Nov 24, 2014
total quality management (TQM)
DefinitionHolistic approach to long-term success that views continuous improvement in all aspects of an organization as a journey and not as a short-term destination. It aims to radically transform the organization through progressive changes in the attitudes, practices, structures, and systems. TQM transcends the 'product quality' approach, involves everyone in the organization, and encompasses its every function administration, communications, distribution, manufacturing, marketing, planning, training, etc. Coined by the US Naval Air Systems Command in early 1980s, this term has now taken on several meanings and includes (1) commitment and direct involvement of highest-level executives in setting quality goals and policies, allocation of resources, and monitoring of results, (2) realization that transforming an organization means fundamental changes in basic beliefs and practices and that this transformation is everyone's job, (3) building quality into products and practices right from the beginning doing things right the first time, (4) understanding of the changing needs of the internal and external customers, and stakeholders, and satisfying them in a cost effective manner, (5) instituting leadership in place of mere supervision so that every individual performs in the best possible manner to improve quality and productivity, thereby continually reducing total cost, (6) eliminating barriers between people and departments so that they work as teams to achieve common objectives, and (7) instituting flexible programs for training and education, and providing meaningful measures of performance that guide the self-improvement efforts of everyone involved
Total Quality Through Six SigmaSome argue that many of the tools Six Sigma uses are not new. However, while Six Sigma uses conventional methods, its application is anything but conventional. Instead it stresses the importance of searching for a new way of thinking and doing. In fact, Six Sigma defines a clear road map to achieve Total Quality:1. Leadership Commitment: Top management not only initiates Six Sigma deployment, it
also plays an active role in the whole deployment cycle. Six Sigma starts by providing senior leadership with training in the principles and tools it needs to direct the development of a management infrastructure to support Six Sigma. This involves reducing the levels of organizational hierarchy and removing procedural barriers to experimentation and change.2. Customer Focus: Systems are developed for establishing close communications with
external customers (direct customers, end-users, suppliers, regulatory bodies, etc), and with internal customers (employees). From upstream suppliers to ultimate end-users, Six Sigma eliminates the opportunities for defects.
3. Strategic Deployment: Six Sigma targets a small number of high-financial leveraged
items. It focuses the companys resources: right support, right people, right project, and right tools, on identifying and improving performance metrics that relate to bottom-line success.4. Integrated Infrastructure: The Leadership Team defines and reviews project progress.
The Champion acts as a political leader and removes the barriers for the project team. The Master Black Belt acts as a technical coach and provides in-depth knowledge of quality tools. The Black Belt controls the project while the Green Belt supports the Black Belt - together they form the Six Sigma Project Teams. In addition, the incentive and recognition systems motivate the project teams to achieve the business goals.5. Disciplined Framework: Six Sigma projects are Implemented using the Measure,
Analyze, Improve and Control disciplined road map. This MAIC discipline sets up a clear protocol to facilitate internal communication. In addition, from a business perspective, Six Sigma is also a framework for continuous business improvement.6. Education and Training: Six Sigma believes that true commitment is driven by true
understanding. As a fact-based methodology, it intensively utilizes quality and statistical tools to transform a practical problem to a practical solution. Thus, a top-to-bottom training is conducted in Six Sigma philosophy and system improvement techniques for all levels. In conclusion, Six Sigmas approach and deployment makes it distinguishable from other quality initiatives. The Six Sigma approach involves the use of statistical tools within a structured methodology for gaining the knowledge needed to achieve better, faster, and less expensive products and services than the competition. The repeated, disciplined application of the master strategy on project after project, where the projects are selected based on key business objectives, is what drives dollars to the bottom line, resulting in impressive profits. Moreover, fueled by the bottom line improvement, top management will continuously be committed to this approach, the work culture will be constantly nurtured, customers will definitely be satisfied, and Total Quality will ultimately be achieved.
Six Sigma VS. Total Quality Management (TQM)In some aspects of quality improvement, TQM and Six Sigma share the same philosophy of how to assist organizations to accomplish Total Quality. They both emphasize the importance of topmanagement support and leadership. Both approaches make it clear that continuous quality improvement is critical to long-term business success. However, why has the popularity of TQM waned while Six Sigma's popularity continues to grow in the past decade? T. Pyzdek (Why Six Sigma is Not TQM, 2001) stated that the primary difference is management. Unlike TQM, Six Sigma was not developed by technicians who only dabbled in management
and therefore produced only broad guidelines for management to follow. The Six Sigma way of implementation was created by some of America's most gifted CEOs - people like Motorola's Bob Galvin, Allied Signal's Larry Bossidy, and GE's Jack Welch. These people had a single goal in mind: making their businesses as successful as possible. Once they were convinced that tools and techniques of Six Sigma could help them do this, they developed a framework to make it happen. The differences between TQM and Six Sigma are summarized in Table 7.1.
Table 7.1: TQM vs. Six SigmaTQMA functional specialty within the organization.
An infrastructure of dedicated change agents. Focuses on cross-functional value delivery streams rather than functional division of labour. Focuses on quality. Focuses on strategic goals and applies them to cost, schedule and other key business metrics. Motivated by quality idealism. Driven by tangible benefit far a major stockholder group (customers, shareholders, and employees). Loosely monitors progress toward Ensures that the investment produces the goals. expected return. People are engaged in routine duties Slack resources are created to change key (Planning, improvement, and control). business processes and the organization itself. Emphasizes problem solving. Emphasizes breakthrough rates of improvement. Focuses on standard performance, e.g. Focuses on world class performance, e.g., 3.4 ISO 9000. PPM error rate. Quality is a permanent, full-time job. Six Sigma job is temporary. Six Sigma is a Career path is in the quality profession. stepping-stone; career path leads elsewhere. Provides a vast set of tools and Provides a selected subset of tools and techniques with no clear framework for techniques and a clearly defined framework using them effectively. for using them to achieve results (DMAIC). Goals are developed by quality Goals flow down from customers and senior department based on quality criteria leadership's strategic objectives. Goals and and the assumption that what is good metrics are reviewed at the enterprise level to for quality is good for the organization. assure that local sub-optimization does not occur. Developed by technical personnel. Developed by CEOs. Focuses on long-term results. Expected Six Sigma looks for a mix of short-term and payoff is not well-defined. long-term results, as dictated by business demands.
Adams Associates using six sigma plus specializes in synergistic combination of strategic planning, leadership and total quality management (tqm) so clients achieve more goals more often. Six sigma plus is a planned use of strategy, total quality management (tqm) and leadership development. It is the plus in six sigma plus that cause people to align for goal accomplishment. This is a major difference between six sigma plus and a statistical approach or a teaching of total quality management (tqm) tools. The plus is often the catalyst that allows all other concepts to be a success. Issues are selected for special attention as six sigma plus projects. Projects with significant importance are assigned to Black Belts as six sigma projects. Thus each six sigma plus project is assigned a leader trained in six sigma and total quality management (tqm) tools. These Six Sigma Plus Black Belts' duties include teaching other members of the six sigma plus project team appropriate total quality management (tqm) philosophy, interfacing with management, coaching, leadership skills, teaching total quality management (tqm) tools and changing systems to sustain six sigma plus projects improvements. Senior Leadership is responsible for the strategic plan, and selecting potential six sigma plus project areas. Once a six sigma plus project is understood using total quality management (tqm) tools, total quality management (tqm) techniques generate alternatives. Improvements are then implemented. Six sigma plus projects maintain improvements using control tools of total quality management (tqm). This is the define, measure, analyze, improve and control sequence (DMAIC) of six sigma.
Six sigma training is recommended fo