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Dylan A. lurvey
Table of Contents
Executive Summary (3)
Introduction, The Father of Total Quality Management
History of TQM (39)
Implementation of Total Quality Management (915)
Critical Components for Implementing TQM structures
TQM Strategies (1516)
Importance of Leadership (16)
TQM Benefits and Obstacles (1718)
The Evolution of TQM
ISO 9000 (1822)
Six Sigma (2326)
Lean Manufacturing (2730)
How does TQM – Lean Differ (3031)
Where are We Today
Total Quality Management plays a major role in business today. In order to fully
understand what TQM is, one has to look into where it started and how it has evolved over time.
In order for businesses to be successful they must understand the customer needs and produce
products that meet their needs at a cost they can afford. Managing the quality of the product is
critical. This paper will discuss how understanding the process is important to eliminating
defects and in turn lead customer satisfaction.
In today’s business, tools like ISO, Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing have played
integral parts in managing quality. However, in order for any of these to work you need
leadership support and an effort from all to sustain Total Quality Management long term.
The Father of TQM:
Total Quality Management is a form of management that has roots that really took hold in the
1920's but that isn't where it truly started. TQM as a management tactic was founded on the
principle of a company running efficiently. As a result of this efficiency these tactics could help
produce high quality products at a lesser cost to the producer, and also emphasize how a
company needs to run internally to do so. These ways of thinking about business were driven in
the early stages by a man named Walter Shewhart. Shewhart is not the father of TQM however,
but he is the man responsible for planting the seed of thought that eventually led to Walter
Edwards Deming becoming the "father of Total Quality Management" (2).
Before we can dive into the
conversation of TQM's father, we
must first pay homage to where
Deming learned these practices.
Walter Shewhart is considered by
many to be the grandfather of Total
Quality Management. Shewharts
methodology stemmed from the
theory that information is key when
making business decisions, and without the appropriate information, then no entity can succeed
to their optimum potential, but moreover the actions that ones take with the collected data are
equally as important when considering the growth of a business. His approach was known as the
Shewhart cycle learning and improvement cycle. This cycle involved four key continuous
process steps, PlanDoStudyAct (PDSA). Shewhart believed that if a business conducted this
continuous method of management, then they would eventually ween out enough system errors
to be able to maximize their output and lower costs.
The image above illustrates his continuous cycle of management:
Walter Shewhart laid the groundwork for the creation of Total Quality Management, and
it was his core teachings of incorporating the use of statistical analysis and creative management
solutions that thrust Deming into the world of quality management. Using his famous SPC
control chart, along with other key tools, Shewhart was able to mold the mind of a young man
who would go on to change the mindset of the business community for the remainder of the
century and beyond, and that is why he is known as the "Grandfather of TQM".
Walter Deming was born in the year 1900, and has been one of the biggest influences on
modern business through the years 19002000. Having died in 1993 Walter is no longer
personally causing changes regarding TQM, but his sustained influence since its creation was
absolutely paramount when considering how the system of management has taken its hold on the
modern global business market.
Walter was born in Iowa in the year 1900. By the year 1917 he moved away from home,
and attended multiple college institutions before graduating from Yale in 1928. He first earned
his undergraduate degree at the University of Wyoming, and graduated in 1921 having worked
part time as a janitor through his tenor there to subsidize his costs of learning. Deming then went
on to get his Masters of Science in Physics and Mathematics from the university of Colorado,
and eventually wrapping up his documented education with a PH.D. in Physics from Yale. These
degrees and a fastidious work ethic earned Deming the mentorship of Walter Shewhart, and he
worked closely with Shewhart, learning his aforementioned techniques in management.
Shewharts statistically geared approach to management fit in with Demings educational
groundwork, however the element that truly made Deming shine through in later years was his
understanding of the employee. Having been raised in a small Iowa town, and also with his
experience as a janitor, this was a man who understood what it felt like to be an expendable
employee. This background, combined with Shewharts teachings turned Deming into a man who
had a unique perspective on management, but also allowed him to grow his theory of statistical
management into something that would change the business world forever. In 1946 Walter
completed the creation of the American Society for Quality Control, and shortly thereafter he
traveled east to Japan where he directly influenced their management practices, and ultimately
led to an explosion in the Japanese economy specifically in the Automobile, ship building, and
electronic fields of business (2,3)
As Deming worked within Japan he gave a series of twelve major lectures during his
tenor there, and was able to greatly influence the business tactics amongst the Japanese. He
trained nearly 20,000 Japanese Engineers during his ten year period in Japan. One such person
who was greatly influenced by his teachings was Ichira Ishikawa who also happened to be the
president of the Japanese Scientists and Engineers Union (JUSE). Later Ishikawa has become
widely known through his discussions regarding Total Quality Management, both referring to the
practices that were taught to him by Demings, but also adding his own spin on how to interpret
policies of quality. Amidst his Japanese endeavors Deming even found time to push his
management quality agenda in America as well, however it took much longer for the US to adopt
his methodology. When Deming set his aims east towards Japan, it was during a time when their
economy had been down. With his help their economy completely turned around, and today they
are one of the leaders in the technology market (among other categories) in both production and
development. As the Japanese mastered his tactics of management, and even began to develop
their own spin off versions, their advancements in the specified fields of production were
specifically geared towards export and overseas sales. One could argue that Deming not only
taught the Japanese business culture a new way of doing things, but in turn he actually inhibited
the ability for them to become a player on the world stage. Throughout the century Japan has
faced conflict on a global scale, but through their economical vantage point they were able to
reestablish international relationships that they may have otherwise squandered and lost forever.
His effectiveness in the Japanese economy was so vast that they even decided to create a national
award of recognition by the name of “The Deming Prize” in 1951 (4,5).
After the Japanese Economy burst into life in a 30 year period, the Americans finally
decided to commit to his methods of quality management in 1980 after a program was nationally
aired posing the question "Japan can do it... Why not us?". It was this television program, along
with reports of phenomenal success after TQM implementation that drove the American business
practices away from only product to consumer relations, and began to broaden the scope of
possible profit changing methodologies. With only 13 short years left of life after the 1980
marker, Deming managed to produce 2 more books regarding the subject matter, and was
honored at the Graduate School of Business of Columbia University. Walter Deming is the true
Father of TQM and this system of management has grown itself into an integral part of arguably
every single successful business in the modern market (4,5)
Deming was a man who believed that the employee had limitless potential and the only
governor to this potential is the environment in which the worker resides He had 14 core steps to
Total Quality Management, and the following points may have been adapted and molded to fit
specific needs over time, but are still incredibly prevalent in today's business tactics.
Demings 14 points (originally presented in his book "out of the crisis")
Create and communicate to all employees a statement of the aims and purposes of the
Adapt to the new philosophy of the day; industries and economics are always changing.
Build quality into a product throughout production.
End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag alone; instead, try a
longterm relationship based on established loyalty and trust.
Work to constantly improve quality and productivity.
Institute onthejob training.
Teach and institute leadership to improve all job functions.
Drive out fear; create trust.
Strive to reduce intradepartmental conflicts.
Eliminate exhortations for the work force; instead, focus on the system and morale.
(a) Eliminate work standard quotas for production. Substitute leadership methods for
(b) Eliminate MBO. Avoid numerical goals. Alternatively, learn the capabilities of
processes, and how to improve them.
Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship
Educate with selfimprovement programs.
Include everyone in the company to accomplish the transformation.
Walter Deming lived a long and prosperous life that spanned through multiple world
conflicts, a Great Depression, and other notable occurrences in both American and international
history. That being said business practices are constantly evolving and developing in new regions
of the world, and through the nonstop production of global businesses, other ways of
considering these types of business practices will naturally develop as well. With Deming having
passed away over twenty years ago we have already seen more than two decades worth of
development in management philosophy throughout the world, but still today we can see the
ideals of Walter Deming haunting our marketplace. His theory of employee and employer
cooperation has greatly shaped the opinions of the younger American generations. This can be
seen in the modern media through coverage of protests revolving around higher minimum wage,
or in Union strikes throughout the country fighting for a more mutualistic business model
between those who work for someone, and the managing staff. Looking at his effects through a
more subtle lens however, TQM has clearly influenced the day to day lives of employees in
every work setting. Benefits packages are better than ever before, businesses endorse community
engagement for the purpose of giving back to their stake holders and enhanced public relations,
supply chain management tactics have become more team oriented revolving around trust and
partnership rather than vying to be the cheapest producer in a mass order low cost per unit
strategy, and we have found a way to function in a global market using the tactics of a man who
was born in a time where the global market was only just burgeoning into the existence we
recognize in today's business culture. The history of TQM is engraved into the global economic
culture, and these practices will only continue to grow and evolve into more holistic practices
moving forward, and in the article we will discuss not only the key factors in running a company
in regards to TQM, but also we will discuss what it has evolved into, and where it may be
heading down the road.
Implementation of Total Quality Management
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a practical way for improving personal
effectiveness and performance. TQM is a method for aligning and focusing all individual efforts
throughout an organization. It provides a structure within the business and both managers and
employees may continuously improve all aspects of the TQM plan. Total Quality Management is
not a destination but a journey toward improvement (6).
The term “Total Quality Management” (TQM) defines the quality policy and methods of
an organization. But, the process to planning and implementing a total quality management
system or quality management strategy is very difficult. There is no one solution for every
business. Each organization is exclusive in culture, management practices, and the processes
used to create and deliver its products and services. The quality management strategy will then
differ from organization to organization. Still, there are crucial components that must be existent
to apply TQM structures (7). These components are critical for management to look at in order to
determine if they are truly committed to a TQM program. A good place to start is looking into
some of the basic components of implementing TQM (7).
Critical Components for Implementing TQM structures
1 A TQM plan should be developed based on company culture, customer satisfaction, and
quality management systems.
2 Management should learn about TQM and agrees to commit to TQM when TQM is
identified as one of the organization’s strategies.
3 Management identifies the core values and principles to be used in TQM and
communicates these values and principles to each employee.
4 The organization identifies the customer demands making them a priority and aligns
products and services to meet those demands.
5 Management maps the critical processes through which the organization meets its
6 The TQM plan progress is evaluated and the plan is revised as needed.
7 An employee’s awareness of TQM plan should be measured periodically and a
reward/recognition process should be established to recognize these employees who
apply the TQM plan (8).
After management reviews the critical components of implementing TQM they also must
look further into the other elements of implementation. Total quality is a description of the
culture, attitude and organization of a company that strives to provide customers with products
and services that satisfy their needs. The culture requires quality in all aspects of the company’s
operations, with processes being done right the first time and defects and waste eradicated from
operations. To be successful implementing TQM, an organization must concentrate on the eight
key elements within the
TQM has been coined to describe a philosophy that makes quality the driving force
behind leadership, design, planning, and improvement initiatives. For this, TQM requires the
help of those eight key elements. These elements can be divided into four groups according to
their function (9). The groups are:
I. Foundation – It includes: Ethics, Integrity and Trust.
II. Building Bricks – It includes: Training, Teamwork and
III. Binding Mortar – It includes: Communication.
IV. Roof – It includes: Recognition.
TQM is built on a foundation of ethics, integrity and trust. It fosters openness, fairness and
sincerity and allows involvement by everyone. This is the key to unlocking the ultimate potential
of TQM. These three elements move together, however, each element offers something different
to the TQM concept.
1. Ethics – Ethics is the discipline concerned with good and bad in any situation. It is a
twofaceted subject represented by organizational and individual ethics. Organizational ethics
establish a business code of ethics that outlines guidelines that all employees are to adhere to in
the performance of their work. Individual ethics include personal rights or wrongs.
2. Integrity – Integrity implies honesty, morals, values, fairness, and adherence to the facts and
sincerity. The characteristic is what customers (internal or external) expect and deserve to
receive. People see the opposite of integrity as duplicity. TQM will not work in an atmosphere of
3. Trust – Trust is a byproduct of integrity and ethical conduct. Without trust, the framework of
TQM cannot be built. Trust fosters full participation of all members. It allows empowerment that
encourages pride ownership and it encourages commitment. It allows decision making at
appropriate levels in the organization, fosters individual risktaking for continuous improvement
and helps to ensure that measurements focus on improvement of process and are not used to
contend people. Trust is essential to ensure customer satisfaction. So, trust builds the cooperative
environment essential for TQM (9).
Basing on the strong foundation of trust, ethics and integrity, bricks are placed to reach the roof
of recognition. It includes:
4. Training – Training is very important for employees to be highly productive. Supervisors are
solely responsible for implementing TQM within their departments, and teaching their
employees the philosophies of TQM. Training that employees require are interpersonal skills, the
ability to function within teams, problem solving, decision making, job management
performance analysis and improvement, business economics and technical skills. During the
creation and formation of TQM, employees are trained so that they can become effective
employees for the company.
5. Teamwork – To become successful in business, teamwork is also a key element of TQM. With
the use of teams, the business will receive quicker and better solutions to problems. Teams also
provide more permanent improvements in processes
and operations. In teams, people feel more comfortable
bringing up problems that may occur, and can get help
from other workers to find a solution and put into
place. There are mainly three types of teams that TQM
● Quality improvement teams or excellence teams
(QITs) – These are temporary teams with the purpose
of dealing with specific problems that often recur.
These teams are set up for period of three to twelve months.
● Problem solving teams (PSTs) – These are temporary teams to solve certain problems
and also to identify and overcome causes of problems. They generally last from one week
to three months.
● Natural work teams (NWTs) – These teams consist of small groups of skilled workers
who share tasks and responsibilities. These teams use concepts such as employee
involvement teams, selfmanaging teams and quality circles. These teams generally work
for one to two hours a week.
6. Leadership – It is possibly the most important element in TQM. It appears everywhere in
organization. Leadership in TQM requires the manager to provide an inspiring vision, make
strategic directions that are understood by all and to instill values that guide subordinates. For
TQM to be successful in the business, the supervisor must be committed in leading his
employees. A supervisor must understand TQM, believe in it and then demonstrate their belief
and commitment through their daily practices of TQM. The supervisor makes sure that
strategies, philosophies, values and goals are transmitted down throughout the organization to
provide focus, clarity and direction. A key point is that TQM has to be introduced and led by top
management. Commitment and personal involvement is required from top management in
creating and deploying clear quality values and goals consistent with the objectives of the
company and in creating and deploying well defined systems, methods and performance
measures for achieving those goals (9, 10).
III. Binding Mortar
7. Communication – It binds everything together. Starting from foundation to roof of the TQM
house, everything is bound by strong mortar of communication. It acts as a vital link between all
elements of TQM. Communication means a common understanding of ideas between the sender
and the receiver. The success of TQM demands communication with and among all the
organization members, suppliers and customers. Supervisors must keep open airways where
employees can send and receive information about the TQM process. Communication coupled
with the sharing of correct information is vital. For communication to be credible the message
must be clear and receiver must interpret in the way the sender intended (9 10).
There are different ways that communication that can take place within an organization. Some of
examples of these are:
● Downward communication – This is the dominant form of communication in an
organization. Presentations and discussions basically do it. By this the supervisors are
able to make the employees clear about TQM.
● Upward communication – By this the lower level of employees are able to provide
suggestions to upper management of the effects of TQM. As employees provide insight
and constructive criticism, supervisors must listen effectively to correct the situation that
comes about through the use of TQM. This forms a level of trust between supervisors and
employees. This is also similar to empowering communication, where supervisors keep
open ears and listen to others.
● Sideways communication – This type of communication is important because it breaks
down barriers between departments. It also allows dealing with customers and suppliers
in a more professional manner.
8. Recognition – Recognition is the last and final element in the entire system. It should be
provided for both suggestions and achievements for teams as well as individuals. Employees
strive to receive recognition for themselves and their teams. Detecting and recognizing
contributors is the most important job of a supervisor. As people are recognized, there can be
huge changes in selfesteem, productivity, quality and the amount of effort exhorted to the task at
hand. Recognition comes in its best form when it is immediately following an action that an
employee has performed. Recognition comes in different ways, places and time such as,
● Ways – It can be by way of personal letter from top management. Also by award
banquets, plaques, trophies etc.
● Places – Good performers can be recognized in front of departments, on performance
boards and also in front of top management.
● Time – Recognition can have given at any time like in staff meeting, annual award
In summary these eight elements are key in ensuring the success of TQM in an organization
and that the supervisor is a huge part in developing these elements in the work place. Without
these elements, the business entities cannot be successful TQM implementers. It is very clear
from the above discussion that TQM without involving integrity, ethics and trust would be a
great remiss. In fact it would be incomplete. Training is the key by which the organization
creates a TQM environment. Leadership and teamwork go hand in hand. Lack of communication
between departments, supervisors and employees create a burden on the whole TQM process.
Last but not the least; recognition should be given to people who contributed to the overall
completed task. Hence, led by example, train employees to provide a quality product, create an
environment where there is no fear to share knowledge, and give credit where credit is due is the
motto of a successful TQM organization (9, 10).
Once the company identifies its wants to go on the TQM journey, it must begin to think
about strategy. What is the best way? Or, what tools are available to develop the TQM process?
Again, every company is unique, so one or a combination of approaches can be a good fit.
A quality management plan can change from organization to organization. To help with this
there are five strategies to develop the TQM process. These TQM strategies are the TQM
Element approach, the Guru approach, the Organization Model approach, the Japanese Total
Quality approach and the Award Criteria Approach (6).
● The TQM Element approach was extensively used in the early 1980s as companies
tried to implement parts of TQM as they learned them. The TQM Element approach
uses key business processes as tools of TQM to nurture improvements.
● The Guru approach practices the teachings and writings of William Edwards Deming,
one of the leading quality thinkers, as a guide to apply the TQM program. This
approach may be effective to determine if the organization has deficiencies. Then, the
organization makes suitable changes to remedy those deficiencies.
● The Organization model approach consists of quality circles, statistical process
control, Taguchi methods, and quality function deployment (6). The Execution of the
Organization Model approach, individuals or teams visit organizations that have
taken a leadership role in TQM and determine their processes and reasons for success.
They then integrate these ideas with their own ideas to develop an organizational
model adapted for their specific organization.
● The Japanese Total Quality approach inspect the detailed implementation techniques
and strategies employed by Deming Prize–winning companies and use this
experience to develop a longrange master plan for inhouse use (6).
● An organization uses the award criteria approach, for example, the Deming Prize, the
European Quality Award, or the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, to
identify areas for improvement. Under this approach, TQM implementation focuses
on meeting specific award criteria. Although some argue that this is not an
appropriate use of award criteria, some organizations do use this approach and it can
result in improvement (6).
TQM and the Importance of Leadership
TQM depends on people. Effective TQM depends on effective leadership. Leaders
should provide examples of how to implement TQM programs and inspire their peers and
superiors to follow your example provide to implement TQM programs. Top leadership is
essential, but TQM leaders are needed at all organizational levels. Effective TQM depend on the
culture of the organization and the enthusiasm of the organizational leaders. They need to have a
visible commitment to the TQM process of continuous improvement. Leaders need to be led by a
Leaders should take the Initiative, demonstrate commitment, create more Leaders, guide the
efforts of others and remove barriers to implement TQM in an organization. In addition, leaders
will build awareness of the TQM plan in the organization. Understanding what TQM is and why
it is important to people and the business is one of the first and perhaps the most important step
in implementing TQM. Every person in the organization must become aware of the need to
improve, of the promise offered by TQM, of the various TQM methodologies and of the tools
available for improvement efforts. Awareness is the key that opens the door to TQM's potential
Benefits of Total Quality Management
Through all the steps and strategy of implementing TQM into the business one has to ask
What is the benefit? Although there are many benefits that can be had among different
companies, we have listed some of them below that cover some of the broader categories.
● Cost reduction. When applied consistently over time, TQM can reduce costs throughout an
organization, especially in the areas of scrap, rework, field service, and warranty cost
reduction. Since these cost reductions flow straight through to bottomline profits without
any additional costs being incurred, there can be a startling increase in profitability.
● Customer satisfaction. Since the company has better products and services, and its
interactions with customers are relatively errorfree, there should be fewer customer
complaints. Fewer complaints may also mean that the resources devoted to customer service
can be reduced. A higher level of customer satisfaction may also lead to increased market
share, as existing customers act on the company's behalf to bring in more customers.
● Defect reduction. TQM has a strong emphasis on improving quality within a process, rather
than inspecting quality into a process. This not only reduces the time needed to fix errors, but
makes it less necessary to employ a team of quality assurance personnel.
● Morale. The ongoing and proven success of TQM, and in particular the participation of
employees in that success can lead to a noticeable improvement in employee morale, which
in turn reduces employee turnover, and therefore reduces the cost of hiring and training new
Total Quality Management Obstacles
Along with the benefits of Total Quality Management (TQM) there are obstacles as well. Many
service industries have found it difficult to apply and implement TQM successfully. According
to quality experts there are some obstacles to a successful implementation of TQM program in
the service industry. According to the decision making process these obstacles were ranked as
● managerial issues
● peopleoriented issues
● organizational issues
● lack of communication
● lack of topmanagement commitment
● Employee’s resistance to change
● Lack of coordination between departments
● High turnover at management level
TQM requires a significant amount of training for those employees involved in it. The training
can take people away from their regular work which can actually have a negative shortterm
effect on costs. Also, since TQM tends to result in a continuing series of small changes, it can
generate an adverse reaction from those employees who prefer the current system, or who feel
that they may lose their jobs because of it. TQM works best in an environment where it is
strongly supported by management, it is implemented by employee teams, and there is a
continual focus on process improvement that prevents errors from occurring.
The Evolution of Total Quality Management
TQM is a way of running a business that concentrates on satisfying the customer. By
empowering the people they would develop effective skills and to make a success of the
organization. Its use would result in repeat and continued business. As time went on TQM began
to evolve and some could say form a relationship with what would become ISO (Internal
Organization of Standards). So what is ISO and where did it come from?
When Quality Management Standardization became
relevant during World War II it was discovered that
vehicles, ammunition and units of measure were not
the same. The military adopted a standardized way
of making items and soon industries recognized the
advantages of standardization. However, common standards seemed to focus mainly on the
finished product and not the process itself. Companies became confused with different standards
in different countries (10).
In 1987 the Internal Organization for
Standardization was formed and a new Quality
Standard was developed. The European Community
consisted of 12 member nations and was established
with the goal of creating a single market, free from all
barriers of trade. In order for these products and
services to be traded freely, there needed to be
assurances that those products meet certain standards,
whether they were produced in one of the EC nations
or in a nonEC nation such as US, Japan, etc. The
objective of the organization is to promote the creation
of standards, testing and certification to encourage the international trade of goods and services.
This lead to what is called, ISO 9000 Quality Standards. The ISO 9000 standards are not product
standards (12). They actually have nothing to do with the quality of the products. These are
process standards that focus on the systems that produce the products. In other words the
standards are guidelines for design, manufacture, sale and servicing of a product. These
standards require a business to document their plans, specifications, procedures, activities, and so
on. ISO 9000 was geared to increase the level of quality and reliability of products while also
increasing productivity and safety. Companies that adopt ISO 9000 standards must conform to
meeting twenty elements that it requires.These elements focus on internal processes (especially
manufacturing) administration and technical support (13).
The standard is broken out into eight sections. Sections 1 through 3 cover Scope,
Reference and Terms and Definitions. Sections 4 through 8 are what really define the
● Section 4 – How you document a management and control system
● Section 5 –Defines management’s commitment and responsibilities. What data
can be collected by the management system?
● Section 6 – Resource Management
● Section 7 – The controlling of the product or service the companies provide. This
involves the planning and producing of the product or service
● Section 8 – This covers the measuring and monitoring product processes as well
as management processes. This is completed through testing, auditing, and
Simply put, ISO revolves around “Say What You Do, Do What You Say”. Company
departments define their objectives, scope of work and define how they do their job with the goal
of continuous improvement of customer satisfaction. Companies that obtain their certification
identify employees who would become “Lead Auditors” to perform internal audits of the
program. At defined intervals these auditors will audit the departments to ensure they are
following their policies and procedures. In other words “doing what you say”. If an auditor
discovers areas of nonconformance they will issue a Corrective Action with a follow up to
ensure the nonconformance is fixed. If the problem is solved, no additional action is required. If
the corrective action did not fix the problem, then management must come up with a new
corrective action, which is then audited and reported at the next management review. This cycle
continues until the problem is solved. Auditors may also discover areas of improvement or issue
a Preventive Action. A Preventive Action identifies an area of opportunity to fix a problem from
occurring or to make the process more efficient and effective (13,14).
Total Quality Management (TQM) and ISO9000 are both very important if an
organization is looking to become world class. However they are actually quite different.
Although Total Quality Management (TQM) came on the scene first as a method for companies
to improve profits and repeat business, complying to the ISO 9000 standards is the first thing a
company should consider to improve the way it does business. Why? TQM is focused on
identifying the causes of quality problems and eliminating them. The thought is that by involving
everyone in solving quality problems, eventually all problems will be corrected and the
company's quality will continue to get better and better. Unfortunately, TQM is based on
studying past data. This means it is more reactionary as opposed to preventive. ISO9000
through its systems, addresses every area of a business where quality problems can occur. It does
this by requiring that management define the potential problems and implement appropriate
practices to prevent them. One of the greatest features of ISO9000 is that it is selfpolicing.
TQM is not. Furthermore, in order to maintain certification, management must be able to prove
that quality problems are addressed and resolved as they occur. TQM has a history of fading
away over time. While ISO9000 requires documentation and record keeping, there is no such
requirement in TQM. As a result, improvements are often forgotten as new people, new products
and new managers come and go in the company. The typical TQM implementation relies heavily
on the leadership of a "champion." When the champion goes, so does the TQM program. Unlike
ISO9000, which requires regular audits by an outside party. Although they have their
differences and may seem that ISO9000 is superior, however it does have some negatives.
If owners or top management do not have a good understanding of the certification process of
ISO9000 and its standards, then the implementation could be a waste of time and money.
Another negative is the amount of documentation needed to support the program. ISO can
become a paper work nightmare. It has also been noted that good business decisions could be
lost due to the amount of documentation requirements redirects their priorities. ISO9000 can
become a tedious step by step approach that actually slows down decision making and good
common sense. The costs of obtaining the certification can come at a very high cost. The less
support the implementation gets the longer it will take. Some smaller companies can get certified
in as little as six months, however it could be as long as 18 months as well. The time and effort
spent along with the costs of certification could cost some smaller companies close to $80,000 to
certify. So, the time and cost of certifying often means that the return on investment does not
happen right away (16,17,18)
There are also cases of companies getting the certification but never really supporting it
through strong internal auditing. This can result in questionable practices as well as quality. This
looks to be deceptive to the customer and results in a poor business relationships or lost business.
It is important to note that a company that is ISO certified does not mean that it produced quality
products or services. It only means that they have the necessary systems and processes is place
Companies that incorporate ISO9000 and/or TQM have often been proven to be better
run, have fewer problems and have less
waste. This results in happier customers
which generates more business and
hopefully profit. While some may
consider TQM outdated, organizations
still pursue competitive advantage
through improved quality and satisfied
customers. One strong indication of the
continued relevance of quality
management to companies competing in the global market was the revision of the ISO 9000
series of quality standards (14,15). The 2000 version of ISO 9000—ISO 9000:2000—represents
a shift from quality assurance to quality management, a significant change in approach to quality
from one that is totally compliance based to one that includes the evaluation of management
techniques. Also, the introduction of the ISO 14000 Environmental standards were introduced in
reaction to the ongoing environmental concerns throughout industry. This change has been
described as moving the standard away from a technicalpractical tool toward a management
tool. TQM and ISO provide some great tools on managing quality, however there is another
approach that takes even a closer look at improved quality through statistical analysis. This
methodology is called Six Sigma (16,17,18)
The question is, what is Six Sigma and where did it begin? The beginnings
of Six Sigma started back to the early industrial era, during the eighteenth century in Europe. A
man, Carl Frederick Gauss, introduced it as a conceptual normal curve metric. The evolution of
Six Sigma took another step when Walter Shewhart showed how three sigma deviations from the
mean required a process correction. Later in 1980, Six Sigma came to life when a Motorola
engineer coined the term Six Sigma for this quality management process. Motorola later went on
and copyrighted the term as well. Six Sigma sounds complicated and it can be, so we will break
it down (21,19)
In more laymen terms, Six Sigma is an approach that is data driven to eliminate defects in
any process. At any given step, when companies make a product, a defect can occur. Defects
typically occur because of variation in the process.
Variation can come in two basic forms, Assignable and
Random. Assignable Variation is when the deviation in the
process can easily be identified. For example, if a new
employee who is untrained takes the place of a trained one
in a manufacturing line, you can be sure there will be
variation and what caused it. Random Variation is harder to
solve as it may be inherent in the process itself. For
example, if you have two of the same machines but one tends to run hotter. Six Sigma projects
are aimed at reducing the causes of variation in the process and in turn reducing the number of
defects. The “Six” in Six Sigma comes from the goal of having six standard deviations from the
mean and the next specification limit. “Sigma” (σ) represents a unit of measurement that
represents the spread about the mean or average of a process. A sigma value in business
represents how well a process is performing and how likely a defect could occur. Six Sigma has
a quality goal of 3.4 defects out of every one million units produced (18,19,20).
To achieve the quality goal of Six Sigma, one needs to look at the defect or failure and
find a solution to fix it. This is done through the use of data and statistics rather than simply
guessing at a solution. There are many tools in the tool box to use that drive supporting data but
how does one start the Six Sigma process? First, start with its methodology which is made up of
five project oriented areas. Below is a brief description of each area.
1) Define – Who are your customers and what are their goals and priorities. What does
the customer define as being the most critical to the quality of the product?
2) Measure – Identify the areas of the process that impact quality and then determine
how you will measure.
3) Analyze – Identify what causes the defect (s) and gain an understanding of the
variations that case these defects.
4) Improve Determine how you will go about eliminating the defect. Put in place
ranges of acceptance and tolls to measure deviations from the range.
5) Control – Identify ways to maintain the improvements you made through tools, data
and continuous improvement.
Before implementing tools and data to attack the defects, personnel from the company must be
trained on how to use the tools. Corporate leadership is the most important function to get the
program off the ground. They create the vision of what the Six Sigma program will be. Six
Sigma uses a method of martial arts to describe the training level of those participating in Six
Sigma projects. Master Black belts are the highest trained through deep understandings of
statistical analysis. They will typically oversee many projects at a high level. Black Belts lead the
individual teams that are typically made up of Green Belts and White Belts. Green belts have
training on the tools and methods of Six Sigma but not to the depth of a Black Belt. Green Belts
can also run small projects that are straight forward on analysis and a lower level of difficulty.
One of the most important roles is that of the Champion. A champion is typically one from upper
management. The role of the Champion is to ensure the project stays on track, is reported on
progress. The Champion also has a direct line to chief officers of the company. If the Six Sigma
project team has a road block or need, the Champion has a lot of power to get what the team
When the personnel are trained, project is assigned and teams are formed they can begin
to apply the analytical tools they were taught to use through the Six Sigma training. The tools
used are considered to be both qualitative and quantitative in driving process improvement. The
tools they use are not considered unique, however how they are integrated as part of a system is.
Above was mentioned the 5 methodologies that made up Six Sigma and here we will discuss
some of the tools used in each area. Again, there are many tools but here are some of the more
important ones used:
● Project Charter – Defines the scope and direction of the improvement team.
● Value Stream mapping – This lays out the entire process from start to finish. This
includes time analysis of each step and helps identify value and nonvalue added steps.
● Process Map Graphical depiction of a process.
● Pareto Charts and Capability Analysis which looks at the ability to meet specifications.
● Root Cause Analysis – uncovers the causes of the defect
● FMEA – Failure Mode and Effects Analysis, this is one of the most important tools.
FMEA requires the team to identify all the possible ways something might fail. Next,
they determine all the effects or consequences that this failure may cause. Failures are
then prioritized as to how serious, how frequent and how easily they can be detected.
● Cause and Effect Diagrams – Also known as the Fishbone Chart shows potential
relationships between the problem (failure) and potential causes
Improving the Process
● Kaizen Events – these are used to look at areas for rapid change by focusing on one
project and using the employees to motivate each other to do the work.
● Poka yoke – these are identifying areas that you can make errors impossible or
● 5S – This is a visual control of what
could be called good housekeeping.
Six Sigma has been statistically proven to
improve sales and add value to employees.
General Electric had $8 billion savings during the first three years it ran Six Sigma programs.
Customers can benefit from Six Sigma through job satisfaction of employees. Because they are
involved in improving the process and eliminating defects employees want to deliver the best
service and products possible. However, there are also some downsides. Six Sigma can be
difficult to implement if management is not fully on board with supporting its success. It requires
a defined method of communication, inventory control and customer service. If everyone is not
behind its success it will not be successful. Another downside is that it can be very complicated.
Due to the nature of the training it is at times to get employees to want to become Black Belts or
Greenbelts. The program is requires a tremendous amount of data and statistical analysis. This
becomes very time consuming and makes it tough especially for smaller companies to sustain
Six Sigma is truly a valuable program to employ if a company is looking to eliminate and
control defects. It is also a true partner and extension of Total Quality Management. With the
evolution of TQM through ISO 9000 and Six Sigma, there is another are of discussion and that is
Lean Manufacturing. (24,18,19,20,21)
Lean Manufacturing may seem like a term that has nothing to do with quality. Some would think
it is just an easier more defined way to manufacture goods. Dating back to 1913, Henry Ford
would be considered to be the founder of
a process to make automobiles that would
forever change manufacturing. In
Highland Park Michigan Ford would use
interchangeable parts with standard work
along an assembly line to create what he
called “flow production”. Ford would line
up fabricating steps and special
machinery. He would have a “Go/NoGo”
gauges to ensure fabrication of parts fit
perfectly and directly into the line. Although this process worked very well and was
revolutionary at the time, it was only good at producing one product (22).
It was in the 1930’s when Kiichiro Toyoda, Taiichi Ohno, and others at Toyota looked at
this situation and more intensely just after World War II. It occurred to them that a series of
simple innovations might make it more possible to provide both continuity in process flow and a
wide variety in product offerings. They therefore revisited Ford’s original thinking, and invented
the Toyota Production System. This system shifted the focus of the manufacturing from
individual machines and their utilization, to the flow of the product through the total process.
Toyota concluded that by rightsizing machines for the actual volume needed, monitoring
machines to ensure quality, lining the machines up in process sequence, implementing quick
setups so each machine could make small volumes of many parts, and having each process step
notify the previous step of its current needs for materials, it would be possible to obtain low cost,
high variety, high quality, and very rapid throughput times to respond to changing customer
desires. Today Toyota has become one of the largest automakers in the world. They continue to
lead the industry in sales and are the main driver behind Hybrid technology. Hundreds of books
have been written
along with thousands of articles on lean manufacturing. Lean Manufacturing techniques
continues to spread through the world not just through manufacturing but retail, service and
Lean manufacturing is the
production of goods using less of
everything. In using lean
manufacturing the goals would be
to use less waste, less human
effort, less manufacturing space,
less investment in tools, and less
engineering to develop a new
product. Lean manufacturing is
known for its renowned focus on
the reduction of waste, which in turn improves overall customer value.
Lean Manufacturing Identifies the Seven areas of waste referred to the Japanese as
1. Over Production – manufacturing a product before it is actually required
2. Waiting – If a good is not be processed there is a waste in waiting for it.
3. Transporting – Transporting product between processes adds no value to the product.
Excessive movement could cause damage and thus affect its quality.
4. Over Processing – Utilizing the right size equipment and the location of the equipment.
If the process from equipment to equipment is too far apart there is waste.
5. Inventory – Work in Process is a direct result in over producing and waiting.
6. Motion – Simply put, Ergonomics. These are health and safety issues where if a worker
is in a position to get injured, waste will result in manpower and other areas.
7. Defects – defects result in rework or scrap material. This is a major area of waste
Lean Manufacturing – Value Stream Mapping
When we look at the terminology of Lean Manufacturing one would say it is making the
process thinner, more streamlined, or more efficient. At a high level this would be accurate, but
how does a company look at making a process lean? One very good example and tool is called
Value Stream Mapping (VSM). The VSM represents the flow of material from supplier to the
customer through the organization. This also includes the flow of information associated with it.
This will allow you to identify areas in the process that have delays, restraints or excess
inventory. In simple terms it is a step by step guide of how your current state flows from start to
finish. This is the first step in identifying how to get to your ideal state by eliminating waste,
redundancy, inventory or any other obstacle that does not add value to your process.
● One must first identify
the product or family that should
● Through the use of
symbols, identify each step of
● Begin mapping out the
process in order of steps through
● Add information flows to
the map. How do customers order product, how often and how is it translated to the
● Collect and process data. This is a team effort on collecting data on each step. The time it
takes, shifts worked, number of operators, cycle time etc.
● Inventory – Where is the inventory built up or even hidden.
● Time Line – the time it takes for each step in the process.
There are many tools that can be involved with leaning out the process. This was to give an
understanding of Lean Manufacturing. So the other question is how does Lean tie to TQM and
how do they differ. Recall that TQM is mainly the awareness of quality in all processes. It is to
find a way of total customer satisfaction at the lowest cost (31).
Total = Everyone Involved
Quality = what a customer defines as meeting their needs through value.
Management = Putting in place a system or steps to achieve your goal.
How Does TQM Differ From Lean Manufacturing
Since both TQM and Lean both focus on quality we will explore how they differ?
➢ Lean manufacturing strives to be near perfection by decreasing and eventually
eliminating all number of possible defects and waste product. Although both lean manufacturing
and total quality management both aim to improve quality, total quality management reaches a
certain point which no more improvements can be made. Lean manufacturing on the other hand
focuses on taking the quality improvement to the next level or in other words constantly seeks
➢ Total Quality management also views quality as a conformance to internal requirements
(ex ISO 9000), while Lean manufacturing focuses on reducing the number of defects. Lean
manufacturing helps organizations reduce operational costs, cycle time, and cost savings. It tries
to eliminate costs that are of no value to the customers, like costs due to waste.
➢ Total Quality management focuses more on improving individual operations within
unrelated business process, while lean manufacturing tries to improve operations within a single
business process. Basically, lean manufacturing requires the skills of trained professionals and
total quality management may not. Total quality management may only be a "part time" thing,
and can be done with anyone; dedicated or not.
So if your company has identified its goals and projects then there is a strong case for
implementing Lean Manufacturing. If its plans are unknown and there is no decisive strategic
plan then a good starting point would be TQM (22,23,30).
Where are we Today?
It can be said that Total Quality Management has evolved, but it can also be said that Quality
Management has not. By Quality Management, we refer to the individuals who manage quality
within the company. TQM, ISO, Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing all require buy in and
support from upper management. After all they are the ones who direct the company to success
or failure. It is an opinion that when Lean Manufacturing concepts from Japan began to take a
hold in the United States, it was not implemented with the same drive or passion for team or
company success. Many companies were implementing tools like ISO and Lean as a flavor of the
month and were not fully vested in the true implementation and sustainability of the program.
Six Sigma really started to bring in employee involvement into problem solving. Becoming part
of a team and solving issues is a positive for any company. The formation of teams of the true
experts in the company needs to take place. What does this shift in methodology mean for the
professional quality manager? The quality team, both managers and technicians, can no longer
be just the enforcer. Employees, who once decided what was good and what was defective, must
expand their contributions to the organization. Everyone in the company has a role in quality not
just the ones with the title. Quality is everyone’s job. The role of the quality professional must
become that of teacher and mentor, coach and player. The quality manager’s role is shifting from
sitting in the quality office telling employees that they have a defect to one of helping employees
find the root cause of the defect, working in partnership to find a solution, implementing that
solution, and ensuring that the employees understand the effects of both the defect and the
solution. Like the Nike slogan states “Just Do It” (29).
Total Quality Management gives businesses a great opportunity to make a difference. Total
Quality Management could be the source of organizationsatisfaction. It can make jobs easier
and more predictable. TQM efforts lead to workplaces that are more efficient with more
development for the corporation and for the people within the corporation. Businesses do not
make money: people within the business make money.
2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming (father of TQM).
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Schacht. LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE, 6400 Goldsboro Road Bethesda,
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service industry. Authors: Talib, Faisal and Rahman, Zillur. TQM Journal. 2015, Vol. 27
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14 BNP, Media Staff,”Dispelling the Myths of ISO 9001”,Quality Magazine, BNP Media
15 http://www.qualitymag.com/articles/85512dispellingthemythsofiso9001 April
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hop.html April 13,2016
17 Unknown Author,”ISO 9000”, Reference for Business, Advameg 2016, July 1998
http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/small/IncMail/ISO9000.html, April 2016
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19 Unknown Author,“About Six Sigma”,Six Sigma.SIXSIGMA.us 2016,
http://www.6sigma.us/sixsigma.php April 2016
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25 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming (father of TQM)