What is Total Quality Management? TQM Implementation....
Information & Training. | Total Quality ManagementTotal Quality Management is an approach to improvement which seeks to harness the capabilities of all resources, across all aspects of business operations, towards achieving common goals. TQM is not about significant investment, nor rolling-out new IT systems, nor the installation of the most modern items of process equipment. It is about maximizing the capabilities that currently exist within the organization and creating processes and mechanisms which allow for significant improvement in performance based on leveraging the existing capabilities.
TQM is a journey of learning, the further along the path of TQM an organization progresses, the greater the understanding, skills developed and rewards to employees and the organization itself.
TQM is an extremely powerful methodology for positive change within an organization. It is a way of thinking, it involves a cultural shift in the way an organization views itself, the environment, the approach it takes to setting and achieving objectives, it is a way of daily operation which encompasses all aspects of an organization.
When implementing TQM an organization will need to consider:
– The integration of TQM into core strategy.
– Promoting a focus, understanding and empathy with the customer (the customer includes both internal and external customers).
– The development of an “obsession with quality” culture within the business.
– Insistence on embedding a scientific approach to decision making and problem solving.
– TQM will need to be seen by management as a long term commitment.
– The organization will need to promote teamwork and see teams as the basis for problem solution, new means of working, continuous improvement activities, etc..
– Continual process improvement will be a daily feature of working life.
– Staff, suppliers, customers will undergo continuous education and training.
– The long term goals of the organization will be continually re-iterated to ensure focus on goal achievement is central to all activity.
– At all levels within the organization, employees are actively involved and empowered to drive improvement.
The integration of Total Quality Management into core strategy.
In the development of the business strategy, the role of TQM needs to be integral in the achievement of the strategy. TQM needs to be seen as a key component in supporting the achievement of a sustainable competitive advantage. The strategy will reference the organizational “Vision”, an organizational “Mission Statement” (the purpose of the business, defined in clear, easy to understand terminology) and the top level organizational objectives. TQM will need to be integral within the Vision, Mission, Objectives as a culture and mode of operation. The strategy will be rolled-out to all employees, who will see a clear message that TQM is actively supported by senior management and is essential to achievement of the business Vision, Mission and Objectives.
The Vision and Mission may likely remain relatively consistent from one year to another, however the objectives will change. These high level organizational objectives will need to be made known to all employees (examples of high level objectives may be to set a target of zero out of spec (OOS) product within two years on specific product lines, or a target of achieving “in process” inventory reduction of the order of 30% within the next year, etc. etc…).
The details of activities required to achieve these objectives (e.g. quality will consistently be given a higher priority than throughput, or we will have more frequent production campaigns with smaller quantities, etc…) will need to be planned out.
Initiatives such as the above will require effective communication cascaded from management. The approach by management to communicating with employees and the measurement of the effectiveness of their communications will need to be determined.
Promoting a focus, understanding and empathy with the customer.
In the total quality environment, all activity needs to consider the needs and expectations of the customer. It is vital to clearly identify all customers, not only the end user but also the internal customers throughout the supply chain. The needs and expectations of these customers will be understood and clearly defined. Processes will need to be established which facilitate regular feedback on organizational performance versus customer requirements, e.g. the implementation of effective and comprehensive customer satisfaction reporting processes.
The development of an “obsession with quality” culture within the business.
The internal and external customers define the quality expectations. These need to be translated into requirements standards. For the external customer, these may be in the form of product specifications, product labels, quantity and delivery requirements, pricing expectations. For the internal customer, this may involve maintenance, calibrations checks within defined time scales so as to avoid production downtime. Production may be required to deliver product to say the warehouse by a predefined date for shipment. Documentation expectations will need to be met, so as to permit timely release of product. A “Right First Time” culture will need to be adopted. Targets will be set which need to be measured. The number of deviations will need to be pushed down, the % OOS (out of specification) will need to consistently decrease. This will require investigation of all deviations, OOS and out of expectations (OOE’s) results. The investigations will need to identify root causes and result in effective corrective and preventative actions. This may require implementation of control charting, sigma analysis, widespread use of failure analysis tools such as FTA, FMEA, HAZOP, etc.. A key point will be that there develops a rapid and thorough response to deviation from expectation and a permanent solution is implemented to address.
The effective implementation of the about throughout all aspects of the organization will result in quality gaining priority in all decision making. The internal mindset of all employees will more and more develop towards an “obsession with quality” approach. This obsession with quality will ultimately be seen in the products, services and experiences of the customer.
Insistence on embedding a scientific approach to decision making and problem solving.
Decision making and problem solving should be based on hard data. Analytical troubleshooting techniques will be applied to solving difficult and complex problems. This will involve a broad range of employees developing competence in fact based approaches to problem solution. The level of complexity in the tools applied may vary depending on the capability of the employee, however, fact based analysis will need to become the norm. Analytical tools and techniques such as capability analysis, statistical control, process validation, etc., will be understood and effectively applied on a routine basis.
TQM will need to be seen by management as a long term commitment.
TQM is a whole new way of doing business and takes long term commitment at all levels in the organization for it to work. TQM is not a ‘quick fix’. Competence development of employees, the rollout of effective management communication processes, a culture of right first time, all take a long term commitment. However, while TQM is a long term process, benefits will be achieved from the commencement of the TQM journey. One good fact based failure analysis and corrective action, is infinitely better than numerous quick fixes.
The organization will need to promote teamwork and see teams as the basis for problem solution, new means of working, continuous improvement activities, etc..
Working in co-operation with other departments, all working towards the same organizational objectives, pays greater dividends than individual functional or department activities focused on individual perceived priorities.
Similarly open working relationships with suppliers and customers will lead the organization on a positive progress path. Team success depends on organizational culture, choosing the appropriate team attendees, clear team objectives, the ability of the team to implement improvement, etc..
Continual process improvement will be a daily feature of working life.
This is a fundamental concept in Total Quality Management. Some organizations invest heavily in techniques such as Lean and Six Sigma to effect process improvements. Others take a simpler approach via training staff in individual analytical tools such as statistical control charting, cause and effect analysis, etc.. The most appropriate approach will be up to the organization to determine for itself. However, there is a need to have staff competent in some basic analytical tools to allow them to perform fact based analysis. There is a need for management to insist on problem solution based on a team structure. Management need to promote and foster team development, facilitate team competence, recognize and celebrate team success.
Staff, supplier, customers will undergo continuous education and training.
It is through effective communication, education, training and development that people apply themselves to the organization’s objectives and learn how to work smarter. There will be a continual education and training program. Knowledge allows employees to understand the business, understand the potential positive and negative impacts of their actions, allows employees the opportunity to grow within the organization. The education and training provided will be a mix of hard technical information on the operation of the business, its products, etc., and softer education and training on communication, problem solving, etc.. An effective long term education and training program will unlock unseen talent within the existing workforce.
The long term goals of the organization will be continually re-iterated to ensure focus on goal achievement is central to all activity.
Internal politics has no place in a total quality environment. All managers, supervisors and team leaders must present the ‘company mission, vision and objectives’ and lead by example. Note, the “company mission, vision and objectives” will have been developed via real and substantive input from employees, customers, suppliers and all key stakeholders, so there should be broad buy-in from the onset. There needs to be continuous communication on the importance of working towards the organizational goals and regular “health checks” to ensure all activities are directed towards goal achievement.
At all levels within the organizations, employees are actively involved and empowered to drive improvement.
Employees need to be involved in ways that give them a real voice rather than a ‘management know best’ approach. In many activities it is the line employee who actually understands the process and is best placed to see ways of improving organizational performance and the customer experience. Mechanisms need to be established which allow all employees to contribute to improving performance. This may entail workforce planning which allows time for team meeting attendance and time for problem analysis. Clearly any such time-out activities will need to be monitored, however, provided the objectives of the improvement teams align with the organizational goals, then there will be positive benefits for the business.
Outcome of effective TQM implementation.
Where Total Quality Management is truly implemented across an organization, there will be genuine long term customer benefits. The products and services provided by the organization will meet and exceed customer requirements. The customer will be understood and have their future expectations anticipated. The bond between the customer and the organization will grow, leading to strong levels of customer loyalty, which will drive sales.
Internally, employees will feel appreciated, motivated and effectively utilized. Initiatives will arise from staff across the organization, which will power efficiency and foster new and improved methods of process delivery. New ideas may drive organizational strategy and direction.
The organization will thrive and consistently deliver on strategy and objectives.
Information & Training. | Total Quality Management Tools and Techniques …
- Continuous improvement utilizing Analytical Techniques.
- 5 why’s analysis
- Process Flow Diagrams/Flowcharts/Process Mapping
- Check sheets /Check Lists
- Run charts
- Scatter Diagrams/Scatter Plot
- Cause and Effect/Fishbone/Ishikawa Diagrams
- Identifying sources & causes of variation
- Control/Shewart Charts/DPU Charts
- Cpk and Ppk Analysis
- Pareto Analysis
- Bottleneck Analysis
- Etc. Etc.
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