TQM Essay Research Paper Total Quality ManagementA

TQM Essay, Research Paper Total Quality Management A major element in world market competition is quality. During the 1970?s and 1980?s, the Japanese and their U.S. companies demonstrated that high

TQM Essay, Research Paper

Total Quality Management

A major element in world market competition is quality. During the 1970?s

and 1980?s, the Japanese and their U.S. companies demonstrated that high

quality is achievable at lower costs and greater customer satisfaction. It was

the result of using the management principles of total quality management (TQM).

U.S. companies have demonstrated that such achievements are possible using TQM

as a way to manage. Such companies also found that they were recognized with

everyone pulling in the same direction. Improvement had become a way of life.

Before the 1980?s, U.S. management was broadly successful. Prior to that, the

dominant management model was that of the autocrat. Management, primarily senior

management, decided how the business was to operate, including what the policies

and objectives were; how it was organized; what jobs were established; and how

they should be done. It was an unquestioned axiom that if everyone did what the

upper management required, the business would be successful. Organizations are

composed of managers and the people who follow them. People respond strongly to

leadership expectations and rewards. If they are given little power in their

jobs, they will little interest in improving themselves. If leaders exhort the

members for better output but reward (promotions, bonuses, recognition) for

mostly highly output, they get the behavior they desired. Quantity over quality

has been a common management philosophy in the United States.

The first step in implementing total quality management requires an

upper-management change in both philosophy and behavior. Managers must adopt the

objectives of customer satisfaction and continuous improvement. They must

implement the change to achieve these objectives through their personal and

continuous involvement and in the reeducation of everyone in the organization in

TQM principles and practices. The past philosophy of management can work

reasonably well if a company dominates the world market. When markets become

complex and worldwide with stronger competitors, a new model is needed. Asian

and some United States companies have demonstrated that there is a more

effective way to manage, quite different from the autocratic model. It is

employee involvement in quality improvement. These companies also introduce high

quality at lower cost as a competitive element, thereby changing the competitive

equation for everyone. Total quality management is a way to continuously improve

performance at every level of operation, in every functional area of the

organization, using all available human and capital resources. Improvement is

addressed toward satisfying board goals such as cost, quality, market, share,

schedule, and growth. In an ongoing effort, it demands commitment and

discipline. The quality management process includes the integration of all

employees, suppliers, and customers within the corporate environment.

Total quality management embraces two underlying tenets. First, quality

management is a capability which inherent in your employees. Second, quality

management is a controllable process, not an accidental one. The idea of an

integrated, human-oriented system approach to management, was successfully used

by W. Edwards Deming in the 1950?s. Deming told the Japanese that they could

become world-class leaders if they followed his approach. He proposed a system

that would change the philosophy of management in many ways. Today, this system

is the pillar of the total quality management philosophy. There are fourteen

functional elements to the TQM philosophy. Here are a few of them.

Organizational vision provides the framework that guides a firm?s believes

and values. The idea of the corporate vision should be a simple, one sentence

guide or motto that every employee knows, and more important, believes. If well

crafted, the vision statement can serve through a torrent of change in product

and service technology. The strategic vision needs to consider both the external

customer and the employees, but should lack a defining or differentiating phrase

between them. For example, General Motors provides all employees a card with it?s

strategic vision, including a cause and effect diagram that indicates the

importance of teamwork. Simply stating a vision is not enough. It needs to be

demonstrated by the actions of the executives, managers, superiors, foremen, and

individuals. It should be done continuously in all their actions and

initiatives. Moreover, deliberation must be exercised in developing these goals

and strategies. They must reflect the values and culture of the work force.

While top-management commitment is essential, managers should realize when to

lead and when to get out of the way. In a sense, quality management is

management from the bottom up. An atmosphere of responsibility must be created

toward the customer for whatever product is produced or service is rendered.

It is inevitable that change will be resisted. In fact, a great deal of

effort in quality management is expended in overcoming such resistance, usually

by allowing change to come from individuals directly involved, rather than

management. The whole idea of continuous improvement leads to change. Some

barriers that effect by this are: (a) We know what they really want (without

asking them). (b) Quality is not a major factor in decisions-low initial costs

mentality prevails. (c) Creating accounting can increase corporate performance.

(d) Can?t manufacture competitively at the low end. (e) The job of senior

management is strategy, not operations. (f) Success is good, failure is bad. (g)

If it isn?t broke, don?t fix it. (h) The key disciplines from which to draw

senior management are finance and marketing. (i) Increase in quality means

increase in cost. (j) Thinking that time, quality, and cost, are the worst

mutuality exclusive, at best we can only choose two of the three.

There are several steps to barrier removal. (I.) Identify the barrier. Some

of the barriers may effect progress. (II.) Place into categories. Related

barriers and their systemic causes may now be analyzed. Categorization may be

facilitated by using either cause and effect diagrams or quality function

deployment. (III.) Establish priority. An objective process that is not

influenced by management or hidden agenda must be developed. At this stage

barriers are judged on their validity in accordance with the severity of the

problem. (IV.) Problem solve. This means more than symptoms removal. Sick

organizations do not recover for the long term if the symptoms are masked. It is

vital to address the root of the problem. The elimination of one barrier may

solve many problems, for example, poor communication between management and

staff. Keep in mind that analyzing the problem should include estimates of

resources required for its solution. (V.) Goals and strategies for resolution.

Resolution of problems may entail goals over a period of months or years. Goals

should be realistic and attainable with the given resources. Strategies ensure

that goals can be accomplished. Bear in mind that numerical goals as such may

not be what is required. Numerical goals may also limit the amount of growth,

particularly in organizations used to working up to an average.

Communication is the glue that binds all techniques, practices, philosophies,

and tools. Communication may be written, verbal, or nonverbal. Understanding and

refining skills for each main type of communication is an ongoing process for

everyone. All forms of communication involve four elements, the sender,

receiver, message, and the medium. The medium is the method of delivery and can

affect the message. It was said that ?the medium is the message?, referring

to the filtering effects that can happen to the message and how personality

factors may influence the understanding. Written communication such as office

memos and reports, are the result of hundreds of hours of work, and their final

form should be worthy of spending some time to get the words right. The use of

space and graphical elements such as charts and figures enhances the readability

of any written piece. Given the vast amount of time spent on reading and

creating memos, letters, and proposals, the by word on written communication

should be ?more is better?; and the less is permanent (memos sent

electronically, faxes, hand notes on the bottom of the letters, rather than

typed, recorded reply) the better.

Verbal communication takes place in many different settings and the form of

the communication will vary. One sort of vocabulary may be used to address

shareholders and a different idiom may be used when chatting with co-workers.

The skills principally lacking in verbal communication are public speaking and

small group interactions. Public speaking scares people to death. This fear may

be overcome by training, organizing, and a little practice. Videotaping the

presentation to review later and practice on a small group to build confidence

will help as well. Small group interactions are essential to build comfort and

ease among the group. It will provide a sense of teamwork and it is vital to

have a small talk among the team.

Humans infer a great deal of information from nonverbal clues. These

nonverbal clues include body language as well as the way the person is dressed.

Some believe that nonverbal clues lead to ?gut feelings? about how to

interact with another person. Despite the similarities of nonverbal

communication there are cultural differences, and is probably most important to

understand these, rather than reading an individual?s body language. It is

easy to fall into the trap of overanalyzing nonverbal clues and infusing them

with meaning, when, for example, someone may be hard of hearing or near/far

sighted rather than being inattentive or too attentive.

Continuous evaluation feedback is essential to continuous improvement. How

else would a company know if their goals are being reached? Feedback mechanisms

may be a simple oral or written report, information system, or complex automated

statistical analyses integrated with expert systems. The key is to receive the

information in time to allow initiating corrective action. For example, in

construction, feedback from engineers, subcontractors, and so forth can help a

manager find new ways to reduce cost and schedule. Feedback may also help

architects to find the best way to construct a building and therefore affect the


Unlike innovation, which requires great resources, and no small amount of

serendipity, continuous improvement is easier to manage and utilize everyone?s

talent. Japanese companies have used this idea for some time, and call this

approach kaizen. This idea fits hand in hand with the team building approach.

To reduce cost and time and increase in productivity, the focus must be

projected on the process that produces the project. Improving the process, for

example, may reduce or eliminate costly order changes and therefore reduce time

complexity. Through inspection and analysis of the process, everyone shares a

common learning experience and the accumulated knowledge and understanding of

the process becomes the basis for improving it.

Precepts of Quality Improvement

? Quality leadership must begin with top management.

? The most important aspect of quality is identifying the activities within

the organization that affect quality.

? Written procedures are one of the necessary communication media by which

the management functions of directing and controlling are exercised.

? One of the most critical activities in quality improvement is preparing a

clear, concise description of the services to be acquired.

? The cost, time, effort devoted to evaluating and selecting suppliers must

be commensurate with the importance of the goods and services to be procured.

? Quality audits must determine the adequacy of, and compliance with,

established policies, procedures, instructions, specifications, codes, standard

and contractual requirements. Quality audits must also assess the effectiveness

of their implication. The simple objective of most quality audits is to gather

enough reliable data through inspection, observation, and inquiry to make

reasonable assessment of the quality of the activity being audited.

? The foundation of quality control is having timely and accurate

information so that systems that are not capable of producing consistent quality

can be identified and improved.

? An affective quality cost program can help the management team to allocate

strategic resources for improving quality and reducing costs.

? Productivity, profit, and quality are the ultimate measure of success of

the production system.

The ?hearing the voice of the customer? has become a key phrase in the

past few years. This would seem to be an obvious point, but it is not. After

World War II, the United States was the only major country that did not have a

devastated economic infrastructure. Therefore, it was able to produce items of

any quality and sell them. Industries were internally driven and not customer

driven. As global markets grew, new competitors with new technologies approached

these markets providing better quality of products and involving the customers.

This approach worked miracles for these new industries and valuable lessons

would be learned from this. Here are some strategies for improving customer and

vendor relations.

? Link organizational vision to customer satisfaction.

? Reward suppliers.

? Move to a single source.

? Minimize the overall number of vendors.

? Identify the internal and external customers.

? Identify end users and distributors.

? Establish routine dialogue with customers.

? Involve the customer in planning and development.

Keep in mind that the vendors must be qualified and have policies that are

compatible. Viewing these vendors as partners, rather than adversaries can lead

to the ability to implement successfully such cost-saving measures as

just-in-time, whereby materials arrive as needed.

Empowering the worker means enabling the worker to achieve his or her highest

potential. For most American companies, this is new, and may be the most

powerful and useful concept in quality management. Allowing and facilitating

workers to achieve their highest potential may seem either obvious or

impossible, but in fact it is neither. Empowering requires turning the

organizational charts upside down, recognizing that management is in a place to

aide the worker in overcoming problems that may occur, not to place roadblocks

along the way. Empowering strategies include:

? Ownership. A key strategy in empowering employees is to allow them

ownership of tasking, project, or division. Ownership implies trust and requires

a delegation of authority commensurate with the responsibility of the task.

Ownership can also be granted to a team. Ownership also demands that the final

resolution of the tasking be in the hands of the owner.

? Value all contributions. Whether or not they are appreciated, it is

important to enhance the self-esteem of the contributor to accept their

contribution and evaluate it.

? Everyone has a value. Treat everyone with respect. All work has dignity to


? Teams must own problems. Teams are a waste of time if management vetoes or

substantially changes their recommendation. If management is unable to trust the

recommendations that come from the team, then management fear rules, and will

spiral to lower and lower productivity.

? Delegate authority to the lowest possible organizational level. No one

knows more about a job than a person directly involved in it.

The outcome of training is modified behavior. It may enhance interpersonal

skills or specific manual skills, but there is a direct, identifiable

modification. Training need not consist solely of traditional classroom

instruction. Employees can train other employees very effectively. A

company-wide curriculum should be developed that addresses the needs of each

department. Courses should be just long enough to be effective. Immediate

reinforcement of the training is necessary to be effective as well.

The main advantage to TQM is the focus on the quality, which is one of the