Question Adunola Business & Management

Examples of Total Quality Management principles and practices

I need to know the difference between TQM practices and TQM principles and examples of principles and practices as I am mixing them up.

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Answer Internal Staff

According to the Chartered Quality Institute (2016) there are eight principles of TQM:

  • Customer focus
  • Good leadership
  • Involvement of people
  • Process driven approach
  • System approach to management
  • Continual Improvement
  • Factual decision making
  • Mutually beneficial supplier relationships

At the heart of these principles is that quality is the responsibility of the whole business, not one department. Every individual must do their bit to ensure there is good quality in their work, and take their share of responsibility. This is achieved through a structured approach to managing processes, and thorough quality checking across all stages.

To implement TQM there are many methods that can be used, these are influenced by the work of W.E. Deming and later by the Toyota Production System, and Lean operations.

One of the tools used in TQM practice is statistical process control, which is commonly done using control charts. These are graphs which monitor the performance of a process against the ‘normal’ level, if the line of the graph moves either up or down from the centre line by too great an amount it will enter a warning zone, which will raise attention. If the deviation from the normal grows worse it will enter an action zone, whereafter employees must immediately try to fix the problem.

Another practice is that of ‘Quality Circles’. These are groups of employees who are heavily involved in the quality controlled processes and meet regularly to discuss any issues and possible improvements. This links to the concept of Kaizen, which is a part of Lean operations, but can also play a role in TQM. Kaizen originates from Toyota’s method of TQM, and is the concept of continuous improvement (Toyota, 2013). An active approach to constantly improving processes, rather than just responding to problems, should create a more robust and efficient process quality.


Chartered Quality Institute, 2016, Total quality management (online), available: [], accessed: 06/07/16

Toyota GB, 2013, Kaizen – Toyota production System Guide (online), available: [] accessed: 06/07/16