Total Quality Management

Total Quality Management (TQM) is a management strategy aimed at embedding awareness of quality in all organizational processes. TQM has been widely used in manufacturing, education, government, and service industries, as well as NASA space and science programs.

"TQM is a management approach for an organization, centered on quality, based on the participation of all its members and aiming at long-term success through customer satisfaction, and benefits to all members of the organization and to society."  -- International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Many companies have difficulties in implementing TQM. Surveys by consulting firms have found that only 20-36% of companies that have undertaken TQM have achieved either significant or even tangible improvements in quality, productivity, competitiveness or financial return. As a result many people are sceptical about TQM. However, when you look at successful companies you find a much higher percentage of successful TQM implementation.

Important aspects of TQM include:

  • Customer-driven quality
  • TQM leadership from top management
  • Continuous improvement
    Fast response
  • Actions based on facts
  • Employee participation
  • A TQM culture
    Product development in a TQM environment
  • Awards for quality achievement