How to implement Total Quality Management

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How to implement Total Quality Management

In the past, errors and defects were an integral part of the definition of quality. But over time, with competition, the definition of quality has transformed to a ‘zero-defect’ status by the process known as Continuous Improvement Process (CIP). One of the philosophies of Quality according to the CIP is Total Quality Management (TQM) which encourages companies to continuously improve the quality of the products and the business at large. What is of excellent quality today may be inferior tomorrow and hence there is always room for improvement.

Dr. W. Edwards Deming, a quality leader, introduced this concept in 1950 in Japan which revolutionized the whole outlook of quality. He based the implementation and integration of Total Quality Management in the entire organization based on the following steps;

Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA Cycle)


Step 1


Planning involves first the study of the organizational condition at that particular point of time, identifying errors and defects. Next, steps to improve the organizational practices are outlined based on the identification of these drawbacks.

Step 2


This is the part where the plan is carried out. Steps for improvement are implemented on a small scale. This is a trial and error phase which is conducted as a ‘test run’.

Step 3


Once the plan is implemented and sufficient time is given for the changes to be effective, test the quality to check if the desired goal or objectives are reached. This is also known as the inspection phase.

Step 4


This part of the PDCA Cycle of the Total Quality Management process, is the implementation of corrective actions needed in the plan. If there is a wide range of overall changes, the plan has to be aborted and a fresh plan started all over again from the first step. Repeat for achieving desired quality results.

Things Needed
• A company or organization as the subject of study
• A Business Plan
• Team of project members
• Feedback / surveys / study / inputs

Tips & Warnings
• The PDCA is a trial and error system
• It is not restricted to a project but is for the entire organization
• Discard an unnecessary measure as soon as it is detected
• Repeat PDCA many times when in doubt
• Adopt a measure as soon as a favourable result is obtained


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