TQM / Total Quality Management


what is TQM

 - TQM-Total Quality Management concept focus on customer satisfaction through Total Employee Involvement-TEI and Continual Improvement in Product, Process and Services. 

 - All members of a organization / company engage / participate in improvement activities to achieve company’s goals / mission / objectives.

 - TQM expresses about continuous improvement within the processes while Quality Control-QC is about maintaining the quality throughout the method / processes.

Definitions of TQM

 - TQM can be defined as, “ The act or manner of handling, controlling made up by the whole system to achieve a degree of excellence that a product or service provides for the whole.

Total: – Made up by the whole for the whole.

Quality: – The degree of excellence a product or a service provides.

Management: – Act, art, or manner of handling and controlling something.

 - According to Indian Statistical Institute: TQM is an integrated organizational technique in delighting customers by meeting their expectations and requirements continuously through everyone involved with the organization working on continuous improvement in all products, services, and processes with proper problem-solving methodology

 - As per the Quality Forum of USA: – TQM is a people-focused management system that aims at continually increasing customer satisfaction at a continually lower cost. TQM is a total system approach and an fundamental part of high level strategy; it works horizontally across functions and departments involving all employees top to bottom and exceeds backward and forwards to include the supply chain and the customer chain.

 - TQM as Philosophy and ISO-9000 quality system model: – TQM is a concept that goes beyond ISO 9000. It must be immediately made clear that TQM and ISO 9000 are not two different choices to be made. There is no contradiction between the two.

 - According to CII (Confederation of Indian Industries): – TQM is an approach for effective management of business enterprise through the focus on its people and the process by a company-wide customer-driven relationship.

History of TQM

 - There were many phases in the evolution of quality management. Several genius minds have been instrumental to develop the concepts of quality management system which are known today. 

 - Few of them are Walter A. Shewhart, W. Edwards Deming, Joseph M. Juran, Philip Crosby and Genichi Taguchi. Let’s have a brief overview of the evolution of quality management.

 - During the 1920s, Walter A. Shewhart introduced statistical process control (SPC) to control product quality by using “Control chart”. His work was later forwarded by W. Edwards Deming. 

 - He successfully applied Shewhart’s methods of control chart during World War II to improve quality in the manufacture of weapons. After the war had ended, Deming and Joseph M. Juran introduced SPC & quality management methods to Japanese industry. It was implemented successfully for quality improvement goals. Later it was widely known as Total Quality Management (TQM).

 - In 1980s, Total Quality Management gained a lot of popularity outside Japan. Various strategies were introduced to support TQM. These include Lean manufacturing and 6 – sigma. 

 - During the initial phase, quality was applicable only on industrial sector but now it has moved into areas like healthcare, financial institutions, academic, airlines and so forth.

Key elements of TQM: –

1. Foundation: – includes ethics, integrity, and trust.

2. Building bricks: – training, teamwork, and leadership.

3. Binding mortar: – includes communication.

4. Roof: – includes recognition.


Principles of Total Quality Management

TQM has 8 elements which are similar to ISO 9001 Quality Management Principles.

 Principle 1. Customer Focus

- Organizations depend on their customers and therefore should understand current and future customer needs, should meet customer requirements and try to exceed customer expectations. Being aware of and always satisfying customer requirements is an essential part of Total Quality Management.

Principle 2. Leadership

- Leaders at all levels establish unity of purpose and direction and create conditions in which people are engaged in achieving the organization’s quality objectives and goals.

- Communicate the mission, vision, strategy, policies and processes throughout the organization.

- Promote a culture of integrity and trust.

- Ensure that leaders at all sections are positive examples for the people in the organization.

- Providing the required resources, trainings and freedom to act with responsibility and authority.

Principle 3. Involvement of people

 - Structures, systems and technologies themselves do not provide quality until the people running the organization fully exploit their capabilities to work for the progress and benefits of the organization.

 - Until people understand what to do, how to do and get feedback on their performance, they cannot be encouraged to take responsibility for the quality of their work. More people’s participation will increase customer satisfaction.

Principle 4. Process Approach

- A result is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are managed as a process.

- Outline the objectives of the system and processes necessary to achieve them.

- Establish authority, responsibility and responsibilities for managing processes.

- Identifying the contact of key activities within and between the functions of the organization.

 - Quality improvement is aimed at reducing the variations between different processes by eliminating the causes of variations and bringing the process under control.

Principle 5. Approach to System Management

- An organization should be seen as a system with a set of interrelated activities that connect the internal organizational environment to its external environment and help to achieve the goals efficiently in terms of quality products.

Principle 6. Continuous Improvement

 - TQM is not an end. This is the path to achieving the end, improving quality. It is a continuous process of incremental change that aims to improve the operational efficiency of the organization according to the competitors’ policies and improvement in customer requirements.

Principle 7. Factual Approach to Decision Making

 - Managers must know their current quality system to improve on them. The decision to reform depends on the available information and its dissemination to all concerned and, therefore, it is essential that managers have accurate and correct information available through effective information systems.

Principle 8. Mutually beneficial supplier relationship

 - The organization and its suppliers must work to each other’s mutual benefit to provide value to the overall organizational activities.

Principles of TQM: –

TQM is based on the following principles:

1. The employees are not just the resources, they are for a purpose.

2. A company hires a total man with the body, mind, and intellect and not just the hands.

3. The problems are with the system not with the people.

4. The variance analysis focuses on what, how, why, and not who.

5. The aim is to utilize the full potential of all the employees.

6. The total employee’s involvement is essential for the customers’ satisfaction.

7. TQM is led by the top management.

8. The system is focused on satisfying customers.

9. Process approach to management.

10. Based on error/ failure prevention strategy.

11. Aimed at continual improvement.

12. Built on cooperative, trustful relationship to have a win-win situation.

13. Team working to ensure functioning as effective groups.

14. Fact-based management.

15. Largely aimed at long term goals.

16. Systematic and methodical.

17. Geared towards public responsibility.

18. A holistic approach.



Characteristics of TQM : –

The essential characteristics of an effective TQM system are

1. Every company employee, from the CEO to the lowest level employee is focused on product or service quality. If management is not support the TQM, then it will fail.

2. Everyone must have the required training, skill level  and be familiar with the necessary TQM techniques.

3. Anyone can suggest areas for improvement- as general operators will be more familiar with their workstation than anyone else is, valuable ideas for improvement at a production line level can, in many cases, come from line workers.

4. All departments are expected to focus on quality and productivity improvement and implement changes for their areas.

5. In addition, all departments communicate with each other to fix common problems in the product or process.

6. Collaboration on external issues (end-users defects for example) is expected from all departments (CFT Team).

7. Decisions made are based on the best possible solutions, not on hidden agendas for favoritism.

8. Quality becomes a governing part of operations, with decisions that affect on quality, rejected immediately, despite perceived price-savings involved.

Benefits / Advantages of Total Quality Management

 - Improve Quality of products and services.

 - Eliminate quality defects and waste in process

 - Increase Customer satisfaction level.

 - Reduced cost of poor quality-COPQ and Process Variations.

 - Higher the Productivity and Profitability.

 - Increased Employee Motivation and Morale.

 - Fulfilled environmental and other government compliances / regulations.

 - Enhanced market image among all Interested parties.

 - Increased job security of employees.

 - Improved processes to produce quality products/services.


Experts on Total Quality Management (TQM)

On Quality Management field, the major experts which had contributed a lot in the success of TQM are W. Edwards Deming, Joseph M. Juran and Philip Crosby. We will discuss a few of the popularly used concepts from their philosophies.

Deming’s 14 points of management

1. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service.

2. Learn and adopt a new philosophy.

3. Cease dependence on mass inspection to achieve quality.

4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag alone.

5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service.

6. Institute training on the job.

7. Institute leadership.

8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company.

9. Break down barriers between departments.

10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the workforce.

11. Eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce and numerical goals for management.

12. Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship. Eliminate the annual rating or merit system.

13. Encourage education, institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.

14. Top management commitment and action, put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation.

Quality Trilogy by Joseph M. Juran

“Quality Trilogy” process starts with quality planning at the various level of an organization. It consists of

1. Quality planning – Here, strategic planning is done w.r.t customer needs, product design and specifications, features, etc. To understand the customer’s needs is always a high priority during the quality planning process.

2. Quality control – After the planning phase, quality control takes over. Here, we need to know whether our process is in control or not. To know we take the actual measurements and set a goal for it. If there is an occurrence of variation in a process, we will try to identify the causes behind it and initiate the remedial action to back the process in control.

3. Quality improvement – The next and final phase is quality improvement. Here on this stage, we will go for continuous improvement of the product and the process. It will reduce the cost of poor quality products by installing new and upgraded machines and equipment, redesigning the existing process and so on.

Four Absolutes of Quality Management by Philip Crosby

In order to achieve product quality goals, Crosby emphasized four absolutes of quality management –

1. Quality is defined as conformance to requirements.

2. Quality is achieved by prevention of causes, not an appraisal.

3. Quality has a performance standard.

4. Quality is a measurement of non-conformance.



Please do not enter any spam link in the comment box.

Post a Comment

Please do not enter any spam link in the comment box.