Total Quality Management uses committees to analyze specific processes and recommend changes. Three main committees are used: the executive steering committee, the quality management board, and the process action team. These committees are discussed in detail as follows.
The executive steering committee (ESC) is the core TQM committee. It is composed of top managers from each department who develop the organization’s focus, guide the organization’s cultural change, and manage resources used in the TQM process. The ESC issues charters that create the next level of committees, the quality management boards, as they are needed. A charter delineates a board’s composition, purpose, and the specific area it is to examine.
A quality management board (QMB) is an interdepartmental, cross-sectional group of middle managers created by the ESC to study a specific problem the committee has identified. The ESC may create as many quality management boards as it feels are necessary and a QMB may in turn charter process action teams to analyze and gather data on specific problems or processes.
A process action team (PAT) is a group of lower level supervisors and workers created by a QMB to gather detailed data that it may use to justify its recommendations to the ESC. The PAT is the workhorse of the committee process; it does the legwork required to gather enough data to analyze a process adequately.