total quality management

total quality management
An approach to management that seeks to integrate all the elements of an organization in order to meet the needs and expectations of its customers. A number of people have pioneered this approach, including W. Edwards Deming, Armand V. Feigenbaum, Kaoru Ishikawa, Joseph M. Juran, and Genichi Taguchi. Some details of their various methods are in conflict, but all share a commitment to ensuring that all the parts of an organization and all the individuals within the organization understand and contribute to the desired outputs. The implementation of TQM involves:
• a systematic and long-term commitment, in particular by senior management;
• a commitment to getting things right the first time;
• a commitment to continuous improvement;
• an understanding of both internal and external customer-supplier relationships;
• an understanding of the total costs involved in the purchase of products and services, e. g. cheap inputs of low quality can cause serious faults in processes and products;
• a commitment to aligning systems to organizational needs, which may involve a radical redesign of work processes;
• appropriate management and training techniques to improve communications between sections and between staff and management;
• improved workplace training and a degree of employee empowerment;
• meaningful measures of performance to enable workers to understand what they are contributing and how they can improve. TQM as a philosophy should be able to incorporate other programmes of management change. However, many organizations fail to exploit its full potential by abandoning it too soon, either through lack of commitment or because it costs too much.

Big dictionary of business and management. 2014.

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