Total Quality Management (TQM) System:
of the article:
- Define and explain
total quality management (TQM).
- What are the
advantages and disadvantages of total quality management.
Definition and explanation of Total
Total quality management (TQM) is an improvement program which provides tools
and techniques for continuous improvement based on facts and analysis; and if
properly implemented, it avoids counterproductive organizational infighting.
The most popular approach to continuous improvement is
known as total quality management (TQM). There are two major characteristics of
total quality management (TQM) (1) a focus on serving customers and (2) systemic
problem solving teams made up of front line workers. A variety of specific tools
are available to aid teams in their problems solving. One of these tools is
benchmarking which involves studying organizations that are among the best in the
world at performing a particular task. Perhaps the most important and pervasive TQM problem solving tool is Plan-do-Check-Act (PDCA)
plan do check act cycle is a systematic fact based approach to continuous
The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle applies the
scientific method to problem solving. In the plan phase, the problem solving
team analyzes data to identify possible causes for the problem and then proposes
In the Do phase, an experiment is
conducted. In the check phase, the results of the experiment are analyzed. And
in the Act phase, if the results of the experiment are favorable, the plan is
implemented. If the results of the experiment are not favorable, the team goes
back to the original data and starts allover again.
Perhaps the most important feature of TQM is that "it improves productivity by encouraging the use of
science in decision making and discouraging counter productive defensive
behavior. Thousands of organizations have been involved in total quality
management (TQM) and similar programs.
- Improves reputation- faults and
problems are spotted and sorted quicker (zero defects)
- Higher employee morale– workers
motivated by extra responsibility, team work and involvement in
decisions of TQM
- Lower costs – Decrease waste as fewer
defective products and no need for separate
- Quality Control inspectors
- Initial introduction costs- training
workers and disrupting current production whilst being implemented
- Benefits may not be seen for several
- Workers may be resistant to change –
may feel less secure in jobs
Real Business Example:
TQM is not just a big company
phenomenon. Penril DataComm is a maryland designer and producer of data
communications and equipment. Before embarking on TQM, defect rates
were so high that the company was reworking or scrapping one third of
everything it made. Applying TQM techniques resulted in an 81% decrease
in defects, an 83% decrease in failures in the first three months of
use, and a 73% decrease in first year warranty repairs. TQM was credited
with taking the company "from the brink of financial disaster" to
excellent financial health.
Source: "Poor Quality Nearly Short
Circuits Electronics Company," Productivity, February 1993.