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CPR's How 2 Series: Extended Principles Total Quality Management

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

As CPR continues its How-to Series, today's post provides data on extended Total Quality Management (TQM) principles. Much like any form of business, there is a theoretical and practical side to business. When considering TQM principles, it makes sense to consider organizations that have walked the walk- the practical side of business. Such examples may include Toyota. Thinking quality also signifies thinking and working lean. Toyota is also known for implementing the LEAN strategy, a known component of quality control.

A 2021 article by MBA Knowledge Base presented some additional thoughts on TQM based on themes that award-winning organizations, including Toyota, identified. Let's examine:

  1. Putting the Customer First:

Customer satisfaction is at the heart of total quality management. This principle supports the traditional view that the “customer is king.” The emphasis has shifted from customer satisfaction to delighting the customer. A leader must adapt to this latest version of customer focus to succeed in global competition.

  1. Management by Fact: The second principle TQM companies worldwide adopt today is management by fact. This principle is difficult to institutionalize. Facts are far better than opinions, although opinions, views, and ideas should not be ignored. Decision-making must be based on data-driven facts.

  2. Principle of Continuous Improvement: The plan-do-check-act (PDCA) principle is another essential tool for implementing a TQM program successfully. The PDCA, also called the “Deming Wheel,” is the principle of continuous improvement. Practice is key. Practice of the PDCA cycle generates numerous opportunities for further improvement.

  3. Focus on Prevention: Companies like Telco, Philips, etc., which have mastered TQM, realized that solving problems is the first step in improving. These companies realized that long-lasting results cannot be achieved until methods are instituted to prevent the recurrence of problems. Companies must ensure that problems are solved once and for all and that the recurrence of these problems is prevented.

  4. Principle of Employee Involvement: Surrounding the above four fundamental principles are two others related to how people should work together. TQM Company requires mutual respect and optimally uses employees’ brainpower, technical skills, and physical power. Successful TQM companies worldwide recognize that workers’ energy, enthusiasm, and value to the company can be limitless given the proper forum where their ideas can be expressed.

  5. Principle of Cross-functional Management: Cross-functional management recognizes that no organizational unit can control every aspect of the business operation to meet customer requirements. Cross-functional management is cooperating across functional organizational boundaries — interacting with each other to ensure that the product or service meets the set quality standards. Communication among departments should improve. Cross-functional management techniques would reduce design time, improve product and service quality, and build a sense of mission among company employees.


Total quality management (TQM) is an ongoing process of detecting and reducing or eliminating errors.

  • Total quality management is used to streamline supply chain management, improve customer service, and ensure that employees are adequately trained.

  • The focus is to improve the quality of an organization's outputs, including goods and services, by continually improving internal practices.

  • Total quality management aims to hold all parties involved in the production process accountable for the overall quality of the final product or service.

  • There are often eight guiding principles to TQM that range from focusing on customers continually improving and adhering to processes.

TQM is an essential tool that every leader needs to embrace. Understanding the engine required to drive such an organizational change is just the beginning.

Warm Regards,


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