On this page one can find brief information on some key topics in Quality Management.

 

Total Quality Management

 

Nancy R. Tague, writing in “The Quality Toolbox”, define Total Quality Management (TQM) as any Quality Management System that addresses all areas of an organization, emphasizes customer satisfaction, and uses continuous improvement methods and tools.

Such a System is described in the ISO9001:2015 international standard for Quality Management Systems. As with any good business practice, it relies on Leadership by company management for effective implementation for the benefit of the business.

 

Quality Management Principles

 

The ISO9001:2015 standard for quality management systems defines the following quality management principles. One can easily understand that this is simply good business practice.

  • Customer focus

    • Organizations depend on their customers and therefore should understand current and future customer needs, should meet customer requirements and strive to exceed customer expectations 

  • Leadership

    • Leaders establish unity of purpose and direction of the organization. They should create and maintain the internal environment in which people can become fully involved in achieving the organization's objectives 

  • Engagement of people

    • People at all levels are the essence of an organization and their full involvement enables their abilities to be used for the organization's benefit 

  • The Process approach

    • A desired result is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are managed as a process 

  • Continual improvement

    • Continual improvement of the organization's overall performance should be a permanent objective of the organization

  • Evidence-based decision making

    • Effective decisions are informed by the analysis of data and information

  • Relationship management

    • Mutually beneficial relationships with all interested parties: suppliers, employees, customers, and shareholders

 

Kaizen, PDCA and Continuous Improvement

 

The concept of Kaizen is often discussed in length, and is made to seem mysterious and complex. It is not; Kaizen simply means "improvement" and the idea is to engage in continuous improvement of our various business processes.  This concept is embodied by the classic PDCA approach: Plan what you want to do; Do it; Check the results; Act to sustain and improve.

A key point here is to take steps to improve that are achievable and sustainable. If we try to take too large a step, we increase the chances of failure. On the other hand, taking small steps is manageable, especially if we do it the S.M.A.R.T. way: Improvements should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant to the business, and Time-bound. Taking this approach greatly improves the chances of success.