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Six cornerstones of TQM [Bergman]

TQM Total Quality Management has a lot of definitions. According to Bergman[1] TQM is a constant endeavour to fulfil, and preferably exceed, customer needs and expectations at the lowest cost, by continuous improvement work, to which all involved are committed, focusing on the processes in the organization. TQM is more about prepare, improvement and prevention rather than repair and inception. It the concept focusing on values, methodologies and tools that increase customer satisfaction and decrease resource and cost at the same time.

Total Quality Management in particular company must be based on continuous improvement work in quality field by top managers. To do that company should base on the following six values:

  • focus on customer - we need to focus on external and internal customers needs and expectations. Quality in this perspective is relevant, because depends on value that are pinpoint by customers. In this value we need to find the customers needs and expectation and fulfil those needs. To do that we can use: Customer-driven Quality Cycle, Kano Model, Quality Dimensions of Goods and Services.
  • base decisions on facts - It's quite important to deeply understand market, customers and manufacturing process. According to Kottler only 25% of all new products are successful on the market. There are some possible explanation of this fact. First of all there is poorly understand what customer really need and how much they want to pay for it. The second thing is how company works and how we can improve it to decrease costs and making product better. To make some analysis we can use simple statistical method like: Seven Improvement Tools and Seven Management Tools.
  • focus on processes - process transform resources into result to satisfy the customer. It's quite important to look at data collect during process over time. We can divide processes into tree types:
    • main processes
    • support processes
    • management processes
  • improve continuously - if you want to have a high quality you need to improve. The based strategy for improvement is "Plan-Do-Study-Act".
  • let everybody be committed - every employee have to participate into process improvement work. They need to be well informed about process, they have to fell free to make a decisions and they have to be well trained.
  • committed leadership - commitment leadership must be done on all levels of organization. Also top management should be part of process improvement work.

More about every value presented above you can find in next articles.
[1] Bo Bergman and Bengt Klefsjö, Quality: From Customer Needs to Customer Satisfaction. McGraw-Hill, 1994.