Last Updated 04 Jul 2021

Techniques for Total Quality Management

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Start new initiative with new targets and take the complete improvement process to everybody indicating supplier and customer links in the quality chain. Obtain information about progress and consolidate success. It is often easy to see that some companies have failed to improve their quality by starting the total quality management approach at the third or fourth stages. Without the data to make informed decisions, without total commitment from the top, without the strength of a united and coordinated middle management, it is hardly surprising that the company has failed.

There are no by-passes for this total quality management approach but to go through every stage. Creating a quality organization it requires a comprehensive cultural change in order to provide the required management shift for the improvement of quality. The following points illustrate the requirements in the management approach in organizations just embarked on the quality path. They are:

(1) Managing Director's commitment to quality issues; (2) Senior management's commitment for the customer, supplier and staff contact; (3) Management action for real improvement of the attitude of the workforce;(4) Every department's commitment to total quality;(5) Satisfying customer's requirements through quality improvement; (6) Customer and suppliers relationships exist in everybody; (7) Everybody's commitment to quality improvement; (8) Trade-off between quality and cost;(9) Error-free work as a standard; (10) Quality to be designed and managed; (11) All costs are challenged to eliminate wasteful activity; (12) Manager's role to support his team; (13) Barriers to customer satisfaction are systematically eliminated;(14) Trained people to do the job and seek further improvement; and (15) People are rewarded on quality of work and improvement. An essential part of building any quality program must be the education and training of staff.

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The main objective is not only to include training on the quality philosophy and tools but also to develop a common language and preparing employees to promote the quality concept. One of the aspects of total quality management is that the decision must be based on data and not on the management's wishes. Data is a powerful resource to understand where the problems originate and also helps to diffuse emotions and blame (Linkow, 1989). Some of the specific techniques that can help you achieve 'Total Quality Management are given below. The list is far from exhaustive, but includes a sufficient number to promote the total quality management program in an appropriate way. Many of the techniques suggested here can be applied to only one of the four specific stages of the Total Quality Management process described earlier.

(1) Customers' perception surveys; (2) Cost of quality statement; (3) Steering group; (4) Quality co-ordinator; (5) Top team workshops; (6) Total quality seminars; (7) Departmental purpose analysis; (8) Quality training; (9) Communication techniques; (10) Improvement action team; (11) Task force; (12) Job development; (13) Quality circles; (14) Suggestion schemes; (15) Help calls; (16) Visible data; (17) Process management; (18) Statistical process control; (19) Process capability; (20) Foolproofing ('pokaoki'); and (21) Just in time (JIT). Total quality improvement can be achieved rapidly by the proper use of the appropriate quality techniques.

However, no techniques can replace the systematic approach of the total quality management process to create a quality company. Choosing the right kind of techniques for the total quality management process is one of the vital roles of senior management and the degree of success will depend on their skill.

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