Total quality management (TQM) is the term used by many to indicate an organization-wide effort of continuous process improvement. The Federal Quality Institute defines TQM as a strategic, integrated management system for achieving customer satisfaction, which involves all managers and employees and uses quantitative methods to continuously improve an organization’s processes.
Some additional thoughts on TQM include:
· The improved performance is directed toward satisfying such cross-functional goals as quality, cost, schedule, mission, need and suitability.
· TQM is a process of controlled change.
· Central to the TQM approach is the change in management philosophy regarding the “responsibility for quality.” Formerly it rested with a separate group of individuals in a department/directorate/division often designated as quality assurance. Under TQM, the responsibility rests with every employee, beginning with top management. Knowledge Domain 4 provides additional insight into the change in management philosophy, new behaviors for management and leadership.
TQM is accomplished using a team organization; both management and the employees are members of “quality teams” (also called process improvement/process action teams), that focus on continuous process improvement.