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TQM (Total Quality Management)

Total Quality Management is the term used when talking about an organization-wide management of quality. TQM consists of planning, organizing, directing, control, and assurance. It is called total because it consists of two qualities: qualityof return to satisfy the needs of the shareholders, and  quality of products.

As defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO):

“TQM is a management approach for an organization, centered on quality, based on the participation of all its members and aiming at long-term success through customer satisfaction, and benefits to all members of the organization and to society.” ISO 8402:1994

In Japan, TQM comprises four process steps, namely:

  1. Kaizen – Focuses on “Continuous Process Improvement”, to make processes visiblerepeatable and measurable.
  2. Atarimae Hinshitsu – The idea that “things will work as they are supposed to” (for example, a pen will write).
  3. Kansei – Examining the way the user applies the product leads to improvement in the product itself.
  4. Miryokuteki Hinshitsu – The idea that “things should have an aesthetic quality” (for example, a pen will write in a way that is pleasing to the writer).

TQM requires that the company maintain this quality standard in all aspects of itsbusiness. This means ensuring that things are done right the first time and that defects and waste are eliminated from operations.

TQM provides the basis for the Baldrige National Quality Program (BNQP) that is administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This is the most prestigious award for manufacturing that can be earned in the United States. Organizations benchmark against the criteria to assess how well their actions are aligned with their strategies. Results are examined to determine the effectiveness of their approaches and deployment of these strategies.

If you have any questions about TQM, please contact me. I’d be happy to help you!

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