Definition of Total Quality Management TQM


Quality management involves everyone and all tasks and activities of a company.


The degree to which the product fulfils customer requirements or was produced correctly.


Quality must be managed by planning, organizing, leading and controlling.


An integrative philosophy of management for continuously improving the quality of products and processes.


TQM is a way to continuously improve the performance at every level operation, in every functional area of an organization using all available human & capital resources

TQM as systematically & continuously improving quality of products, service and life using all available human & capital resources.

The simple objective of  Total Quality Management TQM:

“Do the right things the first time, every time.”

Some basic tenets of Total Quality Management TQM approach  that need to be understood clearly in the organization before the implementation of the principle:

  • The customer is the king.
  • Improving quality requires the establishment of effective quality metrics. We must speak with data not just opinions.
  • People working within systems create quality.
  • Quality is a moving target. It requires a commitment to sustained continuous improvement.
  • Prevention not detection is the key to producing high quality. We must design quality into products and reduce variability.
  • Top management must provide leadership and support for all quality initiatives.

Why Total Quality Management TQM approach in the organizational system. the following reasons can be itemized:

  • It aids in anticipating competitive by striving for quality improvement continuously
  • TQM reduce the turbulent caused as a result of new technology put in put in place
  • TQM provides galvanizing impulse that an organization needs to provide that dissipate frustrations & capitalizes upon pent up energy of its workforce
  • It provides a work atmosphere that nurtures a work ethic and allows workers to achieve their potential as workers as well as humans e.t.c

The four basic components of a Total Quality Management approach that can be applied in an organizational system

  1. Put the customer first(i.e customer requirements and customer satisfaction must be a high priority).

A quality product or service satisfies customer’s needs and expectations. Whether a product or service is of high or low quality, will be decided by how it made the consumer feel and whether consumer expectations were satisfied or exceeded

2. Make continuous improvement another high priority in the system

Continuous improvement: a subset of continual improvement, with a more specific focus on linear, incremental improvement within an existing process. Some practitioners also associate continuous improvement more closely with techniques of statistical process control.

Continuous improvement is an ongoing effort to improve products, services or processes. These efforts can seek “incremental” improvement over time or “breakthrough” improvement all at once e.g PDCA, KAIZEN, Six Sigma, LEAN, TQM e.t.c

The Japanese term kaizen has contributed to this component. Kaizen believes that there are no limits to continuous improvement. This means that a TQM organisation will continuously strive to improve their product/service and increase the quality standards

3. Aim for zero  defects at all times

There are a number of reasons behind the aim to eradicate defects. Defects are expensive because they will lower the customer’s confidence in the product. Also, it is more expensive to rectify defects than it is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Zero defects can be achieved through a combination of quality assurance and quality control

4. Training and development should be taken with great care

An organisation will need to train their employees to ensure that they understand the principles of TQM. A TQM organisation employee will need to understand how TQM is to be achieved or maintained and how they as an employee will ensure that the organisation emulates TQM. Unless each employee accepts and believes in TQM it will be difficult for the organisation to practice TQM

How Total quality management TQM can work out effectively in an organizational system (a strategic approach).

  • It requires dedication, commitment and participation from top leadership/management level to support the initiation, implementation or the idea e.t.c
  • Build and sustain a culture committed to continuous improvement (KAIZEN) approach e.t.c
  • Focus on satisfying customer needs and expectations.
  • Involve every individual or employee members in improving his/her own work processes.
  • Create teamwork and constructive working relationships that will be to the benefit of all.
  • Recognize people and staff members as the most important resource to achieve the set goals & objectives.
  • Employ the best available management practices, techniques and tools that will work for the realized goals & objectives.
  • Create a positive awareness to all the members of employees during initiation in order to avoid their resistance. We can adopt the ADKAR Model as a rightful tool
  • Create a long term base thinking rather than short term goals e.t.c

General reasons why Total Quality Management TQM initiatives fail in an organizational system

  • Lack of commitment, dedication and participation from top leadership/management level to support the initiation, implementation or the idea e.t.c
  • Lack of constancy of purpose during developing TQM philosophy
  • Lack of planning process from the top management levels
  • Partial support from the managers involves during the initiation, implementation of the philosophy e.t.c
  • Employees resistance to change to a new principle: employee find it difficult to adhere to the new principle or ideology
  • Total quality management implementation without considering quality culture.
  • Measuring of quality was not adequate in the system
  • TQM was not viewed or focus on a long term thinking rather on short term goals that do not lead to anywhere
  • Failure to link the principle strategically with business goals e.t.c

Thank you.

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