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Published by: api-3722792 on Nov 26, 2009
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Total Quality Management (TQM)
Total Quality Management is a structured system for managing the quality of products,
processes, and resources of an organization in order tosa t isf y its internal and external
customers, as well as its suppliers. Its main objective is sustained (if not progressive) customer
satisfactiont h rou gh continuous improvement, which is accomplished by systematic methods for
problem solving, breakthrough achievement, and sustenance of good results (standardization).

There is no standard or hard-line procedure for implementing TQM. Every company can practice
TQM in a manner it sees best for its organization. However, a company\u2019s TQM program must
always best ru ct u red and internally standardized, i.e., everyone within an organization must
practice TQM in the structured manner set forth by management.

Most companies today have chosen to adopt a TQM program that\u2019s patterned after an already established TQM model, e.g., the Deming Application Prize, the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, the ISO Series of Standards, etc.

TQM may be considered as aco lle ct ion of principles and processes that have been proven to be
effective in business quality management over time. It goes back to the teachings of Drucker,
Juran, Deming, Ishikawa, etc, who each have studied and developed ideas for improving
organizational management.

A very simple model of TQM consists of the following steps: 1) the company reviews the needs of
its customers and if these are being delivered by the company; 2) the company plans the
activities needed (both day-to-day and long-term activities) to meet these customer needs; 3) the
company establishes and stabilizes the processes required to deliver the products and services
needed by the customer; 4) the company implements systems to further improve its processes,
products, and services. Note that Steps 1-4 above constitute acycle, and may be iterated
indefinitely for continuous improvement.

The SDCA Cycle

The Standardize-Do-Check-Act (SDCA) cycle is a popular model forest ab lish in g andst ab ilizin g a process. A process needs to be stabilized through standardization to make it more measurable, predictable, and controllable. Improvements can not and must not be made to a process unless it is stable.

As its name indicates, it has 4 distinct steps: 1)st an da rd iza t ion, which refers to the definition and documentation of operating procedures, process requirements, and other process specifications to ensure that the process is always executed in a standard and repeatable manner; 2)d o in g, which refers to conformance to the defined standards; 3)ch e cking, which is the act of verifying if conformance to the standards results in process stability (high processCp k); and 4)a ct io n, which is the response appropriate for the observed effects of the standards.

In step 4, if the process has become stable with implementation of the standards, then the
standards are made permanent and even deployed more widely. If the effects on process
stability are negligible or even negative, the cycle is repeated using a different set of standard

The PDCA Cycle

The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, also known as the Shewhart Cycle or the Deming Cycle, is a popular model for continuous improvement. As the name indicates, it consists of 4 distinct steps: 1)p lan n ing, which refers to the act of identifying opportunities for improvement and

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