Quality management, also known as total quality management (TQM) in its essence, refers to the act of maintaining a certain level of excellence in every task performed by any organization. In practice, it has been noted that ensuring both the quality and speedy delivery happens to be a perilous task, which is why Simplilearn’s Lean Six Sigma Certification is essential for the person heading the TQM team. Keep reading to find what are the seven quality management principles.
TQM is a broad term and hence, has many nuances and facets to it. Most of these are chalked out with a certain level of precision. These facets coupled with all the minuscule steps taken to perform quality control are collectively known as quality management principles. There are about seven of these principles, and we would be discussing all of them in detail. However, it is prudent to know more about everything which is covered under the term, quality management.
What is quality management?
At the heart of quality management (hereon referred to as TQM) lies a philosophy often found in the business paradigm. And, it goes as “the success of any business depends mainly on the customers’ loyalty and level of their satisfaction.” Hence, TQM strives to improve functioning and aims to gel all the cogs well (stakeholders, employees, etc.). The main aim of TQM, therefore, becomes “improving all the processes, products produced, services provided and the very culture of the company.”
TQM on papers seems like something obvious… Something that should automatically be in place without any outside intervention. However, the converse is true. It is shocking to see something so intuitive come about as a game-changing idea. TQM was born as a result of shifting paradigm from traditional business means to statistically inclined ones. The very first mention of TQM can be traced all the way back to 1924. But, it would take another 25 years for TQM to become widely accepted.
One real-world example of good TQM could be seen from Toyota and its take on the Kanban system. For those of you who are unaware of the term, Kanban, it refers to any signal given physically to induce a chain reaction whose end goal is to ensure that a specific action is performed. Toyota took this idea and molded it into its JIT or Just In Time process. Toyota used this JIT process in inventory management. According to the automobile manufacturer, this JIT process allowed it to always have enough inventory to meet its customers’ needs. JIT reduces time in production as well as decreases response time between suppliers and customers.
The seven principles of quality management
According to the latest ISO standard, listed below are all the seven principles that are involved in quality management:
- Customer focus: As mentioned earlier, TQM’s main goal is to ensure that customers are satisfied and happy. Hence, one of TQM’s core principles is to meet whatever needs and requirements the customer presents and strive to outdo those and present the customer with a product that exceeds their expectations.
Focus on the needs of customers is ensured by performing in-depth research. All the collected data, be it of the present or the past, should be treated with equal importance. Modern techniques like machine learning and deep learning should be implemented in conjunction with traditional means to ensure that the final product receives the best of both worlds. Every interaction with the customer should be treated as a potential point of data, and all of this should improve the final product. It would not be false to say that under TQM customers are to be venerated.
- Leadership: A good leader is quintessential for any organization’s success. Thus, the second thing TQM focuses on is good leadership. Leaders are required to be the head and the one providing guidance and help wherever and whenever it is needed.
In essence, a good leader would create alignment, which means a leader would help clear out any doubts in subordinates’ minds such that all of them are on the same page. Such an alignment would allow the company to move forward with its policies and guidelines while ensuring the right product and services.
- Engagement of people: The engagement of all the personnel is essential to see any project meeting its end with success. Not only do all hands on deck make production smooth, but it also ensures quality and speedy delivery.
In particular, having a good and dedicated workforce is essential, but it becomes more critical that all of them are happy and working to the best of their abilities.
- Process approach: If the organization understands how the process culminates, then it, in turn, could use the results to optimize the entire operation and hence, end up with improved performance.
TQM focuses on process approach because through continuous efforts an organization could quickly achieve its desired results and make its process more aligned and optimized.
- Improvement: No improvement translates to stagnancy, which induces bad practices and hence, poor results. Without careful and meticulous evaluation of the data obtained in the field and applying the derived insights into practice, there is no scope of growth.
Since “change is the only constant,” organizations should be flexible in their operations and always should strive to be better. Hence, TQM reiterated this point.
- Making decision through evidence: It is always a good practice to actually look at the results first and then plan out the next moves. Without a careful analysis of the data, the company would be moving forward on a hunch.
Although moving based on a hunch is not always a wrong move, but it is seen that a calculated move always outperforms hunches in a large enough sample.
- Management of relationship: Relationships are significant and not just in the context of TQM. Generally, a good relationship means benefits for both parties.
For any business, ensuring that it has a good relationship with people like suppliers, social media influencers, other parties, and even its competition is essential.
We hope to have made TQM (quality management) a lot simpler to grasp for you. Also, if you happen to be a business owner, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification is the best way to learn TQM and all its principles. Applications of all the principles would ensure the longevity of your business.