Total Quality Management (TQM) is an approach to the art of management that originated in Japanese industry in the 1950’s and has become steadily more popular in the West since the early 1980’s. TQM incorporates the concepts of product quality, process control, quality assurance, and quality improvement. Consequently, it is the control of all transformation processes of an organization to better satisfy customer’s needs in the most economical way. The TQM philosophy of management is customer-oriented and therefore, the quality is not determined or defined by the producing company but is determined by the customer. Thus, the quality of a product or a service is the customer’s perception of the degree to which the product or service meets his/her expectations.
TQM is an approach to improving competitiveness, effectiveness, efficiency and flexibility of the organization in satisfying the customer’s demands. It is a process that recognizes the need to determine the customer’s requirements and uses that knowledge to drive the entire organization to ensure those needs are fully met. It is essentially a way of planning, organizing and understanding each and every activity that takes place in the organization, and depends on every individual at his or her own level in the organization.
Traditionally, quality was seen as the responsibility of the Quality Control Department, whose role was to identify and weed out mistakes after they had occurred. However, controlling mistakes after they had been made meant that many of the quality defects were already embedded in the product and were essentially hidden and difficult to locate. Organisations, therefore, did the best they could to uncover mistakes, but were resigned to the fact that certain problems would remain undetected. TQM, however, emphasized preventing mistakes rather than finding or correcting them. ie Prevention better than cure REF. In order to achieve this, responsibility for quality shifted from the Quality Control to all members of the organization. This led many organizations to alter their operations fundamentally.
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A relatively small group of American and Japanese quality experts have developed a number of concepts and methodologies which have had a profound impact on how companies approach and manage quality. These experts are frequently referred to as quality ‘gurus’. In addition to developing their own quality philosophy, many of the gurus are charismatic individuals who generate excitement and enthusiasm for quality.
Dr. W. Deming is perhaps the most widely known of all quality gurus. Following World War II, the US government played a significant role in rebuilding Japenese industry. It was in this role that Dr. Deming first became involved in Japanese industry. In the early days Deming focused on statistical quality control methods but in later years he developed the concept of quality as a management activity....