The Complete Guide To Total Quality Management (TQM)

The Complete Guide To Total Quality Management (TQM)

Total Quality Management (TQM) is a set of management practices that continuously improve the quality of products and services. It involves all members of an organization, from top management to frontline employees, in creating a culture that focuses on customer satisfaction through continuous improvement. This guide will introduce TQM and discuss its benefits, key components, and strategies for implementation. 

TQM is a process for ensuring that all aspects of an organization are geared toward meeting customer needs and expectations. It is based on the belief that quality must be built into products and services from the start rather than inspected at the end of production. For this reason, TQM seeks to involve every employee in improving processes, products, services, and the culture in which they work. The main goals of TQM focus on creating a culture of continuous improvement by identifying areas for improvement, setting challenging standards, and implementing changes. The implementation of TQM requires organizations to identify their core processes and develop systems that allow them to measure their performance against established standards.

Additionally, training is provided to ensure employees have the right skills and knowledge to continuously improve their processes. Finally, corrective actions are taken when necessary to close gaps between current performance levels and those desired. TQM can provide numerous benefits to an organization, including improved customer satisfaction, reduced waste, and improved efficiency. Additionally, it can help organizations become more competitive by improving product quality while reducing costs associated with defects or rework. Implementing TQM also helps foster an environment where employees feel empowered and engaged because they are part of a team focused on achieving

What is TQM?

Total quality management (TQM) is a business approach that seeks to improve quality and performance across all aspects of an organization. The main goal of TQM is to reduce or eliminate errors in all areas of the business, from product development and manufacturing to customer service and support. TQM strives for continuous improvement in all aspects of an organization's operations. TQM is built on strong leadership, commitment to excellence, and involvement from all organization members. It requires a comprehensive and structured approach to quality improvement that engages all employees. Many tools and techniques are used in TQM, but some of the most common are quality control charts, Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, and Kaizen.

Quality Control Charts

Regarding quality control, charts are a powerful tool that can help you visualize data and spot trends. There are various quality control charts, each with its strengths and weaknesses: 

  • They help you track data over time and identify when a process is out of control. Control charts come in many varieties, but the most common are X-bar and R-charts. X-bar charts track the mean value of a process over time. 
  • They help spot data trends and identify when a process is out of control. To create an X-bar chart, simply plot the data points on a graph and connect them with a line. R-charts are used to track the range of values in a process over time. 
  • They help spot data trends and identify when a process is out of control. To create an R-chart, simply plot the data points on a graph and connect them with a line. P-charts are used to track the percentage of defective items over time. 
  • They help spot data trends and identify when a process is out of control. To create a P-chart, simply

Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a quality management strategy aimed at achieving near-perfection in business. To reach Six Sigma quality levels, a company must produce at most 3.4 defects per million products or services produced. Six Sigma has two key elements: 

  1.  A focus on customer needs and expectations 
  2. The use of statistical methods to identify and eliminate causes of variation or defects in a process.  

The first element, customer focus, is achieved through Voice of the Customer (VOC) techniques. This involves understanding what customers want and need from a product or service and designing processes to meet those needs. 

 The second element, statistical methods, is where Six Sigma gets its name. Six Sigma refers to the statistical concept of standard deviation, which measures the variation in a data set. A process with a low standard deviation is said to be "in control," meaning it produces very consistent results. A process with a high standard deviation is "out of control" and produces results that vary widely from the average. 

 To achieve Six Sigma quality levels, a process must have a standard deviation within the so-called "Six Sigma" range. This means that 99.99% of all products or services produced by the process will meet customer requirements. In other words, only 0.01% of products or services will be defective.

Lean Manufacturing

Lean Manufacturing is a process-oriented approach to manufacturing that emphasizes the elimination of waste in all forms. It is a holistic view of manufacturing that encompasses all aspects of the manufacturing process, from raw materials to finished products. 

  • Lean manufacturing aims to produce high-quality products with minimum waste and maximum efficiency. 
  • Lean manufacturing techniques can be applied to any manufacturing process, but they are most commonly used in assembly line production. 
 There are many different lean manufacturing tools and techniques, but some of the most common are Just-In-Time (JIT) production, Kanban systems, value stream mapping, and 5S workplace organization. Implementing a lean manufacturing system can be challenging, but the rewards are significant. A leaner operation will be more efficient and responsive to customer needs, resulting in increased profitability.


Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning "improvement" or "change for the better." It is a business philosophy emphasizing the continuous improvement of processes, products, services, and employees. The Kaizen philosophy was first developed by Masaaki Imai in the 1950s. It has since been adopted by businesses around the world as a way to improve quality and efficiency. 

 One of the critical principles of Kaizen is that all employees should be involved in continuous improvement. This means that everyone, from the CEO to the janitor, should constantly look for ways to improve the company. Another fundamental principle of Kaizen is that small changes can lead to significant improvements. This is why Kaizen stresses continual small changes rather than radical overhauls. Kaizen has been used successfully in various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, government, and education. Many companies have implemented Kaizen programs with great success.

The Deming Cycle

The Deming Cycle is a continuous improvement model that consists of four main phases: Plan, Do, Check, and Act. This cycle is also known as the PDCA cycle or Shewhart cycle. The Deming Cycle is an iterative process that helps organizations to continually improve their products, services, and processes. 

 The main goal of the Deming Cycle is to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. However, if a problem does occur, the cycle can be used to quickly identify and correct the issue. The four phases of the Deming Cycle are described below: 


  • The first phase of the Deming Cycle is planning. In this phase, organizations identify what needs to be improved and develop plans to address these issues. 
  • Do: The second phase of the Deming Cycle is implementation. In this phase, organizations implement their plans and work to improve their products, services, or processes. 
  • Check: The third phase of the Deming Cycle is monitoring. In this phase, organizations assess whether or not their improvements are practical and make changes as needed. 
  • Act: The fourth and final phase of the Deming Cycle is taking action. In this phase, organizations ensure that their improvements are sustainable over time.

Why does a company need Total Quality Management?

A company needs Total Quality Management (TQM) because it provides a framework for continuously improving all organizational processes. TQM ensures that every employee is aware of the company's quality objectives and is working towards achieving them. It also helps to identify and eliminate causes of poor quality, such as errors in manufacturing or design processes. Implementing TQM can be challenging, but the benefits are well worth the effort. TQM can help a company to improve its products or services, become more efficient, and boost employee morale. In addition, TQM helps to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty by ensuring that products and services meet or exceed customer expectations. It also reduces costs by eliminating waste and improving processes. Finally, TQM creates a culture of continuous improvement and innovation that can help a company stay ahead of its competitors.

Types of TQM approaches

There are three main types of TQM approaches: 

  • The Deming Cycle: Also known as the PDCA cycle (plan-do-check-act), the Deming cycle is a continuous quality improvement model that helps businesses identify and correct errors in their processes. 
  • The Six Sigma approach: Six Sigma is a data-driven methodology that eliminates defects in any manufacturing or transactional process. 
  • Lean management: Lean management is a philosophy that seeks to minimize waste and maximize efficiency in all areas of an organization. 

 Each of these approaches can be used independently, in combination with each other, and with other quality improvement initiatives. The implementation of any TQM approach will depend on the organization's specific needs and should be tailored to the organization’s culture, values, and goals. For example, some organizations may focus on process improvement while others may be more interested in ensuring customer satisfaction. Therefore, the approach will vary depending on the organization’s objectives and capabilities.

Benefits of a TQM approach

There are many benefits of using a Total Quality Management approach in businesses. Some of these benefits are 

  • TQM can help improve the overall quality of company products and services. 
  • TQM can help reduce waste and rework, saving the company money. 
  • TQM can help to improve customer satisfaction levels. 
  • TQM can help to increase employee morale and motivation levels. 
  • TQM can help to create a more efficient and effective workplace.

Steps to Creating and Maintaining a Total Quality Management System

The first step in creating a Total Quality Management System is to develop a clear and concise statement of the organization's overall objectives. This statement should be developed with input from all levels of management and employees. 

Once the objectives are established, the next step is to develop measurable goals and targets that will enable the organization to track its progress toward achieving them. 

Once the goals and targets are in place, the next step is to develop and implement systems and procedures that will enable the organization to meet its goals and targets. 

These systems and procedures should be designed to promote continuous improvement by identifying problems and opportunities for improvement and then taking corrective action. 

 A crucial part of maintaining a Total Quality Management System is ensuring it remains relevant to the organization's needs. To do this, it is essential to periodically review the system to identify areas where it can be improved, or changes need to be made. 

Additionally, employee training on the system should be ongoing to ensure that everyone understands how it works and how they can contribute to its success.


Total Quality Management (TQM) is an essential tool for businesses to ensure that they provide the best quality products and services. With TQM, organizations can identify areas where improvements are needed, measure their performance against industry standards, and develop strategies for continuous improvement. Implementing TQM takes dedication from everyone in the organization, but it can ultimately lead to increased customer satisfaction and improved profitability. We hope this guide has helped you better understand how Total Quality Management works and how it can benefit your business.

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