Consultant Proficiency Resources How to series continues with the theme of Quality management. According to Investopedia (2023), Total Quality Management (TQM) is the "continual process of detecting and reducing or eliminating errors in manufacturing." The goal of TQM is grounded in accountability for your organization's deliverables. The leader is responsible for the overall quality of the final product or service. TQM strives towards a common goal within the organization. Today, we will consider some guiding principles of Total Quality management.
Primary Principles of Total Quality Management
Seven Guiding principles define TQM. They include:
1-Focus on Customers
Under TQM, your customers define whether your products are high quality. Customer input is highly valued because it allows a company better to understand the needs and requirements in the manufacturing process. Customer feedback is critical. 2.
2-Commitment by Employees
Employees must buy into the processes and system if TQM is successful. A company adopting TQM principles must be willing to train employees and give them sufficient resources to complete tasks successfully and on time.
A company should gradually evolve and strive for incremental, minor improvements as it learns more about its customers, processes, and competition. This concept of continuous improvement helps a company adapt to changing market expectations. Continuous improvement also drives and widens the competitive advantage that a company has built over related companies.
4-Adherence to Processes
TQM's systematic approach relies heavily on process flowcharts, TQM diagrams, visual action plans, and documented workflows. Every member engaged in the process must be aware and educated on their part of the process to ensure proper steps are taken at the right time of production.
5-Strategic and Systematic Approach
A company's processes and procedures should directly reflect the organization's vision, mission, and long-term plan. TQM calls for a system approach to decision-making that requires that a company dedicate itself to integrating quality as its core component and making the appropriate financial investments to make that happen.
The systematic approach of TQM only works if feedback and input are given to evaluate how the process flow is moving. TQM relies heavily on monitoring, documentation, and planning. Monitoring allows you to analyze data.
One way to utilize data is to integrate systems. TQM strategies believe systems should talk to each other, convey helpful information across departments, and make intelligent decisions. When goods or inventory are used in one area, another department should immediately access the data. TQM strives to allow everyone to be on the same page simultaneously by linking data sources and sharing information across systems.
Data may transfer between departments freely, but there is a human element to coordinating processes and ensuring an entire production line operates efficiently. Effective communication plays a large part in TQM to motivate employees, educate members along a process, and avoid process errors, whether normal day-to-day operations or significant organizational changes.
Organizational buy-in is critical to top-quality management. Goals and processes that have been implemented must be communicated. Successful TQM requires a company-wide buy-in of every principle. The benefits of TQM quickly diminish if a company does not receive complete buy-in.
(1) Quality is essential to all businesses,
(2) TQM is about accountability,
(3) TQM needs teamwork, and
(4) TQM must be communicated.
In the next post, we will consider how to implement TQM within your department or small business effectively. In the interim, please consider the quality of your deliverables will dictate the success of your business.