Any discussion of TQM operation must start with a description of Dr. Deming’s universal fourteen points of quality management. The universal fourteen points for quality management are the foundation of Total Quality Management and guide the entire TQM process. These points are discussed in detail below.
- Create consistency of purpose with a plan toward quality improvement of service. Upper leadership should create and publish to all employees a statement of organization aims and purposes and they must constantly demonstrate their commitment to it.
- Adopt the new philosophy of quality. Everyone, from top management to the lowest employee, must accept the quality challenge, learn their responsibilities, and take on the leadership required for change to the new philosophy. Poor quality should never reach the customer. An organization should accept that defects in quality may occur, but it should ensure that defective products never reach the customer.
- Cease dependence on mass inspections to achieve quality. The purpose of inspections is for improvement of processes and reduction of costs, not just to find defects. The need for mass inspections may be eliminated by building quality into a service initially.
- End the practice of choosing suppliers based solely upon price. Organizations should stop awarding contracts based upon the lowest bid; instead, they should be concerned with minimizing total costs. Rather than trying to find the lowest bidder and then having to deal with cost overruns and low quality products, organizations should move toward a single supplier for any one item. They may then build a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust with the supplier.
- Identify problems and work continuously to improve the system. Organizations must improve constantly and forever the system of quality service. Many managers tend to think in terms of programs having a beginning, middle, and an end. TQM does not have an end; it is a continuous process. The phrase "continual improvement" must become common language within the organizations.
- Institute training. Organizations must adopt modern methods of formal training, especially for new hires. On-the-job-training is not acceptable since new hires will probably be learning the "old way" of doing things from seasoned veterans who may be resisting the change to TQM. Training also involves educating external customers as to what the organization is trying to achieve. This helps when the organization later seeks input on quality from these external customers.
- Teach and institute leadership. The aim of leadership should not be just to tell people how to do a job, but to help people do a better job. Leadership is a learned skill, so organizations must train their managers to be good leaders.
- Drive fear out of the workplace. Organizations must create trust and a climate for innovation so that all employees may work effectively for organizational improvement. Much of workplace fear comes from by-the-numbers performance appraisals that have numerical quotas. Employees tend to do what is required to receive a good appraisal, not what is required for quality. Employees should not be afraid to bring up new ideas and the organization should tolerate failures when employees are experimenting with new ideas.
- Break down barriers between departments. Upper management should build teamwork between departments, not competition. They should optimize the efforts of teams toward the aims and purposes of the organization instead of fostering competition between departments.
- Eliminate exhortations from the workplace. Management must stop using slogans and targets to request zero defects and improved productivity without providing workers the methods to achieve them. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships. Most of the causes of low quality and productivity in an organization belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the workforce to change.
- Eliminate work standards and numerical quotas for production. Upper management should stress achieving service quality rather than quantity. It should remove individual punishment/reward control systems, such as incentive pay. Eliminate Management-by-Objectives. Instead of relying on objectives to reach goals, managers should institute methods for improvement and use leadership to help workers achieve personal goals.
- Remove barriers to pride of workmanship. Organizations should abolish merit-rating systems and not blame employees for system failures that are beyond their control.
- Institute and encourage vigorous programs of education, retraining, and self-improvement. Use master trainers to educate and nurture the workforce. Start training with the statistical vision of the organization and then broaden it to include extended process training. Extensive follow-up training should then be used to maintain the organization’s vision.
- Act to accomplish the transformation. Put everyone in the organization to work to accomplish the transformation. Transformation is the job of every employee, not just management. Establish some type of information center to keep the entire organization informed about transformation progress.
These fourteen points form the foundation of Total Quality Management. They are the cure for the five deadly diseases that can destroy an organization.