Different companies have different approaches to implement Total Quality Management (TQM). The following principles (which are common to all companies) must be adhered for the successful Total Quality Management (TQM) implementation:
- Continuous improvement. TQM is a long-term process that entails achieving improvements in the company’s operations. This means that management should establish targets for improvement and measure progress by using reliable criteria. The quest for quality and better service to the customer should be a continual, never-ending one. Competitors will seek to provide better service and customers will come to expect it. Hence, to cease improvement efforts will likely lead to loss of competitive advantage and a decreased level of customer satisfaction.
- Customer focus. In TQM, the customer is believed to be the ultimate judge of quality. Therefore, the company must remain close to the customer and understand how he or she views and judges quality.
- Strategic planning and leadership. Achieving quality and market leadership requires a viable competitive strategy that outlines goals and desired outcomes. Moreover, senior executives should be responsible for introducing and supporting TQM programs.
- Competitive benchmarking. This means identifying companies or other organizations that are the best at something and then modeling your own organization after them. The company need not be in the same line of business as yours.
- Employee empowerment. TQM is based on humanistic management principles that suggest employee involvement and participation is essential for success. Giving workers the responsibility for improvements and the authority to make changes to accomplish them provides strong motivation for employees. This puts decision making into the hands of those who are closest to the job and have considerable insight into problems and solutions. Empowered to bring about changes in their workplace, employees can creatively contribute to their company’s well being.
- Teamwork approach. The use of teams for problem solving and to achieve consensus takes advantage of group thinking, gets people involved, and promotes a spirit of cooperation and shared values among employees. Further, teamwork creates opportunities for learning and exchanging ideas.
- Knowledge of tools. Everyone in the organization is trained in the use of quality control and improvement tools.
The entire organization must be subject to the search for improved ways of performing; nothing should be regarded as sacred or untouchable. A sometimes helpful view is to consider the internal customers and strive to satisfy them; that is, every activity in an organization has one or more customers who receive its output. By thinking in terms of what is needed to satisfy these customers, it is often possible to improve the system and, in doing so, increase the satisfaction of the final customer.
Credit: MBA Production Management-CU