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Answers to Question Paper of TQM of MBA Tamilnadu Open University Y 2008

Answers to Question Paper of TQM of MBA Tamilnadu Open University Y 2008

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Published by C P Chandrasekaran
I have answered the Tamilnadu Open University MBA Question paper in TQM year 2008 for the benefit of students.
I have answered the Tamilnadu Open University MBA Question paper in TQM year 2008 for the benefit of students.

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Published by: C P Chandrasekaran on Aug 14, 2009
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Tamilnadu Open University Y 2008M.B.A. DEGREE EXAMINATION – JUNE 2008.(AY 2005–2006 onwards)TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENTTime : 3 hours Maximum marks : 75 Answer for 5 marks questions should not exceed 2 pages.Answer for 10/15 marks questions should not exceed 5 pages.PART A — (3 × 5 = 15 marks) Answer any THREE questions. All questions carry equal marks.
1. Explain the concept ‘quality in process’.
Traditional way of measuring Quality was the extent to which the product and service satisfy thecustomer. When the customer does not inspect, the inspection will be done by the company to ensurethat the product meets the requirements. Since the product is an output, this is called quality checkingat output.The verification of quality at the output stage has disadvantages. First is being the last operation, itcould be missed or done inadequately. In that case, customers may get the defective products.Secondly, it is possible that the inspection detects serious defects and the product may have to bereworked and retested. This will take time and delivery is missed leading to dissatisfaction of customer. Third and the most essential point is that the processes do not improve because the finalinspection is expected to weed out the defectives and despatch only good ones. In the case of service, the output cannot be inspected at all as the service like education or legal advice is tenderedin presence of customer.Quality in process means we monitor quality right from design stage to shipping stage or even toinstallation. Indicators and measures are selected in every stage to monitor the process and hencethe quality of output and interim outputs. If the output at any stage does not conform to the norm or the process responsible for quality is deviating, the process is topped and the cause is investigated.When the cause is found and corrected, the process resumes and hence the chances of customer getting a defective product are remote.In process Quality also defines acceptance levels for the tools and fixtures used in manufacturing. For instance, if the tool life is more than say x hours the procedure may require that tool to be replacedrather then continue till the product becomes unacceptable. Rigorous instructions on the periodicmaintenance activities of critical machines are issued so that the machines do not become erraticleading to the defects in the product.Training of people and defining the skill levels of personnel and daily checking that the operations areperformed by them is very much part of implementing in process Quality. This is required not only inmanufacturing industry but also in service industry where a particular operation say approval of loanor a building design should not be done by every one but only by the qualified personnel.Many times the wrong decisions are taken due to the error in instruments. Calibration of instrumentsand verifying that they are error free is a part of in process Quality.In short, the factors responsible for the quality are at every stage are determined, controlled as per therequirements to achieve the output which is defect free. 
2. What is strategic quality planning?
Strategic Quality planning means that the quality processes are planned in a way that it helps thecompany to achieve its strategic objectives. The Planning here is not done to achieve routineproduction targets or to dispatch goods as per the agreed contractual terms but planning goes beyondthe routine activities intended to run the business. Strategic Quality planning involves the activities for a new product introduction to its servicing in a comprehensive manner.The product’s features are defined by discussions with customer groups and the prioritisation of whatfeatures are to be incorporated is decided through a Quality Function Deployment exercise. Then thefeatures and characteristics are designed by the design team. Though the design function isresponsible for the design the review is done by a cross functional team and with tools like FailureMode Effect analysis.
Then, critical processes are identified and the people are trained in the skills required. The monitoringof the performance of the new product in the field is done to verify whether the customers are gettingthe value for the money and whether the product is reliable.Thus strategic Quality planning is an activity that extends from collection of customer requirements tocustomer satisfaction determination.
3. What do you understand by quality circles?
Quality Circles are the small groups which are formed voluntarily by workers or employees of aspecific location to carry out systematic improvements. QC Circle movement started in Japan in 50sand spread to all the countries. Some of the unique features of QC Circles are a) the voluntary natureof the circles b) the meetings held weekly outside the office hours c) the use of 7 QC Tools to solvethe problems. Each circle takes about 3 to 4 weeks to solve a problem which may something to dowith poor housekeeping or erratic machine and then present the solutions to the management.All countries including India hold annual contests for encouraging the Quality Circles. Apart fromworkers, many companies even encourage their staff and managers to take part in Quality circles.
4. Explain any two factors that link TQM and human resources.
TQM is anchored on better employee involvement in solving problems which occur day to day in thecompany. HR is interested in involvement and engagement of people in productive tasks.TQM treats all employees as equal. Respect for individual is enshrined as one of the principles of TQM and that is how the concepts of brainstorming or Kaizen are evolved. Human ResourcesManagement works in the same principle to treat all employees alike and in a fair manner. 
5. What is re-engineering?
Re engineering also called as Business process Reengineering (BPR) is the intervention to drasticallychange the processes and redesign them to satisfy the customer expectations of Quality and delivery.Reengineering became necessary as the processes in the organization tended to accumulate lot of non value added activities resulting in increased costs and delays. For instance, the billing process or a complaint management process became so slow that many times the customers were frustrated.But, re-engineering looks at the processes from the angle of throughput and ruthlessly attacks delaysand bottlenecks. The advocates of Re engineering like Michael Hammer argue that the drasticchanges help the company to shed the flab and become more efficient and invariably lead the effortsto reduce headcount. Some TQM experts believe that such drastic changes often have limitations andare not sustainable in the long run. They also advise involvement of employees in making theprocesses more efficient rather than looking at them as part of the problem. While BPR was verypopular in the 80s its popularity has declined as the companies felt the soft aspects are ignored by theBPR methodology which is focused on the process velocity and cost /time reduction. Theindiscriminate use of BPR consultants by some management to justify their decision to reducemanpower also cast a shadow on re engineering efforts. Still, Re engineering remains a viable optionin case the process is full of chronic problems and the competition is way ahead like in Air India or some nationalized banks.
PART B — (4 ´ 15 = 60 marks)Answer any FOUR questions. Each question carries 15 marks.
1. Explain the evolution of TQM concepts? What is its significance today?
It started with some control which was exercised by various guilds of manufacturers in 19th century inEngland but in 1920s, it appears to have crystallised into a function called Quality control, Then theactivities to be done by all functions to ensure the error free product were combined to be called TotalQuality Control or TQC (Fiegenbaum) ,After the World War II, when the QC experts visited Japan and promoted the concepts of Qualitycontrol for all it was called Companywide Quality Control. Dr W E Deming introduced the PDCA ( PlanDo Check Act) cycle for continuous improvement and so the word became TQM or Total Qualitymanagement. At this point of time, the statistical concepts of Quality got introduced and the industrygot greatly benefited due to control charts.Juran first introduced Quality Trilogy which means Quality planning Quality control and Qualityimprovement are part of the responsibility of every manager. With this the involvement of management became part of TQM.Ishikawa contributed with the cause and effect diagram and made the process of problem solvingmore disciplined and systematic. This led to the formation of Quality circles and thousands of workersstarted practicing the concepts of TQM.Phil Crosby defined the absolutes of Quality and emphasised on zero defect. While the zero defectscampaign could attract a lot of people, TQM started embracing the six sigma methodology which wasa product of Motorola in 1980s. Around the same time, Quality management standards also appearedin the scene. Then the TQM awards were introduced in 1990s wherein the companies got assessedfor their TQM initiatives and were recognized by the Governments. Today, all these concepts aresignificant. Quality circles are still popular in many companies. Six sigma methodology is having lot of followers. Awards like Baldrige and Deming are challenged by many companies.TQM has also made inroads into service sector and retail as well as banking and hospitality sector.On the whole, the future for TQM looks as strong as it was in 1950s.
2. What is bench marking? Link the various factors that have impact on customer satisfaction throughquality process.
Benchmarking is the process by which one organization learns the best practices of another organization which is better than itself in some of the processes. Benchmarking is widely adopted inall countries and in some of the well known companies like Xerox.Benchmarking consists of the following steps.1. Map the process you are interested in benchmarking.2. Identify the key Characteristics in the process which are to be improved.3. Identify the partners who are good at these processes4. Visit the partners and observe the processes at close quarters.5. Adapt or adopt the process to suit at your end.The various factors that have impact on customer satisfaction through Quality process are as follows:1. Achieving Conformance of product /service to specifications which is ensured by the design.2. Achieving reliability of the product which is ensured by the process capability.3. Timely delivery which is a result of meticulous planning and coordination.4. Aesthetic packing which is due to packing quality.5. Clear user manual and service attention in case of problems6. Hazard free operation which is built in by the safety in design.Quality process enables these to happen with the help of a) Team work across the functions b)Ensuring Process capability c) Monitoring the process with the help of control chartsBy the Quality process which flows through all operations leading to the supply of the product or delivery of service we are able to improve the customer satisfaction steadily.

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