The TQM Components of a Quality System
Total quality management (TQM) is broader in its application than just assuring product or
service quality. It is a way of managing organizations, people, and business processes to ensure
complete customer satisfaction. When combined with effective leadership it results in an
organization that is both effective and efficient in achieving its goals. At its core is the customer
supplier interface with both external and internal customers. This core must be supported by
recognition of the need to change the culture of the organization to achieve total quality.
What is Quality?
Quality is delighting the customer by fully meeting needs and expectations. It starts with market
research to establish the requirements for the product or service and the needs of the customer.
To be truly effective, quality must span all functions and be a common language for improvement
for everyone in the organization.
To achieve quality throughout an organization everyone in it must be able to answer the following
Who are my customers?
What are their needs and expectations?
How can their needs and expectations be met?
What capabilities are necessary to meet their needs and expectations?
What needs to be doe to continually meet their needs and expectations?
How are changes in their needs and expectations determined?
Who are the organization’s suppliers?
What are the needs and expectations of the organization?
How are these needs and expectations communicated to suppliers?
Do the suppliers have the capability to meet these needs and expectations?
How are suppliers informed of changes in needs and expectations?
The Essential Components of Commitment & Leadership
TQM is an approach to improving the competitiveness, effectiveness and flexibility of an
organization. It is a way of planning, organizing, and leading each activity so as to remove all
wasted effort and energy. It guarantees that leaders adopt a strategic overview of quality and
focus on prevention, not the detection of problems.
A fundamental requirement is a sound quality policy, supported by a formal protocol such as ISO
9000 to implement it. Leaders take responsibility for preparing, reviewing and monitoring that
policy and ensure it is understood at all levels of the organization.
Five Requirements for Top Management
Develop and communicate the values and vision of the organization.
Be prominent with personal involvement and act as a role model for a culture of total
Develop the necessary strategies and supporting plans for realizing the vision.
Continually improve the management system.
Become the cheerleaders and champions of the organizational development process.
Seven Steps to Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement
Adopt the philosophy of zero defects.
Look at the total cost in purchasing decisions, do not buy on price alone.
Adopt modern methods of supervising and eliminate fear.
Eliminate barriers between departments.
Eliminate goals without methods, standards based only on numbers, and barriers to pride
Constantly educate and retrain.
Develop a systematic approach to manage the implementation of TQM.
The Quality Management System
An appropriate documented Quality Management System will help an organization reach its
objectives and build upon them. It is imperative that leaders take responsibility for the adoption
and documentation of the management system in their organization if they are serious about
quality journey. Once the strategic direction for the quality process has been set, the organization
needs measures to monitor and control the performance. These measures should be established
at all levels.