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Unformatted text preview: hout the company, a style that can both give direction and encourage
employees to take on more self-management. 4. People involvement
At the heart of TQM is the recognition that a company's most valuable resource is its people.
The involvement of all employees in achieving continuous improvement in quality is
essential. The customer is seen as the end receiver of a product or service that is the
outcome of a series of processes involving many different employees. Everyone who
participates in each of these processes contributes to the final cost-effective quality of what
the customer receives. Equally important is that every employee is a potential contributor to
innovation and improvement.
Furthermore, within this series of processes, called a ‘process chain‘, the work output of one
process is the input for another. Each process in the chain supplies an internal customer. A
weakness in one process will have an effect on the next. Critically also, this process chain
crosses departmental and functional boundaries.
A Roadmap to Quality 3 An Introduction to TQM An Introduction.qxd 3/10/05 12:12 PM Page 4 Both of these TQM perspectives, the need for the active involvement of everyone, and the
inter-relatedness of the several processes in the process chain, have major implications for
management at all levels of the company, and for the culture of the company.
For human resources management two behaviours are clearly indicated: learning to listen,
and empowering employees to communicate both upwards in the hierarchy and laterally
across horizontal boundaries. Normally communication in companies is directed
downwards, with the objective of keeping employees informed. Clearly however, those
involved directly in the work processes will have valuable knowledge about work problems.
In the interest of continuous improvement, they need to be able to communicate their
knowledge to managers. Clearly also there must be communication between those involved
in the related processes in the full process chain.
This change in management style, in effect an overall change in the culture of the company,
will lead to an environment where employees:
• Find that their views are sought out, listened to and acted upon.
• Have a clear understanding of what it is required of them, of how their processes relate
to the business as a whole, and of how their own ‘internal customers´ depend on them.
• Are given practical scope through such devices as suggestion schemes, and especially
through teamwork (e.g. quality circles), to participate in achieving innovation and
• Are motivated to contribute to the continuous improvement of their own work output. 5. Tools and techniques
Central to the implementation of TQM is the gradual introduction of tools and techniques
with a problem-solving focus. Many of these have been around for a long time, or are
derived from traditional tools. Process mapping, where a flowchart is used to show all the
steps in a process with the aim of revealing irregularities and potential problems, is not
unlike work-study flow diagrams. TQM tools include those that are simple to use, those that
most employees can be trained to use, and those, such as Statistical Process Control (SPC),
that require spet training.
Statistical Process Control can be used to measure variation and to indicate its cause. Some
variation is tolerated in the output of processes. However, all variation is caused and can
therefore be reduced. Knowledge of variation theory is a powerful tool in the ongoing
pursuit of quality.
Among the most widely used tools are the seven quality control tools (QC7): check sheets,
histograms, stratification, Pareto diagrams, cause and effect diagrams, scatter diagrams,
and control charts/graphs. Examples of these can be found in Unit 11.
Such tools must of course be used within a method of investigation. The typical TQM
method is the PDCA (plan, do, check, act) Cycle, also known as Deming‘s Wheel. 6. The PDCA Cycle
The PDCA Cycle, developed by Deming, one of the great original thinkers of TQM, is an
invaluable strategy for improving any situation, from solving a tiny production problem to
A Roadmap to Quality 4 An Introduction to TQM An Introduction.qxd 3/10/05 12:13 PM Page 5 introducing TQM itself throughout a company. It consists of 4 steps:
• Plan: gather data on the problem, identify the causes, decide on possible solutions or
countermeasures, and develop a plan with targets, and tests or standards that will check
whether the countermeasures are correct. This should be done systematically and
• Do: Implement the countermeasures.
• Check: Check the results of the implementation of the countermeasures against the
standards established in the ‘Plan’ stage. If the countermeasures do not work, begin the
cycle again with ‘Plan’.
• Act. If the countermeasures are successful, standardize them and put them into regular
use. They then become normal practice.
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This note was uploaded on 10/07/2013 for the course MKT marketing taught by Professor Anamika during the Spring '12 term at Punjab Engineering College.
- Spring '12