Total Quality Management (TQM) for software quality
26.1 TQM Origin and Background
26.2 TQM Definition
26.3 Characteristics of TQM
26.4 Models of TQM
26.4.1 Principles and concepts of “pyramid”
26.5 TQM Benefits
26.6 TQM & Software Industry
26.6.1 Process Is Going Out-of-Control
26.7 PDCA Cycle
• INTRODUCTION TO THE UNIT
• This chapter covers the TQM concepts
for software quality in software industry.
The TQM coverage includes definition,
characteristics, models, benefits and
• UNIT LEARNING OBJECTIVES
• After reading this chapter the learner
will have a very good understanding in
TQM concepts, definition, benefits,
software industry and PDCA cycle.
• 26.1 TQM Origin and Background
• In mid 1940s, Dr. W. Edward Deming picked up some of the ideas
from Walter Shewhart (who discovered that quality can be
measured, and that there are measures of variability) and developed
what is known as TQM. In 1940s, Dr. Deming was working as an
advisor in sampling at the Bureau of Census and later became a
statistics professor at the New York University Business School. At
that time, he had little success convincing American businesses to
adopt TQM, but his management methods did gain a huge success
• While the Japanese were concentrating on producing quality
products, businesses in the United States were more concerned
with producing large quantities of products. Their emphasis on
quantity at the expense of quality let the Japanese, with their
inexpensive, high quality products, gain a substantial foothold in
In the 1970s and 1980s, many American companies, including Ford,
IBM, and Xerox, began adopting Dr Deming’s principles of TQM.
• This gradually led to their regaining some of the markets previously
lost to the Japanese.
• 26.2 TQM Definition
• “A comprehensive approach to improving competitiveness and
flexibility through planning, organizing and understanding each
activity, and involving everyone at each level”. TQM ensures that the
management adopt a strategic overview of quality and focus on
prevention rather than inspection” (Oakland, 1993).
• “ A positive attempt by the organization concerned to improve
structural, infrastructural, attitudinal, behavioral and methodological
ways of delivering to the end customer, with emphasis on:
consistency, improving in quality, competitive enhancements, all
with the aim of satisfying or delighting the end customer” (Zairi et al.,
• "TQM means that the organization's culture is defined by the
constant attainment of satisfaction through an integrated system of
tools, techniques, and training. Total Quality Management is a
management style based upon producing quality service as defined
by the customer. TQM is defined as a quality-centered, customer-
focused, fact-based, team-driven, senior-management-led process
to achieve an organization’s strategic imperative through continuous
• T = Total = everyone in the organization
• Q = Quality = customer satisfaction
• M = Management = people and processes
26.3 Characteristics of TQM
• The following are the characteristics of TQM:
• TQM is the management philosophy to guide a process of change.
• TQM ensures that the quality be recognized as a corporate strategic
priority, along with financial and other priorities.
• TQM starts at the top.
• TQM calls for planning.
• TQM requires organization- wide involvement.
• TQM calls for everyone to be skilled and knowledgeable.
• TQM promotes teamwork.
• TQM is about achieving results by process based approach.
• TQM focuses on the customer.
• TQM recognizes internal customer-supplier relationship.
• TQM considers suppliers as part of the organizations process.
• TQM seeks disciplined approach in continuous improvement efforts.
• TQM aims to instill a “prevention and not an inspection” ethic.
• TQM emphasizes the importance of measurement.
• TQM reduces total cost of meeting customer requirements.
26.4 Models of TQM
FIGURE 26.1 A MODEL OF TQM (OAKLAND, 1993)
• In the UK, the models proposed by Oakland and by Kanji & Asher
(1993) are two of the better known ones. The core theme of the
former model is the identification and management of the processes
within the organization. The processes are as chains of internal and
external customer-supplier relationships that must be managed
effectively and efficiently. Surrounding the processes are the “soft”
outcomes of TQM- culture, communication and commitment (i.e. the
so-called foundation elements)- and the “hard” management
necessities of TQM- the use of teams (ranging from high powered
quality councils to work area quality circles), quality tools (for
systematic data collection and analysis) and systems (based on
recognized international standards). The Bradford model is shown in
• 26.4.1 Principles and concepts of “pyramid” model:
• Kanji & Asher (1993) used a 4-sided “pyramid” model to show the
structure of TQM. It encompasses a set of four general governing
principles, represented by the four sides. Each of the principles is
translated into practice by using two core concepts. “Leadership” is
at the base of the pyramid, aptly emphasizing the critical role of
leadership to make TQM happen.
Table 26.1: principles and concepts of “pyramid” model:
Delight the customer Customer satisfaction Internal customers are
Management-by-fact All work is a process Measurement
People-based management Teamwork People make quality
Continuous improvement Continuous improvement cycle Prevention
• Other quality authorities used different ways to explain their models, some
of them novel. Kano (1993) used “The House of TQM” to show the structure
of TQM. Using various parts of the house, namely, floor, base and pillars,
he describes the factors and characteristics needed to achieve customer
satisfaction and create a “prevention not inspection” management system,
represented by the roof. Among the essentials for TQM, he talks about
maximizing employee involvement, training, management-by-fact, the need
for building in quality, continuous improvement, tools and techniques,
management by policy, and teams.
• Cullen (1991) used a picture of a shield to put forward the hypothesis
that there is a set of five conditions which are necessary and sufficient to
establish TQM, namely, Leadership from the top, The cost of quality, Focus
on customer satisfaction, Continuous improvement and involvement of
• 26.5 TQM Benefits
• TQM has few short-term advantages. Most of its benefits are long-term and
come into effect only after it is running smoothly for some time. In large
organizations, it may take several years before long-term benefits are
realized. Long-term benefits that may be expected from TQM are higher
productivity, increased morale, reduced costs, and greater customer
commitment. These benefits may lead to greater public support and
improvement of an organization’s public image.
• 26.6 TQM & Software Industry
• TQM was originated in the manufacturing sector but it has been
successfully adopted by almost every type of organization
imaginable - for example - hotel management, highway
maintenance, churches, schools & universities. If you look closely at
Software development, it is no different from any other industry. We
develop software using processes. We know our processes are not
perfect. What can we do to improve quality and bring more discipline
into our processes? TQM has the answer.
Remember, we can't test quality into our software, we design in it.
And the only way we can design quality in is by continuously
monitoring and improving our processes.
• Since TQM requires extensive statistical analysis to study processes
and improve quality, we need be able to define a variable (or set of
variables) to monitor a certain process. We should be able to then
make a corrective action whenever we find that the process is going
out-of-control. But, how do we know if the process is going out-of-
control? Note: A process in-control means it's repeatable.
• 26.6.1 PROCESS IS GOING OUT-OF-CONTROL:
• Use Control-Charts. They are also known as XBAR and R-Charts. It's hard
to explain without a diagram, but I'll try to explain. You measure a process
variable and define the target mean i.e. its acceptable average value. Note:
To be able to begin monitoring a process, it must be in-control. Then define
the Upper Control Limit (UCL) and Lower Control Limit (LCL). Use XBAR
Charts to track if the process is going out-of-control. This URL provides
more insight into how to define UCL and LCL. Note: if the LCL drops below
some practical value, then choose zero.
26.7 PDCA Cycle
• Plan-Do-Check-Act is also known as Shewhart Cycle. Instead of following a
Dilbert Cycle, where one only react to changes, PDCA shows a more
sophisticated way to welcome change. Look at the problem in detail and
check what's wrong (Plan). Then try improvement in small steps (Do).
Gather data and analyze results (Check). In the end, make a decision (Act)
and repeat the cycle for next problem. It's common sense, isn't it? But we
still find managers suffering from Dilbert Syndrome almost everyday!
• We can't test quality into our software, we design in it
• A chain is as strong as its weakest link. We must find and fix the
• Processes needs to be continually improved
• The People who do the work generally knows best how to improve it
• Use quantitative methods to support decisions, whenever possible
• Plan a flight, and fly the plan
• Review Questions
– Explain the TQM Origin and Background?
– What are the definitions of TQM?
– Explain the characteristics of TQM?
– Describe the various models of TQM?
– Briefly explain the principles and concepts of pyramid model?
– Highlight the TQM Benefits?
– How is TQM & Software Industry related?
– What is PDCA Cycle?
• Ramesh Gopalswamy, Managning the
global software projects, First Edition, Tata
McGraw Hill, Ltd (2002).
• Kieron Conway, Software Project
Management, First (Reprint) Edition, The
Coriols Group, USA (2002)
• Dean Leffingwll & Don Widrig, Managing
software requirements, First (Reprint)
Edition, Addison Wesley Longman, Pvt Ltd