Understanding Total Quality Management 1
The Role of TQM Methods 8
List of Methods (by Category) 1 0
Purpose of Methods (Alphabetical List) 1 3
Management Methods 20
Analytical Methods 79
Idea Generation 1 23
Data Collection, Analysis and Display 1 54
An essential part of the development of a total quality management (TQM) process should be the education and training of everyone in the organization. The main objective should be to provide information on the principles and philosophy of TOM and training in the methods to help the organiz tion implement total quality management in a systematic way . One of the main purposes of this book is to help all employees to understand the proper use of the total quality management methods required for the achievement of their organization ‘s quality goals. It will also provide the educators and practitioners in this area with a comprehensive set of TOM methods.
Total quality management encompasses certain basic principles. To implement and practise these principles, it is necessary to understand the working of various methods of total quality management. These methods are classified in this book within four categories: Management methods: for example, Deming wheel (Method 10) . A nalytical methods: for example, failure mode and effect analysis (Method 37) .
Tdea generation: for example, brainstorming (Method 5 1 ) . Data collection, analysis and display: for example, tally charts (Method 96) , histograms (Method 78) and pie chart (Method 88) , respectively. A list of methods, by category, is given on p. 10; an alphabetical list of all methods (with a brief description of their purpose or use) is given on p. 13. Within each category, each TOM method is explained simply under the following headings:
• when to use
• how to use
When put into practice , appropriate quality methods can rapidly give rise to quality improvement. Choosing the right methods for the development of a TOM process is one of the vital roles of management and the degree of success obtained will depend upon managerial skill . The total quality management process is complex and the use of some of these methods requires careful consideration and clear understanding.
UNDERSTANDING TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT
Total quality management principles
To understand the process of total quality management (TOM) , we will follow Kanji and Asher (1 993) where all work is seen as ‘process’ and total quality management is a continuous process of improvement for individuals, groups of people and whole organizations. What makes total quality management different from other management processes is the concentrated focus on continuous improvement . Total quality management is not a quick management fix; it is about changing the way things are done within the organization’s lifetime. To improve the process, therefore, people must know what to do , how to do it, have the right methods to do it, and be able to measure the improvement of the process and the current level of achievement.
Total quality management encompasses a set of four principles and eight core concepts. The four guiding principles are:
• delight the customer
• management by fact
• people-based management
• continuous improvement
Each of the principles can be used to drive the improvement process. However, to achieve this, each principle is expressed with the help of two core concepts to make the principle workable .
Delight the customer
This focuses on external customers and asks ‘What would delight them?’ This implies a real need to understand the product or service , agree requirements and fulfil them . ‘Delight’ means being best at what really matters most to the customer and this can change over time. Being in touch with these changes and always satisfying the customer are an integral part of total quality management .
Management by fact
Knowing the current quality standards of the product or service in your customer’s hands is the first stage of being able to improve. You can only measure your improvement if you know the base you are starting from . Having the facts necessary to manage the business at all levels, and giving that information to everyone so that decisions are based upon fact , are an essential aspect of continuous improvement.
If people understand what to do , how to do it and obtain feedback on their performance, they can be encouraged to take responsibility for the quality of their own work . The more people feel involved, the greater will be their commitment to customer satisfaction . Systems, standards and technology themselves will not provide quality. The role of people is extremely important in the continuous improvement of quality within an organization .
Total quality management is not a short-term activity that will finish when a set target has been achieved. It is not a programme or a project. It is a management process that recognizes that , however much we may improve , our competitors will continue to improve and our customers will expect more from us. Here , continuous improvement is an incremental change and not a major breakthrough, which should be the aim of all who wish to undertake the total quality management journey.
Core con cepts for improvement
Each of the eight core concepts given in Table 1 can be used to drive the process of continuous improvement and to develop a framework for quality improvement over many years.
Many companies, when they start the quality journey, become very introverted and deal with their own internal problems, neglecting their external customers. A better way is for companies to use their customers to learn what is important to them and then measure their own performance against customer expectation . Asking your customers to set customer satisfaction goals is a clear sign of an outward looking company.
To fulfil customer satisfaction , Federal Express , an American company, surveyed their customers to identify the top ten causes of aggravation . The aggravation points were weighted according to customer views of how important these were . A complete check was made of all occurrences and a weekly satisfaction index compiled. This allowed the company to keep a weekly monitor of customer satisfaction as measured by the customer.
Internal customers are real
Kanji and Asher’s ( 1 993) definition of quality – ‘satisfying agreed customers’ requirements’ – relates to internal customers as well external ones. Many people also refer to the customer-supplier chain. We believe that it is necessary to achieve successful internal working relations in order to satisfy the needs of the external customer.
Whether you are supplying products or a service, the people you supply internally are as real as your external customers. They also require speed, efficiency or accurate measurement, but achieving a quality service between internal customers can sometimes be time-consuming. One way to deal with this is to assess poor quality in financial terms. Measuring the actual cost of poor quality, and the way that amount is made up, can provide an impetus for management to follow the quality improvement path . In this way, you can use the idea of the internal customer as a focus for improvement.
All work is process
Another possible focus for improvement is that of business processes. A process is a combination of methods, materials, manpower and machines (see Figure 1) that, taken together, produce a product or service . All processes contain inherent variability and one approach to quality improvement is progressively to reduce variation. This can be done , first, by removing variation due to special causes and, secondly, by driving down the common cause of variation , thus bringing the process under control and them improving its capability.