Total Quality Management (TQM) is the organization-wide management of quality. Management consists of planning, organizing, directing, control, and assurance. Total quality is called total because it consists of two qualities: quality of return to satisfy the needs of the shareholders, or quality of products. Total Quality Management is a business management strategy aimed at embedding awareness of quality in all organizational processes. TQM has been widely used in manufacturing, education, hospitals, call centers, government, and service industries, as well as NASA space and science programs.
TQM is a comprehensive management system which:
- Focuses on meeting owners’/customers’ needs by providing quality services at a cost that provides value to the owners/customers
- Is driven by the quest for continuous improvement in all operations
- Recognizes that everyone in the organization has owners/customers who are either internal or external
- Views an organization as an internal system with a common aim rather than as individual departments acting to maximize their own performances
- Focuses on the way tasks are accomplished rather than simply what tasks are accomplished
- Emphasizes teamwork and a high level of participation by all employees
Presented here are universal total quality management beliefs.
- Owner/customer satisfaction is the measure of quality
- Everyone has owners/customers; everyone is an owner/customer
- Quality improvement must be continuous
- Analyzing the processes used to create products and services is key to quality improvement
- Measurement, a skilled use of analytical tools, and employee involvement are critical sources of quality improvement ideas and innovations
- Sustained total quality management is not possible without active, visible, consistent, and enabling leadership by managers at all levels.
Deming’s Fourteen Points
Presented below are Deming’s fourteen points for total quality management.
- Create constancy of purpose for improvement of product and service. (Plan to stay in business.)
- Adopt the new philosophy. (Stop tolerating poor quality.)
- Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. (Improve the process.)
- End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag alone. (Seek longer-term supplier relationships; reduce the number of suppliers.)
- Improve constantly and forever every process in the system of planning, production, and service.
- Institute modern training (for everybody!).
- Institute modern methods of supervision. (The responsibility of foremen must be changed from sheer numbers to QUALITY.)
- Drive out fear. (Encourage employees to speak up.)
- Break down barriers between departments.
- Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force.
- Eliminate work standards that prescribe numerical quotas.
Remove barriers to pride in workmanship. (Poor supervisors, poor materials, inadequate equipment, lack of training, etc.)
- Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone.
- Place everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation and create a structure in top management that will push every day on the above points.