Although important to the implementation of Total Quality Management, implementation of the fourteen universal points and elimination of the five deadly diseases are only a part of the TQM transformation. Other TQM issues are discussed as follows.
Three quality factors must exist in an organization for Total Quality Management to be successful. One, the organization must have an established base level of service. Two, it must have interaction and direct contact the public. Three, it must have the proper service surroundings, such as the quality of its buildings, vehicles, and equipment. Once the quality framework is established, an organization must determine its focus.
Before Total Quality Management implementation, upper management must first determine the organization’s common purpose or focus. This focus sets the stage for the implementation process. Focus consists of three elements: the vision, the mission statement, and values of the organization. The vision is where the organization wants to be in the future. It reflects the organization’s continuous quest for excellence and its pursuit to fulfill customer quality expectations. Top management creates the vision, but the entire organization must embrace it for it to have meaning. The mission statement describes the organization’s basic purpose and expected results. Values guide the organization’s conduct. They describe ways of communicating within the organization, guide relationships with customers, and generally establish ground rules for how the organization will operate. Once an organization determines its focus, it must begin empowering its employees.
Empowering the workforce involves giving employees a degree of control over the organization’s operation. When empowered, employees feel they are an active part of the organization’s decision-making process and they have an organizational sense of "family." Once empowered, employees begin to take pride and ownership in their work, which may lead to improvement in their job performance, which then may increases overall organizational quality. As employees become more involved in the organization, they become self-motivated and do not require as much direct praise or monitoring from managers. As a part of the empowerment process, employees are permitted more management participation.
Participative management advocates using the cumulative skills and expertise of employees to solve problems and improve service quality. It calls for all members of an organization to share authority, responsibility, accountability, and decision making. Although it emphasizes group effort, a leader is needed who is responsible for keeping the group on track and making final decisions on group suggestions.
Delegation of responsibility and authority is required for participative management to be successful. Delegation is entrusting the responsibility and authority to complete a task to another person. Along with this trust comes accountability, which is holding the other person accountable for acceptable completion of the task. Many managers manage by the philosophy "If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself," so they find delegation difficult. Other managers do not mind delegating responsibility, but they are reluctant to delegate authority.
Participative management may meet resistance from all organizational levels. Managers may resist it since they may fear losing control or worry they will no longer be needed. Organizational traditions may hamper its use since it is so different from the way things have been done for so long. Unions may reject the team concept of participative management because they fear that allowing workers to mix with management may reduce union control of workers. Workers may reject assumption of any responsibility for quality, maintaining that quality is the responsibility of management. Organizational reward systems may be detrimental to participative management since they tend to recognize quantity, not quality. They usually reward individual production, not group participation.
Participative management involves giving employees membership on committees that make recommendations on changes to organizational polices. Since TQM requires the formation and use of numerous committees, it has been called management-by-committee.
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.
In a routine TQM quality improvement process, the ESC is first made aware of a problem by input from employees or customers. It considers the problem, and if it deems the problem worthy of further study, it charters a QMB to analyze the problem in detail. Many times more information is required on the problem than the QMB may collect on its own, so it may charter a PAT to collect the data. The QMB analyzes the data received from the PAT, and any other information the board has collected, and makes recommendations to the ESC on possible solutions to the problem. The ESC considers the recommendations and then either rejects them, forwards them "as is" to the head administrator, makes modifications and forwards them, or returns them to the QMB for more study.
Other types of TQM committees may be used to accomplish specific tasks, such the quality circle, process involvement team, and the self-managed team. A quality circle is usually composed of persons within the same department who try to solve minor problems with minimal management direction. A process involvement team is composed of members from the same department, or from other departments, who work on specific problems in a work process. A self-managed team is a cross-functional, interdepartmental task force with no manager or supervisor that is formed to attack an immediate problem that needs a quick solution.
All these committees must constantly collect and analyze data. Total Quality Management requires extensive statistical analysis to study processes and improve quality.
Use of Statistics
Total Quality Management requires constant statistical measurement of quality to monitor performance. All members of an organization must become proficient in the use of statistics to the level required by their position or job. This means an organization must conduct extensive statistical training for all employees. As with other management styles, Total Quality Management has advantages and disadvantages that should be considered when deciding whether TQM is the best management style for an organization.