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Why tqm


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Why tqm

  1. 1. Why TQM?<br />"Quality is everyone's responsibility." ~ Edward Deming<br />TQM refers to an integrated approach by management to focus all functions and levels of an organization on quality and continuous improvement. Over the years TQM has become very important for improving a firm's process capabilities in order to achieve fit and sustain competitive advantages. TQM focuses on encouraging a continuous flow of incremental improvements from the bottom of the organization's hierarchy. TQM is not a complete solution formula as viewed by many – formulas can not solve managerial problems, but a lasting commitment to the process of continuous improvement.<br />The main driving force of TQM is customer satisfaction.<br />Five Main Advantages of TQM<br />Encourages a strategic approach to management at the operational level through involving multiple departments in cross-functional improvements and systemic innovation processes <br />Provides high return on investment through improving efficiency <br />Works equally well for service and manufacturing sectors <br />Allows organizations to take advantage of developments that enable managing operations as cross-functional processes <br />Fits an orientation toward inter-organizational collaboration and strategic alliances through establishing a culture of collaboration among different departments within organization <br />Point 1: Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of the product and service so as to become competitive, stay in business and provide jobs.<br />Point 2: Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. We no longer need live with commonly accepted levels of delay, mistake, defective material and defective workmanship.<br />Point 3: Cease dependence on mass inspection; require, instead, statistical evidence that quality is built in.<br />Point 4: Improve the quality of incoming materials. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of a price alone. Instead, depend on meaningful measures of quality, along with price.<br />Point 5: Find the problems; constantly improve the system of production and service. There should be continual reduction of waste and continual improvement of quality in every activity so as to yield a continual rise in productivity and a decrease in costs.<br />Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF) - Smart & Fast Mini-course (PowerPoint)<br />Point 6: Institute modern methods of training and education for all. Modern methods of on-the-job training use control charts to determine whether a worker has been properly trained and is able to perform the job correctly. Statistical methods must be used to discover when training is complete.<br />Point 7: Institute modern methods of supervision. The emphasis of production supervisors must be to help people to do a better job. Improvement of quality will automatically improve productivity. Management must prepare to take immediate action on response from supervisors concerning problems such as inherited defects, lack of maintenance of machines, poor tools or fuzzy operational definitions.<br />Point 8: Fear is a barrier to improvement so drive out fear by encouraging effective two-way communication and other mechanisms that will enable everybody to be part of change, and to belong to it. Fear can often be found at all levels in an organization: fear of change, fear of the fact that it may be necessary to learn a better way of working and fear that their positions might be usurped frequently affect middle and higher management, whilst on the shop-floor, workers can also fear the effects of change on their jobs.<br />Point 9: Break down barriers between departments and staff areas. People in different areas such as research, design, sales, administration and production must work in teams to tackle problems that may be encountered with products or service.<br />Point 10: Eliminate the use of slogans, posters and exhortations for the workforce, demanding zero defects and new levels of productivity without providing methods. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships.<br />Point 11: Eliminate work standards that prescribe numerical quotas for the workforce and numerical goals for people in management. Substitute aids and helpful leadership.<br />Point 12: Remove the barriers that rob hourly workers, and people in management, of their right to pride of workmanship. This implies, abolition of the annual merit rating (appraisal of performance) and of management by objectives.<br />Point 13: Institute a vigorous program of education, and encourage self-improvement for everyone. What an organization needs is not just good people; it needs people that are improving with education.<br />Point 14: Top management's permanent commitment to ever-improving quality and productivity must be clearly defined and a management structure created that will continuously take action to follow the preceding 13 points. <br />Basic Principles of Total Quality Management (TQM)<br />by Ron Kurtus (28 May 2001)<br />The basic principles for the Total Quality Management (TQM) philosophy of doing business are to satisfy the customer, satisfy the supplier, and continuously improve the business processes.<br />Questions you may have include:<br />How do you satisfy the customer?<br />Why should you satisfy the supplier?<br />What is continuous improvement?<br />This lesson will answer those questions. There is a mini-quiz near the end of the lesson.<br />Satisfy the customer<br />The first and major TQM principle is to satisfy the customer--the person who pays for the product or service. Customers want to get their money's worth from a product or service they purchase.<br />Users<br />If the user of the product is different than the purchaser, then both the user and customer must be satisfied, although the person who pays gets priority.<br />Company philosophy<br />A company that seeks to satisfy the customer by providing them value for what they buy and the quality they expect will get more repeat business, referral business, and reduced complaints and service expenses.<br />Some top companies not only provide quality products, but they also give extra service to make their customers feel important and valued.<br />Internal customers<br />Within a company, a worker provides a product or service to his or her supervisors. If the person has any influence on the wages the worker receives, that person can be thought of as an internal customer. A worker should have the mind-set of satisfying internal customers in order to keep his or her job and to get a raise or promotion.<br />Chain of customers<br />Often in a company, there is a chain of customers, -each improving a product and passing it along until it is finally sold to the external customer. Each worker must not only seek to satisfy the immediate internal customer, but he or she must look up the chain to try to satisfy the ultimate customer.<br />Satisfy the supplier<br />A second TQM principle is to satisfy the supplier, which is the person or organization from whom you are purchasing goods or services.<br />External suppliers<br />A company must look to satisfy their external suppliers by providing them with clear instructions and requirements and then paying them fairly and on time.<br />It is only in the company's best interest that its suppliers provide it with quality goods or services, if the company hopes to provide quality goods or services to its external customers.<br />Internal suppliers<br />A supervisor must try to keep his or her workers happy and productive by providing good task instructions, the tools they need to do their job and good working conditions. The supervisor must also reward the workers with praise and good pay.<br />Get better work<br />The reason to do this is to get more productivity out of the workers, as well as to keep the good workers. An effective supervisor with a good team of workers will  certainly satisfy his or her internal customers.<br />Empower workers<br />One area of satisfying the internal suppler is by empowering the workers. This means to allow them to make decisions on things that they can control. This not only takes the burden off the supervisor, but it also motivates these internal suppliers to do better work.<br />Continuous improvement<br />The third principle of TQM is continuous improvement. You can never be satisfied with the method used, because there always can be improvements. Certainly, the competition is improving, so it is very necessary to strive to keep ahead of the game.<br />Working smarter, not harder<br />Some companies have tried to improve by making employees work harder. This may be counter-productive, especially if the process itself is flawed. For example, trying to increase worker output on a defective machine may result in more defective parts.<br />Examining the source of problems and delays and then improving them is what is needed. Often the process has bottlenecks that are the real cause of the problem. These must be removed.<br />Worker suggestions<br />Workers are often a source of continuous improvements. They can provide suggestions on how to improve a process and eliminate waste or unnecessary work.<br />Quality methods<br />There are also many quality methods, such as just-in-time production, variability reduction, and poka-yoke that can improve processes and reduce waste.<br />Summary<br />The principles of Total Quality Management are to seek to satisfy the external customer with quality goods and services, as well as your company internal customers; to satisfy your external and internal suppliers; and to continuously improve processes by working smarter and using special quality methods.<br />Total Quality Management (TQM) refers to management methods used to enhance quality and productivity in organizations, particularly businesses. TQM is a comprehensive system approach that works horizontally across an organization, involving all departments and employees and extending backward and forward to include both suppliers and clients/customers.<br />TQM is only one of many acronyms used to label management systems that focus on quality. Other acronyms that have been used to describe similar quality management philosophies and programs include CQI (continuous quality improvement), SQC (statistical quality control), QFD (quality function deployment), QIDW (quality in daily work), TQC (total quality control), etc. Like many of these other systems, TQM provides a framework for implementing effective quality and productivity initiatives that can increase the profitability and competitiveness of organizations.<br />Origins of Tqm<br />Although TQM techniques were adopted prior to World War II by a number of organizations, the creation of the Total Quality Management philosophy is generally attributed to Dr. W. Edwards Deming. In the late 1920s, while working as a summer employee at Western Electric Company in Chicago, he found worker motivation systems to be degrading and economically unproductive; incentives were tied directly to quantity of output, and inefficient post-production inspection systems were used to find flawed goods.<br />Deming teamed up in the 1930s with Walter A. Shewhart, a Bell Telephone Company statistician whose work convinced Deming that statistical control techniques could be used to supplant traditional management methods. Using Shewhart's theories, Deming devised a statistically controlled management process that provided managers with a means of determining when to intervene in an industrial process and when to leave it alone. Deming got a chance to put Shewhart's statistical-quality-control techniques, as well as his own management philosophies, to the test during World War II. Government managers found that his techniques could be easily taught to engineers and workers, and then quickly implemented in over-burdened war production plants.<br />One of Deming's clients, the U.S. State Department, sent him to Japan in 1947 as part of a national effort to revitalize the war-devastated Japanese economy. It was in Japan that Deming found an enthusiastic reception for his management ideas. Deming introduced his statistical process control, or statistical quality control, programs into Japan's ailing manufacturing sector. Those techniques are credited with instilling a dedication to quality and productivity in the Japanese industrial and service sectors that allowed the country to become a dominant force in the global economy by the 1980s.<br />While Japan's industrial sector embarked on a quality initiative during the middle 1900s, most American companies continued to produce mass quantities of goods using traditional management techniques. America prospered as war-ravaged European countries looked to the United States for manufactured goods. In addition, a domestic population boom resulted in surging U.S. markets. But by the 1970s some American industries had come to be regarded as inferior to their Asian and European competitors. As a result of increasing economic globalization during the 1980s, made possible in part by advanced information technologies, the U.S. manufacturing sector fell prey to more competitive producers, particularly in Japan.<br />In response to massive market share gains achieved by Japanese companies during the late 1970s and 1980s, U.S. producers scrambled to adopt quality and productivity techniques that might restore their competitiveness. Indeed, Deming's philosophies and systems were finally recognized in the United States, and Deming himself became a highly-sought-after lecturer and author. The "Deming Management Method" became the model for many American corporations eager to improve. And Total Quality Management, the phrase applied to quality initiatives proffered by Deming and other management gurus, became a staple of American enterprise by the late 1980s. By the early 1990s, the U.S. manufacturing sector had achieved marked gains in quality and productivity.<br />Tqm Principles<br />Specifics related to the framework and implementation of TQM vary between different management professionals and TQM program facilitators, and the passage of time has inevitably brought changes in TQM emphases and language. But all TQM philosophies share common threads that emphasize quality, teamwork, and proactive philosophies of management and process improvement. As Howard Weiss and Mark Gershon observed in Production and Operations Management, "the terms quality management, quality control, and quality assurance often are used interchangeably. Regardless of the term used within any business, this function is directly responsible for the continual evaluation of the effectiveness of the total quality system." They go on to delineate the basic elements of total quality management as expounded by the American Society for Quality Control: 1) policy, planning, and administration; 2) product design and design change control; 3) control of purchased material; 4) production quality control; 5) user contact and field performance; 6) corrective action; and 7) employee selection, training, and motivation.<br />For his part, Deming pointed to all of these factors as cornerstones of his total quality philosophies. In his book Out of the Crisis, he contended that companies needed to create an overarching business environment that emphasized improvement of products and services over short-term financial goals. He argued that if such a philosophy was adhered to, various aspects of business—ranging from training to system improvement to manager-worker relationships—would become far more healthy and, ultimately, profitable. But while Deming was contemptuous of companies that based their business decisions on statistics that emphasized quantity over quality, he firmly believed that a well-conceived system of statistical process control could be an invaluable TQM tool. Only through the use of statistics, Deming argued, can managers know exactly what their problems are, learn how to fix them, and gauge the company's progress in achieving quality and organizational objectives.<br />Making Tqm Work<br />Joseph Jablonski, author of Implementing TQM, identified three characteristics necessary for TQM to succeed within an organization: participative management; continuous process improvement; and the utilization of teams. Participative management refers to the intimate involvement of all members of a company in the management process, thus de-emphasizing traditional top-down management methods. In other words, managers set policies and make key decisions only with the input and guidance of the subordinates that will have to implement and adhere to the directives. This technique improves upper management's grasp of operations and, more importantly, is an important motivator for workers who begin to feel like they have control and ownership of the process in which they participate.<br />Continuous process improvement, the second characteristic, entails the recognition of small, incremental gains toward the goal of total quality. Large gains are accomplished by small, sustainable improvements over a long term. This concept necessitates a long-term approach by managers and the willingness to invest in the present for benefits that manifest themselves in the future. A corollary of continuous improvement is that workers and management develop an appreciation for, and confidence in, TQM over a period of time.<br />Teamwork, the third necessary ingredient for the success of TQM, involves the organization of cross-functional teams within the company. This multidisciplinary team approach helps workers to share knowledge, identify problems and opportunities, derive a comprehensive understanding of their role in the over-all process, and align their work goals with those of the organization.<br />Jablonski also identified six attributes of successful TQM programs:<br />Customer focus (includes internal customers such as other departments and coworkers as well as external customers)<br />Process focus<br />Prevention versus inspection (development of a process that incorporates quality during production, rather than a process that attempts to achieve quality through inspection after resources have already been consumed to produce the good or service)<br />Employee empowerment and compensation<br />Fact-based decision making<br />Receptiveness to feedback.<br />Implementing Tqm<br />Jablonski offers a five-phase guideline for implementing total quality management: preparation, planning, assessment, implementation, and HYPERLINK "" t "_top" diversification. Each phase is designed to be executed as part of a long-term goal of continually increasing quality and productivity. Jablonski's approach is one of many that has been applied to achieve TQM, but contains the key elements commonly associated with other popular total quality systems.<br />Preparation—During preparation, management decides whether or not to pursue a TQM program. They undergo initial training, identify needs for outside consultants, develop a specific vision and goals, draft a corporate policy, commit the necessary resources, and communicate the goals throughout the organization.<br />Planning—In the planning stage, a detailed plan of implementation is drafted (including budget and schedule), the infrastructure that will support the program is established, and the resources necessary to begin the plan are earmarked and secured.<br />Assessment—This stage emphasizes a thorough self-assessment—with input from customers/clients—of the qualities and characteristics of individuals in the company, as well as the company as a whole.<br />Implementation—At this point, the organization can already begin to determine its return on its investment in TQM. It is during this phase that support personnel are chosen and trained, and managers and the work force are trained. Training entails raising workers' awareness of exactly what TQM involves and how it can help them and the company. It also explains each worker's role in the program and explains what is expected of all the workers.<br />Diversification—In this stage, managers utilize their TQM experiences and successes to bring groups outside the organization (suppliers, distributors, and other companies have impact the business's overall health) into the quality process. Diversification activities include training, rewarding, supporting, and partnering with groups that are embraced by the organization's TQM initiatives.<br />quality management<br />quality management history, gurus, TQM theories, process improvement, and organizational 'excellence' <br />The history of quality management, from mere 'inspection' to Total Quality Management, and its modern 'branded interpretations such as 'Six Sigma', has led to the development of essential processes, ideas, theories and tools that are central to organizational development, change management, and the performance improvements that are generally desired for individuals, teams and organizations. <br />These free resources, materials and tools are an excellent guide to the quality management area, for practical application in organizations, for study and learning, and for teaching and training others. <br />These free pdf materials are provided by permission of the UK Department of Industry - now the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform - which is gratefully acknowledged. The materials listed and linked from this page are subject to Crown Copyright.<br />Please note that since the replacement of the UK Department of Industry by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, the branding on the materials is now obsolete. Nevertheless, since the Quality Management technical and historical content is unaffected by the DTI branding the materials remain relevant for training, learning and reference. <br />It is appropriate to note the passing a little while back now, of Joseph Juran, a seminal figure in the history of quality management, who died 28 February 2008, age 103. Juran did more than teach the Japanese about quality management. He was also arguably the first quality expert to emphasise that no quality management system works unless people are empowered and committed to take responsibility for quality - as an ongoing process - effectively for quality to become part of part of people's behaviour and attitudes - an ethos. The section below on Kaizen explains the connections between the true ethos of quality management, and the positive ethical management of people.<br />Further total quality management information and quality management terminology explanations are on the Six Sigma page.<br /> <br />history of quality management<br />The roots of Total Quality Management can be traced to early 1920's production quality control ideas, and notably the concepts developed in Japan beginning in the late 1940's and 1950's, pioneered there by Americans Feigenbum, Juran and Deming... More about Quality Management and TQM history.<br /> <br />quality management gurus and theories<br />Quality Management resulted mainly from the work of the quality gurus and their theories: the American gurus featured in the 1950's Japan: Joseph Juran, W Edwards Deming, and Armand Feigenbum; the Japanese quality gurus who developed and extended the early American quality ideas and models: Kaoru Ishikawa, Genichi Taguchi, and Shigeo Shingo; and the 1970-80's American Western gurus, notably Philip Crosby and Tom Peters, who further extended the Quality Management concepts after the Japanese successes... More about the Quality Management gurus and their theories, including the development and/or use of the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) cycle, Pareto analysis, cause and effect diagrams, stratification, check-sheets, histograms, scatter-charts, process control charts, system design, parameter design, tolerance design ('Taguchi methodology'), Quality Improvement Teams (QIT), Just In Time (JIT), Management By Walking About (MBWA), McKinsey 7-S Framework, etc.<br /> <br />total quality management (TQM)<br />Total Quality Management features centrally the customer-supplier interfaces, (external and internal customers and suppliers). A number of processes sit at each interface. Central also is an organizational commitment to quality, and the importance of communicating this quality commitment, together with the acknowledgement that the right organizational culture is essential for effective Total Quality Management.... More about the fundamentals and structures of the TQM model, including the people, processes and systems in the organization. <br /> <br />processes - understanding processes and methods for process improvement<br />Understanding processes is essential before attempt is made to improve them. This is a central aspect to Total Quality Management, and also to more modern quality and process improvement interpretations and models such as Six Sigma.... More about Total Quality Management process and process improvement methods.<br /> <br />quality process improvement tools and techniques<br />A wide range of tools and techniques is used for identifying, measuring, prioritising and improving processes which are critical to quality. Again these ideas and methods feature prominently in modern interpretations of Total Quality Management methodology, such as Six Sigma. These process improvement tools and techniques include: DRIVE (Define, Review, Identify, Verify, Execute), process mapping, flow-charting, force field analysis, cause and effect, brainstorming, Pareto analysis, Statistical Process Control (SPC), Control charts, bar charts, 'dot plot' and tally charts, check-sheets, scatter diagrams, matrix analysis, histograms..... More about tools and techniques for process evaluation and improvement.<br />A summary of quality tools is below.<br />The Kaizen methodology is also described below in some detail.<br /> <br />developing people and teams<br />People are a fundamental component within any successfully developing organization. Take away the people and the organization is nothing. Take away the people's motivation, commitment and ability to work together in well-organised teams, and again, the organization is nothing. Conversely, inspire the people to work well, creatively, productively, and the organization can fly. Logically therefore, the development and proper utilization of people are vital to the success of all quality management initiatives. There are a wide range of models that are used in selecting, assessing, training and developing and motivating people, among which are classical models such as Belbin, Myers Briggs Type Indicator (see the personality models section), Bruce Tuckman's 'Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing' model, John Adair's Action Centred Leadership model.... More about people and culture within quality management.<br /> <br />quality management systems<br />A 'Total Quality organization' generally benefits from having an effective Quality Management System (QMS). A Quality Management System is typically defined as: "A set of co-ordinated activities to direct and control an organization in order to continually improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its performance." Customer expectations inevitably drive and define 'performance' criteria and standards. Therefore Quality Management Systems focus on customer expectations and ongoing review and improvement.... More about Quality Management Systems, what they are, and how to set up a good QMS.<br /> <br />performance measurement and management<br />There are many ways to measure organizational performance other than financial output or profit. Modern measurement focuses on the essential activities, resources and other factors - many less intangible than traditional indictors - that impact on final outputs. These include modern methods such as Balanced Scorecard... More about performance measurement, and cost of quality.<br /> <br />excellence and the European Quality Management Model<br />The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model® is a useful framework for developing quality and excellence within an organization... More.<br /> <br />TQM self-assessment and awards using the EFQM® model<br />Any organization can assess itself provided it has the commitment to so so, and a framework for the self-assessment... Here are some ideas, and a process for quality and excellence self-assessment.<br /> <br />TQM benchmarking and questionnaire (readiness for benchmarking)<br />Benchmarking is a widely used term within the field of organizational measurement and management .... Here is an explanation of benchmarking, and a questionnaire by which an organization (or a department or process team) can assess its readiness for benchmarking.<br /> <br />TQM implementation framework and blueprint<br />Here is a framework and 'blueprint' for the implementation of a quality improvement or 'excellence' initiative. It includes the following elements: <br />TQM Processes <br />Tools and techniques <br />People and teamwork <br />Quality management system <br />Performance measurement <br />EFQM Excellence Model® <br />Self-assessment <br />This blueprint for achieving organizational excellence is based on many years of research, education and advisory work in the European Centre for Business Excellence (ECforBE), and the research and education division of Oakland Consulting plc. It is, along with the other resources in this section, information and advice initially from the UK Department of Industry, now replaced by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.<br /> <br />TQM case studies<br />Here are a number of case studies featuring organizations that have implemented quality management and process improvement initiatives. These case studies illustrate the effectiveness and feasibility of the various methodologies, tools, techniques and concepts included within quality management and quality process improvement theory.<br />Airedale Springs Limited case study (people, team work, skills recognition)<br />Appor Limited case study (continuous improvement, culture change)<br />BAE Systems/Waer Systems Limited case study (supply chain process improvement, project champions, supplier partnerships)<br />British Telecom Plc case study (quality framework, strategy, systems, self-assessment, balanced scorecard)<br />GSM Group case study (mission statement, strategic planning, Kaizen, partnerships)<br />Hydrapower Dynamics Ltd case study (teamwork, quality bubbles, systems, common sense quality) <br />Lakeside Engineered Systems Division, Aeroquip Group case study (quality, excellence, Kaizen, process improvement)<br />Mortgage Express case study (business excellence, stakeholders, teamwork, quality awards, measurement) <br />Spembly Medical Limited case study (design for manufacture, projects, concurrent engineering, innovation, millennium products)<br />Springfarm Architectural Mouldings Limited case study (values, surveys, recognition, communication system)<br />Vista Optics Limited case study (business excellence, self-assessment, benchmarking, quality awards, statistical process control [SPC] )<br /> <br />kaizen<br />Kaizen is a very significant concept within quality management and deserves specific explanation:<br />Kaizen (usually pronounced 'kyzan' or 'kyzen' in the western world) is a Japanese word, commonly translated to mean 'continuous improvement'. <br />Kaizen is a core principle of quality management generally, and specifically within the methods of Total Quality Management and 'Lean Manufacturing'. <br />Originally developed and applied by Japanese industry and manufacturing in the 1950s and 60s, Kaizen continues to be a successful philosophical and practical aspect of some of the best known Japanese corporations, and has for many years since been interpreted and adopted by 'western' organizations all over the world.<br />Kaizen is a way of thinking, working and behaving, embedded in the philosophy and values of the organization. Kaizen should be 'lived' rather than imposed or tolerated, at all levels. <br />The aims of a Kaizen organization are typically defined as:<br />To be profitable, stable, sustainable and innovative. <br />To eliminate waste of time, money, materials, resources and effort and increase productivity. <br />To make incremental improvements to systems, processes and activities before problems arise rather than correcting them after the event. <br />To create a harmonious and dynamic organization where every employee participates and is valued. <br />Key concepts of Kaizen: <br />Every is a key word in Kaizen: improving everything that everyone does in every aspect of the organization in every department, every minute of every day. <br />Evolution rather than revolution: continually making small, 1% improvements to 100 things is more effective, less disruptive and more sustainable than improving one thing by 100% when the need becomes unavoidable. <br />Everyone involved in a process or activity, however apparently insignificant, has valuable knowledge and participates in a working team or Kaizen group (see also Quality Circles below). <br />Everyone is expected to participate, analysing, providing feedback and suggesting improvements to their area of work. <br />Every employee is empowered to participate fully in the improvement process: taking responsibility, checking and co-ordinating their own activities. Management practice enables and facilitates this. <br />Every employee is involved in the running of the company, and is trained and informed about the company. This encourages commitment and interest, leading to fulfilment and job satisfaction. <br />Kaizen teams use analytical tools and techniques to review systems and look for ways to improve (see Quality Tools below). <br />At its best, Kaizen is a carefully nurtured philosophy that works smoothly and steadily, and which helps to align 'hard' organizational inputs and aims (especially in process-driven environments), with 'soft' management issues such as motivation and empowerment. <br />Like any methodology however, poor interpretation and implementation can limit the usefulness of Kaizen practices, or worse cause them to be counter-productive.<br />Kaizen is unsuccessful typically where:<br />Kaizen methods are added to an existing failing structure, without fixing the basic structure and philosophy.<br />Kaizen is poorly integrated with processes and people's thinking.<br />Training is inadequate.<br />Executive/leadership doesn't understand or support Kaizen.<br />Employees and managers regard Kaizen as some form of imposed procedure, lacking meaningful purpose.<br />Kaizen works best when it is 'owned' by people, who see the concept as both empowering of individuals and teams, and a truly practical way to improve quality and performance, and thereby job satisfaction and reward. As ever, such initatives depend heavily on commitment from above, critically:<br />to encourage and support Kaizen, and <br />to ensure improvements produce not only better productivity and profit for the organization, but also better recognition and reward and other positive benefits for employees, whose involvement drives the change and improvement in the first place. <br />Interestingly, the spirit of Kaizen, which is distinctly Japanese in origin - notably its significant emphasis upon individual and worker empowerment in organizations - is reflected in many 'western' concepts of management and motivation, for example the Y-Theory principles described by Douglas McGregor; Herzberg's Motivational Theory, Maslow's Needs Hierarchy and related thinking; Adams' Equity Theory; and Charles Handy's motivational theories.<br />Fascinatingly, we can now see that actually very close connections exist between:<br />the fundamental principles of Quality Management - which might be regarded as cold and detached and focused on 'things' not people, and <br />progressive 'humanist' ideas about motivating and managing people - which might be regarded as too compassionate and caring to have a significant place in the optimization of organizational productivity and profit.<br />The point is that in all effective organizations a very strong mutual dependence exists between:<br />systems, processes, tools, productivity, profit - the 'hard' inputs and outputs (some say 'left-side brain'), and <br />people, motivation, teamwork, communication, recognition and reward - the 'soft' inputs and outputs ('right-side brain')<br />Kaizen helps to align these factors, and keep them aligned. <br /> <br />quality tools<br />'Quality Tools' refers to tools and techniques used in support of Kaizen and other quality improvement or quality management programmes and philosophies. <br />Based mainly on statistical and manufacturing process tools, Quality Tools are used at all levels of an organization - typically in 'quality circles' or Kaizen work teams to analyse and review activities and uncover inefficiencies. <br />The main Quality Tools are: <br />The '5 Whys' - asking 'Why?' at least five times to uncover root cause of a problem.<br />Flowcharts - boxes and arrows method of examining activities, potentially used in brainstorming, also found in business process modelling.<br />Fishbone/Ishikawa Diagrams - fishbone-structured diagram for identifying cause/effect patterns, in which primary categories are generally pre-determined according to context. See fishbone diagram and usage examples for project management. <br />Run Charts - a graph which plots data/change along a timeline.<br />Pareto Charts - a line and bar graph displaying cause/effect ratios, especially biggest relative cause, based on Pareto theory. <br />Histograms - a bar graph displaying data in simple categories which together account for a total.<br />Checklists/Checksheets - pre-formatted lists for noting incidence, frequency, etc., according to known useful criteria<br />Control/Shewhart Charts - a standard pattern of performance/time for a given process, often in Run Chart format, which acts as a template to check conformance and deviation. <br />Scatter Diagram/Scatterplot - a graph which plots points (typically very many individual instances) according to two variables, which produces a useful visual indication of the relationship between the two variables.<br />Some quality tools, like flowcharts and checklists, have become part of mainstream management. <br />Others tools such as the Fishbone diagram have stayed quite specific to the engineering and manufacturing disciplines, which traditionally have a strong focus and expertise in Kaizen, 'Lean' management and other quality management methodologies. <br /> <br />quality circles<br />Quality circles, similar to Kaizen teams, are a key part of any continuous improvement programme. <br />In this context the word 'circle' refers to a team of people.<br />Teams or small groups (the circles) meet to analyse, and review working practices with a view to making suggestions for improvement in their work and the systems. <br />As with many Quality Tools, the specific use of Quality Circles is chiefly concentrated among manufacturing and engineering organizations or in technical departments of this sort.<br />The term Quality Circles may be found in more general use outside of these traditional areas, in which case the name tends to imply or symbolise that teams are working in an empowered, cooperative way, especially focused on problem-solving and improvements, rather than a strict adherence to technical Total Quality Management or related processes. <br />