Barriers to effective TQM Implementation.There are a number of common potential setbacks in the introduction and implementation of a total quality management system. These can arise due to the commitment of senior management, the existing culture within an organization, the number and focus of teams, the ability and desire to truly engage all employees, the focus of the TQM effort and commitment to continuous education and training.
Senior Management commitment.The biggest single reason for a total quality program to fail to deliver significant benefits to an organization is poor leadership by senior management. Senior management must lead by example and systematically seek to implement and continually improve all the required elements of TQM. Senior management cannot stand back and delegate the TQM effort, they must enthusiastically demonstrate an understanding, appreciation and buy-in for total quality in their daily actions. Where problems arise on a daily basis, senior management must insist on fact based analysis. They must consistently recognise positive team performance. They must encourage all employees to participate and contribute to organizational performance improvement. Failure by senior management to live TQM on a daily basis, will send a clear message to employees that total quality is not truly valued within the organization.
TQM Implementation & Organizational Culture.The existing culture within an organization is critical to the effective implementation of a positive, effective, total quality approach to improvement. A culture of mistrust, them versus us, change resistance, etc., will stall and ultimately stop the implementation of TQM. The culture within an organization must be supportive of positive change and encourage open two-way communications. TQM may force management to plan efforts towards culture change. Sometimes external consultants are introduced to address cultural changes, certainly external advice can be helpful, however, the culture must be lived internally by all employees. Often by asking and listening to the staff, the requirements for culture change can be identified and effectively implemented.
Team Mania.Teamwork is a critical part of TQM, however putting people in teams before the TQM culture has been developed can result in poor results. Too many teams can also be a real problem. Team attendance needs to be carefully monitored, as often the same people end up on a range of teams, will little time left in their working day to truly contribute to the team, while in parallel, many other employees, never sit on a team nor or asked to contribute. The objective must be to harness the capabilities of all employees. Therefore, as many employees as possible must in some way contribute to improvement activities. This may be via partaking on teams. However, all teams must be carefully considered, with clear objectives, properly considered membership, clear end goals and appropriate recognition for positive efforts where positive results are delivered.
Deployment Process.It is important to get all key groups on board (e.g. all managers, employees, suppliers, …) before rolling out TQM projects. No single group of stakeholders can deliver total quality performance, nor can TQM be achieved while missing a key stakeholder group.
Taking too narrow or too broad an approach.Unless the quality program is tailored to fit the organization, problems will arise during implementation. Careful consideration needs to be given to the scope of the TQM program, where does the organization see the status of TQM in say one, two, five years time? TQM is a long term project. It is entirely reasonable to commence TQM via small steps. Maybe the first starting point will be to develop the use of analytical tools such as cause and effect, Fault Tree Analysis, HAZOP analysis, etc.. Then when these start to get applied, the next step may be to introduce employee recognition, then improvement teams, etc.. The plan for TQM should be developed with all employees and shared with all employees, along with the planned milestone targets.
TQM Implementation. Training & Education.A critical component in any TQM program. What will be the approach to staff development? This also sits with plans to improve delegation and decision making. Developing more capable staff, can also motivate the staff, however, as staff competence is developed, so too must the opportunities available to utilize new skills be made available to those same staff, otherwise the outcome of training can actually be lower levels of motivation. Again, there should be a clear plan for education and training which in integral with the overall TQM program. The organization must ensure not to create overly optimistic expectations for staff, but equally to show that opportunity for self development exists, provided employee expectations are aligned with the organizational TQM strategy.
TQM 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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