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The core of TQM is the customer-supplier interfaces, both externally and internally, and at each interface lie a number of processes. This core must be surrounded by commitment to quality, communication of the quality message, and recognition of the need to change the culture of the organisation to create total quality. These are the foundations of TQM, and they are supported by the key management functions of people, processes and systems in the organisation.
This section discusses each of these elements that, together, can make a total quality organisation. Other sections explain people, processes and systems in greater detail, all having the essential themes of commitment, culture and communication running through them.
What is quality?
A frequently used definition of quality is "Delighting the customer by fully meeting their needs and expectations". These may include performance, appearance, availability, delivery, reliability, maintainability, cost effectiveness and price. It is, therefore, imperative that the organisation knows what these needs and expectations are. In addition, having identified them, the organisation must understand them, and measure its own ability to meet them.
Quality starts with market research - to establish the true requirements for the product or service and the true needs of the customers. However, for an organisation to be really effective, quality must span all functions, all people, all departments and all activities and be a common language for improvement. The cooperation of everyone at every interface is necessary to achieve a total quality organisation, in the same way that the Japanese achieve this with company wide quality control.
Customers and suppliers
There exists in each department, each office, each home, a series of customers, suppliers and customersupplier interfaces. These are "the quality chains", and they can be broken at any point by one person or one piece of equipment not meeting the requirements of the customer, internal or external. The failure usually finds its way to the interface between the organisation and its external customer, or in the worst case, actually to the external customer.
Failure to meet the requirements in any part of a quality chain has a way of multiplying, and failure in one part of the system creates problems elsewhere, leading to yet more failure and problems, and so the situation is exacerbated.The ability to meet customers' (external and internal) requirements is vital. To achieve quality throughout an organisation, every person in the quality chain must be trained to ask the following questions about every customer-supplier interface:
Customers (internal and external)
â€¢ Who are my customers?
â€¢ What are their true needs and expectations?
â€¢ How do, or can, I find out what these are?
â€¢ How can I measure my ability to meet their needs and expectations?
â€¢ Do I have the capability to meet their needs and expectations?
(If not, what must I do to improve this capability?)
â€¢ Do I continually meet their needs and expectations?
(If not, what prevents this from happening when the capability exists?)
â€¢ How do I monitor changes in their needs and expectations?
Suppliers (internal and external)
â€¢ Who are my internal suppliers?
â€¢ What are my true needs and expectations?
â€¢ How do I communicate my needs and expectations to my suppliers?
â€¢ Do my suppliers have the capability to measure and meet these needs and expectations?
â€¢ How do I inform them of changes in my needs and expectations?
As well as being fully aware of customers' needs and expectations, each person must respect the needs and expectations of their suppliers. The ideal situation is an open partnership style relationship, where both parties share and benefit.
To be able to become a total quality organisation, some of the bad practices must be recognised and
corrected. These may include:
â€¢ Leaders not giving clear direction
â€¢ Not understanding, or ignoring competitive positioning
â€¢ Each department working only for itself
â€¢ Trying to control people through systems
â€¢ Confusing quality with grade
â€¢ Accepting that a level of defects or errors is inevitable
â€¢ Firefighting, reactive behaviour
â€¢ The "It's not my problem" attitude
How many of these behaviours do you recognise in your organisation?
The essential components of TQM - commitment & leadership
TQM is an approach to improving the competitiveness, effectiveness and flexibility of an organisation for the benefit of all stakeholders. It is a way of planning, organising and understanding each activity, and of removing all the wasted effort and energy that is routinely spent in organisations. It ensures the leaders adopt a strategic overview of quality and focus on prevention not detection of problems.
Whilst it must involve everyone, to be successful, it must start at the top with the leaders of the
organisation. All senior managers must demonstrate their seriousness and commitment to quality, and middle managers must, as well as demonstrating their commitment, ensure they communicate the principles, strategies and benefits to the people for whom they have responsibility. Only then will the right attitudes spread throughout the organisation.
A fundamental requirement is a sound quality policy, supported by plans and facilities to implement it. Leaders must take responsibility for preparing, reviewing and monitoring the policy, plus take part in regular improvements of it and ensure it is understood at all levels of the organisation.
Effective leadership starts with the development of a mission statement, followed by a strategy, which is translated into action plans down through the organisation. These, combined with a TQM approach, should result in a quality organisation, with satisfied customers and good business results. The 5 requirements for effective leadership are:
â€¢ Developing and publishing corporate beliefs, values and objectives, often as a mission statement
â€¢ Personal involvement and acting as role models for a culture of total quality
â€¢ Developing clear and effective strategies and supporting plans for achieving the mission and
â€¢ Reviewing and improving the management system
â€¢ Communicating, motivating and supporting people and encouraging effective employee participation .The task of implementing TQM can be daunting. The following is a list of points that leaders should consider; they are a distillation of the various beliefs of some of the quality gurus:
â€¢ The organisation needs a long-term commitment to continuous improvement.
â€¢ Adopt the philosophy of zero errors/defects to change the culture to right first time
â€¢ Train people to understand the customer/supplier relationships
â€¢ Do not buy products or services on price alone - look at the total cost
â€¢ Recognise that improvement of the systems must be managed
â€¢ Adopt modern methods of supervising and training - eliminate fear
â€¢ Eliminate barriers between departments by managing the process - improve communications
â€¢ Eliminate goals without methods, standards based only on numbers, barriers to pride of
workmanship and fiction - get facts by studying processes
â€¢ Constantly educate and retrain - develop experts in the organisation
â€¢ Develop a systematic approach to manage the implementation of TQM
The failure to address the culture of an organisation is frequently the reason for many management
initiatives either having limited success or failing altogether. Understanding the culture of an organisation, and using that knowledge to successfully map the steps needed to accomplish a successful change, is an important part of the quality journey.
The culture in any organisation is formed by the beliefs, behaviours, norms, dominant values, rules and the "climate". A culture change, e.g, from one of acceptance of a certain level of errors or defects to one of right first time, every time, needs two key elements:
â€¢ Commitment from the leaders
â€¢ Involvement of all of the organisation's people
There is widespread recognition that major change initiatives will not be successful without a culture of good teamwork and cooperation at all levels in an organisation, as discussed in the section on People.
The building blocks of TQM: processes, people, management systems and performance measurement.
Everything we do is a Process, which is the transformation of a set of inputs, which can include action, methods and operations, into the desired outputs, which satisfy the customers' needs and expectations.
In each area or function within an organisation there will be many processes taking place, and each can be analysed by an examination of the inputs and outputs to determine the action necessary to improve quality.
In every organisation there are some very large processes, which are groups of smaller processes, called key or core business processes. These must be carried out well if an organisation is to achieve its mission and objectives. The section on Processes discusses processes and how to improve them, and Implementation covers how to prioritise and select the right process for improvement.
The only point at which true responsibility for performance and quality can lie is with the People who actually do the job or carry out the process, each of which has one or several suppliers and customers. An efficient and effective way to tackle process or quality improvement is through teamwork. However, people will not engage in improvement activities without commitment and recognition from the organisation's leaders, a climate for improvement and a strategy that is implemented thoughtfully and effectively. The section on People expands on these issues, covering roles within teams, team selection and development and models for successful teamwork.
An appropriate documented Quality Management System will help an organisation not only achieve the objectives set out in its policy and strategy, but also, and equally importantly, sustain and build upon them. It is imperative that the leaders take responsibility for the adoption and documentation of an appropriate management system in their organisation if they are serious about the quality journey. The systems section discusses the benefits of having such a system, how to set one up and successfully implement it.
Once the strategic direction for the organisation's quality journey has been set, it needs Performance Measures to monitor and control the journey, and to ensure the desired level of performance is being achieved and sustained. They can, and should be, established at all levels in the organisation, ideally being cascaded down and most effectively undertaken as team activities and this is discussed in the section on Performance.
The Role of Total Quality Management (TQM) in Firms
Total quality management (TQM) has been defined as 'continuous improvement of every production output whether it be a product or a service, by removing inefficient variations and by improving the backbone of the
Â work process'. International managers like their domestic counterparts have found that incorporating the notion of total quality management into their management process and style can give the competitive advantage.Â
A model developed by Tenner and DeToro will be helpful in discussing the process of establishing competitive advantage through TQM. This model identifies continuous and consistent improvement in the primary objectives of the company and proposes three basic ways to achieving this - customer focus, process improvement and total involvement. An aspect of this model is known as customer focus which means that the firm need to know its customers needs in order to improve quality1.
A manager's decision-making process regarding new or increased international operations involves reacting to the environment, seeking competitive advantage globally and assessing the company's capability in the global context
Globalization makes managers ask certain questions. These questions include: 'Must we be more International'? 'Are we capable of becoming more international?' 'How can we improve capability'? 'What opportunities should we pursue?' This sort of questioning which globalization creates will enable the firm to identify specific weak areas and/or general lack of strength. The focus now shifts to expansion. These might include things like internal changes as well as linkages with other organizations that help provide the desired result.Â
Only a constrained number of these options can be explored in thorough detail because the analysis is both time-consuming and sometimes not very cost effective. Therefore, the options or strategic plans must be selected
Â with caution.Â Globalization makes management assess the costs and benefits of various possible modes of entry into the global market. In general, the choices can be seen as ranging from no ownership in foreign locations, to joint ventures, to sole ownership of foreign subsidiary. Globalization enables managers to make a lot of choices and decisions regarding improving their output and expanding their business activity. Each of the options they assess has benefits as well as disadvantages that the managers must weigh to make the right choices. Once the managers have made their choice, a plan of action is formulated and executed to achieve the desired foreign activity.Â
The decision process should be assumed to be a kind of iterative process - that is having been through the model once, a manager will periodically return to the first question and repeat the process. This has the effect changing a reactive strategy into a dynamic one. Globalization creates an atmosphere where companies look to embark on international operations which in turn foster a degree of synergy. Having business operations in more than one international location provides the opportunity to transfer learning from one international location to another. In the early, 1960s, IBM was pressured by Japan to offer its basic patents to Japanese companies. By 1985, when Japan had developed its own leading technologies, IBM was able to gain access to Japan's government patents.Â
The 1990s is considered to be the decade when the new era of the beginning of quality management. This was because during that period of time, firms where facing a high degree of competition, the encroachment of their market share and a depreciation in the perceptions of the quality of their products. Hence, it was necessary to adopt a quality management technique that would override any existing traditional management styles.Â
It is widely know that contemporary quality management styles are very much different in nature to traditional management styles. These differences are mostly to do with the fact that those companies who pursue a quality management approach believe that quality must always reject managerial precepts which have been proven to be effective over time. For instance, the TQM framework does not recognise the traditional use of numerical goals as either a source of motivation of employees or as method that could be used to evaluate the results employees are able to achieve in their job duties and responsibilities. So in other words, under TQM, there are no production capacity quotas, no sales targets and no managerial long-term goals.
Quality focused management styles tend to focus on the behaviours or assumed behaviour of the employees within a firm. It is this assumed perception of employees that will determine how management will relate to the
Â employees. If management believe that people have an inherent dislike for work, they will pursue an authoritarian management style and if employees are perceived to hard workers and work seekers, the management pursue a more 'soft' approach. On the other hand, quality focused management styles are more concerned with team-work and team efforts in order to achieve the desired company objective which is generally to produce the best product and service possible to meet customer needs. It is geared towards an intensive, long-term effort to transform all parts of the organisation in order to produce the best product possible. Similarly, it can also be said that firms who pursue a traditional style of management are also ultimately concerned about the quality of their output in relation to the needs of their customers.Â
So in this way, it can be said that both quality focused and traditional management styles have the same goals ultimately. In terms of the organization put forward by this essay whose purpose is to: The purpose of the Institute is to provide professional education and training to eligible personnel of nations of the Western Hemisphere within the context of the democratic principles set forth in the Charter of the Organization of American States (such charter being a treaty to which the United States is a party), while fostering mutual knowledge, transparency, confidence, and cooperation among the participating nations and promoting democratic values, respect for human rights, and knowledge and understanding of United States customs and traditions, TQM should be applied in such a way that allows the organization to provide the most professional and effective training to it's eligible candidates from the varying nations. The organization should adopt an intensive, prolonged effort that is aimed at changing all sections and departments of the organization in order to ensure that that mutual knowledge, transparency, confidence and cooperation is fostered among the participating nations.Â
The organization's goals, vision, objectives and mission all seem to be reasonable and are perhaps also shared by the countries within the western hemisphere. Hence, it should not be a problem for the organization to carry out the training and the execution of the purpose of the organization. It can be recommended that the organization should also include other nations which are not situated within the western hemisphere since these countries are probably more likely to find the training new and more executable to their in-country situation.
The major strength of the organization would be the fact that it should be easy introducing, informing, educating and training the eligible candidates on the core concepts, objectives and beliefs of the organization
Â because the candidates will be from countries within the western hemisphere which are mostly democratic nations to begin with. For this reason also, the organization should be able to foster cooperation, transparency and confidence amongst the participating countries6.
The most important weakness of the organisation would be the fact that it has integrated a limited amount of countries within its education and training program and hence will not be able to see the achievement of its objectives on a wider or global scale. The organization has the opportunity and perhaps will achieve more success if it spread out or globalize its operations outside the western hemisphere into other countries. The main threat the organization may face is the fact there will most likely be other organizations that are operating education/training programs in based on other values that are not democratic in nature.Â
In conclusion, as the demands on firms are changing and increasingly requiring more flexible manufacturing and work practices, team work and multi-skilling are essential if firms are to stay competitive. This means training the work force in a variety of skills so that they can react quickly to changes in models and production runs. Moves in other countries to encourage greater cooperation between industry and education are a testament to the benefits that can be derived. Cross-cultural training is also a necessity for any organization in order for it to survive in today's increasingly globalized and quality oriented environment.Â
What is TQM?
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a structured system for meeting and exceeding customer needs and expectations by creating organization-wide participation in the planning and implementation of improvement (continuous and breakthrough) processes.
In a global marketplace a major characteristic that will distinguish those organizations that are successful will be the quality of leadership, management, employees, work processes, product, and service. This means that products must not only meet customer and community needs for value, they must be provided in a continuously improving, timely, cost-effective, innovative, and productive manner.
There are a variety of strategies being used to implement quality management. These include a "guru" approach, a "quality award" approach, and an ala carte (pick a few pieces of different things and try them) approach. From observation and direct experience with companies implementing TQM, as well as an analysis and critique of different TQM implementation strategies, GOAL/QPC constructed a TQM Wheel to provide a holistic view, and a Ten-Element Model to outline an implementation strategy that allows organizations to get started fairly quickly and begin to improve effectiveness, even though it will take several years to become fully operational.
What is called TQM has never stood still. As with any dynamic management system, TQM has continuously evolved over the last half of the Twentieth Century. GOAL/QPC has been an active partner in this evolution since 1980.
While numerous improvements have been made throughout the world, the elements that make up the TQM Wheel and Ten Element Model are foundational to good quality management.
In today's world, two of the most effective and popular "new" management models are Lean and Six Sigma. Both of these models utilize the basic TQM elements and add on some extra refinements to achieve a more robust and powerful system for customer-focused product and service excellence that also focuses on optimizing costs and profits.
What is Total Quality Management?
Success in our modern business world depends greatly on the right approach to manage a business. Businesses have to deal with tough competition and new technological challenges.
Quality of Product and Service becomes more important.
One promising Approach is Total Quality Management.
Total Quality Management (TQM) is defined as:
a Management method relying on the cooperation of all members of an organisation. A Management method that centers on Quality and on the long-term success of the organisation through the satisfaction of the Customers, ass well as the benefit of all its members and society.
Structure of TQM according to these definitions:
TQM is seen as the most comprehensive approach to Quality thinkable for an enterprise.
The pillars of Total Quality Management are T Q M
T stands for Total
It is the Integration of the Staff, Suppliers, Customers and other Stakeholders. Away from Party-specific Thinking to a more holistic approach.
Q stands for Quality
It is the Quality of the work and the process of the Enterprise leading to Quality of Products.
M for Management
It stresses the leadership task "Quality" and the Quality of leadership. From a scientific point of view TQM can count as school of Leadership. From the enterprises point of view TQM can be seen as a Leadership Model.
Diagram 2 demonstrates the foundational pillars of TQM: