Total Quality Management – Overview

Total Quality Management (TQM) is a structured management approach towards building a process disciplined culture set up by an organization to strive quality and hence customer and employee satisfaction.  TQM revolves around Customer, People and Process and are interrelated.



TQM Development Model:

TQM can be developed using PDCA cycle, also known as the Deming Cycle. It is a continuous quality improvement model consisting of a sequence of four iterative steps for continuous improvement: Plan, Do, Check and Act.

First step towards TQM is planning. It needs analyzing and identification of problem areas, suggestions to improve them by finding root causes, collects necessary data, layout approach to address these areas by creating processes. It also involves planning the improvement of the processes identified from the last iteration of the cycle.

In Doing phase where the processes are actually defined and implemented. Measurement data are also collected that help in improving them.

In Checking phase verification and validation of implementation is carried out to ensure that it is done properly in the required way.

In Act phase the data are analyzed and improvement solutions are derived that will result in changing the processes and then again implementing in next phase.

What you would keep in mind while developing and managing TQM…

  • Management Commitment: Senior management’s commitment towards TQM plays a significant role in successful TQM. It boosts confidence level in the customers and employees towards the organization.
  • Stakeholders Involvement: Every person/department in an organization is associated with TQM in one or the other way. So it is critically important to engage employees in each of its phases of development.
  • Model Selection: Appropriate model selection is required to define the processes.
  • Proper Documentation: It needs proper documentation of the processes and its improvements.
  • Trainings and Guidelines: Training must be provided to relevant stakeholders to create awareness towards the processes they need to implement. Remember that TQM failures are often affected by lack of proper trainings. There should be clear guidelines on the usage of the processes. These guidelines can be enhanced by using case studies that brings confidence among the users.
  • Continuous improvement: Processes needs to be improved continuously based on data collected from its implementation experiences. Various tools like Graphs, Statistical charts, pareto diagram, cause and effect diagram can be used to improve processes by analyzing its implementation data.

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