”
History of Total Quality Management
TQM began initially as a term coined by Naval Air Systems Command to describe Japanese styled management processes to quality improvement. It’s a form of umbrella methodology to continually improve process’s quality by taking elements of:
- The behavioral sciences
- The analysis of quantitative and non-quantitative data
- Economics theories
- Process analysis
- Quality Management first saw its establishment and usage as the principles of scientific management in the U.S. Industry.
- Businesses separated the processes of planning and carrying out the plan, and union opposition arose as workers were deprived of a voice in the conditions and functions of their work.
- The Hawthorne experiments in the late 1920s demonstrated how the productivity of workers is impacted by participation.
- Walter Shewhart developed the methods for statistical analysis and control of quality.
- W. Edwards Deming taught statistical analysis methods and quality control plans to Japanese engineers and executives.
- Joseph M. Juran taught the concepts of controlling quality and managerial breakthrough.
- Armand V. Feigenbaum’s book Total Quality Control was published.
- Philip B. Crosby’s promotion of zero defects paved the way for quality improvement in many companies.
- The Japanese named their approach to total quality “company-wide quality control”.
- Kaoru Ishikawa’s synthesis of the philosophy contributed to Japan’s authority as a quality leader.
2000s till present
- TQM is the name for the philosophy of a broad and systemic approach to managing organizational quality.
- Quality standards such as the ISO 9000 series and quality award programs such as the Deming Prize and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award specify principles and processes that comprise TQM.
6 Cs of TQM
TQM development is always proportional to the implementation of quality in processes. It’s a normal essential. Without this, all else fails. It is impossible to make a segway in implementing TQM without quality, thus expectations must be made clear with the support and training necessary to achieve.
Training is always at the epicenter of effecting change in cultures. Management accounts associate creativity with creative accounting thus enabling negative perceptions. This must be altered to encourage individual contributions and make ‘quality’ a normal part of everyone’s job.
3) Continuous improvement
Recognizing TQM as a process and not a program necessitates that an organization is committed in the long term to a never-ending search to find ways to do a better job. After all, there is always room for improvement!
Total Employee Involvement (TEI) principles and applications are paramount. The on-job experience of every employee must be fully utilized and their involvement and co-operation in developments must be measured for better performance.
5) Customer focus
The need for customers is the primary driving force to both — external and internal customers. Perfect service with zero defects is the only viable solution to this. TQM implementation allows you to focus entirely on customer satisfaction thus bridging the relationship.
Documentation, procedures, and awareness of current practices are necessary in order to make TQM implementation a success. The need for control mechanisms is often overlooked. Unless procedures are in place, improvements cannot be monitored, nor they can be corrected.
The first step to implement TQM is to assess the organization’s current performance and reality.
Organizations’ history, current needs, precipitating factors leading to TQM, existing employee quality, Work-Life structure, elements like such should be charted out and data should be gathered to perform analysis on it. If the current reality of an organization lacks preconditions, TQM implementation should be delayed until the organization is in the state where TQM is likely to succeed. However, a certain level of pressure is probably acceptable to initiate TQM. After all, if the vision’s in the gut’s feeling, you have to approach it anyhow.
A successful TQM implementation requires:
- A committed leadership
- Customer-based approach
- Process Management
- Good Communication
- Knowledge Management
- Staff Involvement
- Organizational Culture
The Key Players — Customer, Suppliers, and Employees
To achieve success with TQM, managers must understand the quality goals of their organization. They must communicate goals, understand the employees, have knowledge of the product/services, and create processes that dive deep into creating a value chain.
TQM’s philosophy is comprehensive, thus making suppliers a crucial part of its execution. Organizations must appraise new suppliers and carry out regular audits to guarantee the stock meets market standards.
Lastly, customers hold the major responsibility for a successful TQM implementation. After all, they are the reason TQM is in existence.