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You must be a believer that quality is a very personal responsibility.
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This book will show you how to apply the principles of quality to all that you do as an individual. It will show you how to improve your personal performance as well as the performance of your organization or team, and it will show you how to hold the gains. Although our primary interest is quality for the individual—in work and in everyday life—we begin with a brief survey of organizational quality, or, as it is frequently called, Total Quality Management TQM.
The working assumption of TQM is that continual organizational improvements, small and large , are not only possible but are necessary for long-term survival. Opportunities for improvement are recognized primarily by continuing reexamination of all existing constraints on the way that work is done. This reexamination is focused on all organizational processes, and it is guided by three basic ideas, which have to be sold to all employees:.
Orient all efforts towards delighting customers and removing waste in or constraints on internal processes. Stress team effort at all levels inside and outside the organization, including cooperative efforts with suppliers and customers. Use data and scientific reasoning to guide and evaluate improvement efforts, and to hold the gains from past improvements.
These three ideas, when applied systematically, lead to management practices that are very different from traditional practices. The new practices are so appealing that many people, upon first encountering them, will insist that they have been following them all along. The ideas of TQM lead to much more than meets the eve on first glance. And they pose a profound psychological challenge: they say that, no matter what we have done in our lives up to now, we must be prepared to find that we can do enormously better. This is gratifying in the sense that improvement is always gratifying.
But it also suggests that what we have done in the past is going to look bad in the light of present knowledge.
Improvement in Louisiana
For many of us, that is hard to accept. The detailed management tactics of TQM go beyond traditional optimization within fixed constraints to shoot at ever-moving improvement targets by relaxing or eliminating constraints. Since there is no end to opportunities to relax or eliminate constraints, improvement is never ending. Relaxing a constraint is an abstract expression.
Quality Management: history, gurus, TQM, process improvement and more
One of the authors offers a personal example of what it means. In the author and his teenage son were jogging along a mountain trail in North Carolina when they were confronted by a large eastern timber rattlesnake who was visibly and noisily blocking the trail. They stopped abruptly about ten yards short of the rattler. The father picked up a large dead branch and advanced on the snake, intending to make him move off the trail so that they could continue the run.
They took a wide semicircle around the snake and continued on their way. The rattler went on rattling, but the confrontation had been avoided. Here, the constraint was the assumption that the process of jogging demanded that they stay on the trail; the removal of the constraint permitted the run to continue without a potentially disastrous incident.
TQM is a people-focused management system that aims at continual increase of customer satisfaction at continually lower real cost. This is a total system approach not a separate area or program , and an integral part of high-level strategy; it works horizontally across functions and departments, involves all employees, top to bottom, and extends backward and forward to include the supply chain and the customer chain.
TQM stresses learning and adaptation to continual change as keys to organizational success. The foundation of TQM is philosophical: the scientific method.
It includes systems, methods, and tools. The systems permit change; the philosophy stays the same. TQM is anchored in values that stress the dignity of the individual and the power of community action. TQM is in one sense a highly democratic system, but it requires dedicated and informed leadership from senior management, leadership that is aware of the obstacles to successful implementation. TQM goes beyond specific improvements, however desirable these may be, to the transformation of organizations and organizational cultures from what they are today to something very different.
TQM is only one of many acronyms used to label the management system that we have just described. Others are specific to given companies or organizations.
The History of Quality
Three comments are in order:. An organization could implement the concepts without using any acronym at all. This approach to TQM suggests that customer satisfaction—even customer delight—is a useful definition of quality. Schonberger points out that the four unstarred items are not just variations or extensions of the first eight: they are basic and vital in their own right. Show more Show less. Any condition Any condition.
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