Introduction to Total Quality Management

Total Quality Management is a specific approach to assure quality. It is assumed that a company exists for customers and the whole organization have to take care about the quality of the products and services all the time. Neither strict rules, nor special salary encourage people to look after their workplace. It is believed that people are working to earn more and more money but it isn’t the only reason. People are working to feel proud.

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Total Quality Management doesn’t forget about the psychology. In most cases we don’t want to make a bullshit. Often we haven’t got a chance to report about problems and almost never to fix them. For that reason we usually warn our friends against the products we made. Does it seems strange?

Companies which implement Total Quality Management trust that their employees aren’t lazy, do everything what is possible to deliver high quality product on time, even if they make mistakes. Furthermore, every problem is discussed and solved. People just care about each other. Is it impossible? Total Quality Management was implemented in many different companies all over the world. Toyota is probably the best example. Please take a look at the 14 Toyota principles.

Toyota Way 14 Principles

  1. Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals.
  2. Create a continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface.
  3. Use “pull” systems to avoid overproduction.
  4. Level out the workload. (Work like the tortoise, not the hare.)
  5. Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time.
  6. Standardized tasks and processes are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment.
  7. Use visual control so no problems are hidden.
  8. Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes.
  9. Grow Leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy and teach it to others.
  10. Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company’s philosophy.
  11. Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve.
  12. Go and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation (genchi genbutsu).
  13. Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement decisions rapidly (nemawashi).
  14. Become a learning organization through relentless reflection (hansei) and continuous improvement (kaizen).
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