Total Quality Management (TQM)
To be successfully in today's fast moving knowledge based economy, an organization must move from a top-down control mentality toward participative, empowered, and continuously learning teams. People find this transition exciting and scary.
The introduction of a new computer system and/or reorganizing can be substantial aids in making the transition to TQM principles. This is how I entered the (TQM) field, and later became a Deming devotee. In 1990-91, I led several sessions of a course being taught by GSA to its employees. Some excerpts from that course are presented here.
Individuals are not responsible for providing quality irrespective of the system in which they work. When work systems are designed to value quality, the individuals will produce quality work that satisfies customer needs. Management must lead and take responsibility for the values and vision of the organization. If management is clear, congruent and fair, the organization will follow.
What is Total Quality Management?
What is quality? How do I apply Deming theory to my small consulting practice? Am I doing it if I just do my best, care for my customers, and follow my conscience? I don't think so. I believe I have to continue to improve. That is not getting bigger or making more money. Those things would be okay, but practicing quality is improving the whole system.
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a management philosophy that advocates making decisions based on facts and knowledge and a continuous improvement process that refines the facts and knowledge and makes them open and available to as many people as possible who have a stake in the process. Dr Deming did not want to be associated with this term.
W. Edwards Deming was the best thinker out there around quality. The Deming community came to believe that what they called the system of profound knowledge is the essence of quality. Profound knowledge involves the following four parts that are each related to the other: Deming's last book The New Economics gives his views on this.
|1. Appreciation for a system
2. Knowledge about variation
3. Theory of knowledge
Deming's thinking grows from statistical process control and includes his 14 Points for Management. Another area of focus around TQM has been the teaching of theories and tools. A huge amount of energy spent around quality has also involved changing management's thinking about how they run their organization. The question is - does management value people? If people are not valued, then all the statistical process control, theories and tools are for naught.
TQM is paradoxical because it requires everyone to be personally developed enough to cross boundaries. TQM requires understanding why and how to do things by the book, and also being able to differentiate when the right thing to do is not to follow the book. People inherently understand this and are wiser than they know or are given credit for.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from some 130 countries, one from each country.
Aquayo, Rafael. Dr. Deming The American Who Taught The Japanese About Quality . New York: Carol Publishing, 1990.
Brassard, Michael and Diane Ritter The Memory Jogger II (January 15, 1994) Goal/Qpc; ISBN: 1879364441 The Memory Jogger II is an easy-to-use pocket guide that describes tools to help you make continuous improvements in an organization. The tools help people at all levels participate in identifying and solving problems; eliminating rework; streamlining processes; improving cross-functional communication; decreasing costs; and measuring results
Barker, Joel Arthur. Paradigms : The Business of Discovering the Future. (May 1993) Harper business; ISBN: 0887306470 Future Edge: Discovering the New Paradigms of Success. New York: William Morrow and Company,Inc., 1992 ISBN: 0688109365 Understanding and mastering your paradigms is one important thing for making progress in life and in business
Covey, Stephen R.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People : Powerful Lessons in Personal
Change. (August 1990) Fireside; ISBN: 0671708635. The 7 Habits
of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change was a
groundbreaker when it was first published in 1990, and it continues to be
a business bestseller with more than 10 million copies sold. Stephen Covey,
an internationally respected leadership authority, realizes that true success
encompasses a balance of personal and professional effectiveness, so this
book is a manual for performing better in both arenas.
Principle-Centered Leadership. (October 1992) Fireside; ISBN: 0671792806. This book is a very inspiring variation on THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE. While the introduction of that book emphasized the importance of basing one's practices on timeless principles, PRINCIPLE-CENTERED LEADERSHIP makes that point clearer. You would do well to read this book after reading THE 7 HABITS.
Crosby, Philip B. Quality Is Free : The Art of Making Quality Certain. (August 1992) Mentor Books; ISBN: 0451625854
Deming, Dr. W. Edwards.1982.
Out of the Crisis Massachusetts Institute of
Technology: Center for Advanced Engineering Study, by Dr. Deming explains
with abundant illustrations what he believes managers have been doing wrong,
informs them what they must do, and shows them Deming's way Out of the Crisis.
1993. The New Economics : For Industry, Government, Education Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Center for Advanced Engineering Study, This is the last book written by Dr. Deming before his death at the age of 93. In this book Dr. Deming introduces his System of Profound Knowledge, which consists of: an understanding of Systems, a theory of Knowledge, an understanding of Variation and Psychology
Goldratt, Eliyahu M. and Jeff Cox.
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement. 2nd Rev edition (1992) North
River Press Publishing Corporation; ISBN: 0884270610. If you are a
manager who likes more to read a fiction than a textbook, Goldratt is exactly
for you. "The Goal" gives a thorough picture about principles of Theory of
Constraints (TOC) in an straightforward format that is easy to read even
to a BBA junior student.
Necessary But Not Sufficient. (October 2000) North River Press Publishing Corporation; ISBN: 0884271706. A brilliantly written novel that does, for an entire supply chain, what The Goal did for production. It explains clearly the need for a holistic approach that embraces the I.T. function. The book has an excellent example of how addressing a constraint in one area (production) unavoidably leads to disaster in the distribution channel.
Joiner, Brian L. Fourth Generation Management : The New Business Consciousness. (December 1993) McGraw-Hill; ISBN: 0070327157 Joiner, being Deming's former protégé, has not let the latter down by the technical content of this book. It is straightforward and realistic in its teachings and does not glorify the illustrious side of 'Quality' and its affiliated managerial principles. Most managers should find it relatively easy and practical enough to apply.
Lepore, Domenico and Oded Cohen. Deming and Goldratt. (August 15, 1999) North River Press Publishing Corporation; ISBN: 0884271633. Radically improve any organization by applying the management philosophies of W. Edwards Deming and Eliyahu M. Goldratt with one simple powerful 10-step process described in this book.
Nevis, Edwin C.; Joan Lancourt and Helen C. Vassallo.
Intentional Revolutions : A Seven-Point Strategy for Transforming
Organization. (May 1996) Jossey-Bass; ISBN: 0787902403
Drawing from research on resistance to change and case examples from such top companies as Motorola, AT&T, and Xerox, 'Intentional Revolutions' presents the key factors, strategies, and leadership skills behind successful frame-breaking" organizational change. The authors identify seven methods of influence, each based on theories of human motivation, to address aspects of individual, group, and organization level behavior. Applied in an integrated way, they provide the means for creating a new organizational reality - and for bringing about the behavioral changes required to create and sustain organizations that are continuously adapting and self-renewing.
Senge, Peter M. The Fifth Discipline : The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. (October 1994) Currency/Doubleday; ISBN: 0385260954
Scholtes, Peter R.
The Team Handbook 2nd Edition June 1996) Oriel Inc; ISBN: 1884731112
The Team Handbook has been the reference of choice for team leaders and team
advisors for many years. Many call it their "team bible." Proven. Practical.
Now The Team Handbook Second Edition is an even better resource for accomplishing
the work of teams in your organization. The new edition of this classic takes
you beyond improvement teams to work teams and the teams of today. We've
kept the easy-to-use format and powerful content that led more than 800,000
users to success with teams
The Leader's Handbook : Making Things Happen, Getting Things Done. (February 1998) McGraw-Hill; ISBN: 0070580286. The Leader's Handbook explains how managers can inspire their people and manage the daily workflow for maximum productivity. The secret is to apply the principles of systems thinking and the work of Deming and other Quality gurus.
Wilson, Ray W. and
Process Mastering: How to Establish and Document the Best
Known Way to Do a Job. , Productivity Inc, 1998
I found Process Mastering to be a very valuable resource. The book is well written and straightforward in describing how to develop a process master.
In my field of information technology (IT), it is critical for program designers to have a baseline of how a program presently works. This is best done by a representative team of end users. I have found process mastering the most economical and efficient way to get a document that describes the current system. By doing a process master the team becomes empowered to improve the present process without the IT people and to know what else they want or need IT to do for them. Additionally, the team becomes more effective in their participation in the joint application development (JAD) with the IT folks.
The philosophy behind the approach is very empowering to employees since it is they, the people who do the work, who develop the process masters. I am also pleased with the emphasis that the book puts on understanding the needs of internal and external customers.
Finally, I can recommend this book to anyone who has processes they want to improve and who sees the value of engaging the energy, thought and commitment of their employees to do it. This book, this process, is truly liberating even to the extent of giving meaning and value to previously mundane work.