Total Quality Management - Is TQM On Your Radar?

Is TQM (Total Quality Management) On Your Radar?

  • Yes!

    Votes: 11 68.8%
  • No.

    Votes: 5 31.3%
  • What is this TQM thing?

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    16

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#1
Tqm

Is Total Quality Management Right for Your Organization?

Organizations who implement Total Quality Management change their culture from a reactive to a proactive focus. Customer requirements are clearly understood and met every time. Employees are given tools to find the root cause of problems and techniques to eliminate them forever. The results are: increased customer satisfaction, reduced operating costs, improved employee morale, and greater competitive edge.

How is the Health of Your Organization?

1. Do your people know who their internal suppliers and customers are and know their requirements?
2. Do your people provide clear requirements to their internal suppliers?
3. Do your people demand clear requirements from their internal customers?
4. Are key work processes documented?
5. Do your people measure and track results of key work processes?
6. Do your people use a systematic, fact based analysis to determine root cause of problems?
7. Do your people meet regularly in work groups to address quality problems and continuous improvement opportunities?
8. Do your people consider continuous improvement as part of their job responsibilities?
9. Do your people strive to meet requirements every time and not to accept defects as inevitable?
10. Do your people participate on cross functional teams to resolve organization problems?

A Total Quality Management System Consists of:

1. An organization, run by senior management initially, to manage the implementation of a TQM system including:

o awareness training for all employees,
o measurement of processes out of control and their related cost,
o education of all employees on the tools of TQM,
o a problem elimination system.

A group of six to eight executives meets periodically to measure the progress of the system.

2. Training for all employees on awareness and the tools of TQM. Internal or external trainers can complete this task for a 200 person organization is two months.

Application of the tools and techniques of Quality:

o identifying customer requirements,
o measurement, quantification of the price of non-quality,
o identifying the root cause of problems,
o and problem elimination.

Five one hour sessions are run by your organizations' supervisors.

3. A typical implementation takes six months but is easily tailored to the needs of any organization.

The Benefits of a TQM System are:

1. Your people will know their internal suppliers and customers and what their requirements are. This will improve communication and reduce finger pointing.

2. Since requirements, internal and external, will be clearly understood and documented, your people will be able to deliver defect free products or services. Your training costs will go down and employee morale will rise.

3. All key work processes will be documented and updated as requirements change. Your people will know what to do, when to do it, and how to do their jobs resulting is reduced rework, less turn over and improved morale.

4. The measurement and tracking of errors will help to reduce them by focusing attention on them. What people track they attack.

5. Employees usually know what their problems or hassles are - they just don't have a systematic way to get at the root causes. Once they do, those problems will be fixed forever and your people can focus on continuous process improvement.

6. People don't accept defects in their personal lives and shouldn't at work. Once this attitude is in place, defects will go down along with costs.

7. Some problems are cross functional requiring a team from various departments to do root cause analysis and solution definition. The TQM process provides for techniques to do this effectively.

The Vision of TQM is a brilliant one but implementation can be a real bear. Changing cultures is not easy to do. It requires top management leadership and a proven set of tools and techniques for the organization to achieve success.
 
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D

Don Winton

#2
Good post. Just ran across it (again) and thought I would add some things (light bulb reminder, so to speak).

Employees are given tools to find the root cause of problems and techniques to eliminate them forever.
Perhaps. However, many organizations would rather delegate this to the ‘quality’ department. Sadly, many do not see root cause analysis as an organizational goal.

Do your people know who their internal suppliers and customers are and know their requirements.
Every person in an organization has a customer. If they do not understand this, they do not understand their job.

Changing cultures is not easy to do.
Agreed. A culture is not something that is easily changed. But, it can be accomplished, with leadership.

Thoughts, anyone?

Regards,
Don

[This message has been edited by Don Winton (edited 04-09-99).]
 

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Admin
#3
Don,

I saw this post some time ago as well, which was also about the time I discovered the Nine Questions to Drive TQM Processes by Irwin Weimberg (these are posted at the DEN if anyone is interested). I think the two compliment each other. Our CI Steering Committee thought it would be neat to have managers sit with their staff and ask these 9 questions. Pretty interesting answers.

I really like Question 1 in Marc's post. It really causes one to look up and down stream of their activity. The results of asking this question with our groups, folks easily identified their major suppliers/customers. But the minor ones were easily overlooked. In my experience, once you have concluded that you have determined all of them, one pops up that you haven't thought of.

Now that you have identified 'who' you have to identify the 'what'. What are the requirements? Do they change? Under what circumstances does this occur? Wow! It can get pretty deeply nested! Understanding the requirements is essential. I think of the expression "No news is good news" and I think of how wrong it is. Your customer may never complain to you. They may think it isn't their place to. Any chance for a gain in efficiency is lost. What a pity. All because you either didn't think to ask, or, you were too afraid to. Ultimately everyone loses, including yourself.

In my organization, this is how I would answer the 10 questions (arbitrarily calculated and as an organization, not my own department):

1. Yes, but only about 60-65% make this effort.

2. Yes, but only about 33%

3. Yes, but even fewer, only about 20-25%

4. Yes, 90-95% (the work is never quite done)

5. Yes. Difficult to say, but about 80 % of the Key Business Statistics have measurement and reporting systems that do so quarterly.

6. Yes, 75% of decisions are made on quantitative evidence. The rest...gutt feel.

7. Yes, Monthly CI Steering Committee meetings with side project meetings occurring regularly.

8. Yes, but only about 50% or so. Half or so still believe that Quality is the QC departments battle.

9. Yes, but the Zero Defect clause in our Quality Policy still baffles many.

10. Yes, and perhaps this is one of our strongest assets. We may have learned this portion of our culture from our Swedish parent.

While we can answer 'yes' to all the questions, you can easily see that there is plenty of room for improvement. The reasons for such varying percentages are numerous. I feel that as we remain together as a force, we will begin to understand each other better, and improve overall percentages. It is tough for organizations in a volitile state to be cohesive and create the business rapport that is needed for a TQM organization. In my opinion, this is why TQM is hard to foster in an organization in a dynamic state. Poor communication and understanding of requirements.

I wrote an article for our company rag last month entitled "Who is your Customer?" I will be interested to hear feedback on this from my organization over the next couple of weeks (it was released yesterday with the paychecks). It dealt with Customer/Supplier identification and offered two simple question for each to ask the next person in the chain of events; how is the service and what can I do to make it better? Ultimately, everyone wins in this scenario.

Back to the group...
 
J

John C

#4
As with other quality initiatives, I believe that a TQM program will usually do more harm than good. for example;
"TQM; An organization, run by senior management initially.."
So senior management drives it for a while and then walks away. Then, in the nature of things, the next level of management walk away because they are keeping their eye on the ball that their bosses are keeping their eye on. How else will they further their careers?
The junior managers likewise.
Supervisors next.
And the line operators etc are told; 'We haven't time for meetings, discussions, analysis and such, keep the numbers rolling'. And, in the context of the late '90s, that is quite true.
For these and other reasons, the enthusiasm will tail off. There will be no cultural change. Even if the idea is good, the implementation is impractical. The last stage of that organisation will be worse than the first because management and quality will have lost credibility.

Apart from the practicalities, I have grave doubts about the viability and rationale of the concept. We don't want operators to measure, graph, report, analyse, discuss. These are non value adding activities and our goal is not to institutionalise them and perpetuate them, but to eliminate them. We do want alert, interested operators, committed to making an excellent contribution above and beyond the normal expectations. We want them to think about their work and understand what is having a bad impact on their output. But that is as far as it goes.
Instead of expecting them to measure, analyse and manage the operation, we would do better to raise our expectations of engineers, managers and supervisors so that they, in turn, learn how to get the best out of the people and the process.
John C


[This message has been edited by John C (edited 04-13-99).]
 
D

Don Winton

#5
As with other quality initiatives, I believe that a TQM program will usually do more harm than good.
initiative: n 1: An introductory step 2: energy or aptitude displayed in initiation of action.

The problem with quality ‘initiatives’ lies in the definition itself. Anyone who institutes a quality ‘initiative’ is, correctly, doomed to failure. Systems management is not an initiative, it is an on-going, continuous improvement effort.

TQM; An organization, run by senior management initially..
Without commitment and leadership from senior management, any program will whither and die on the vine, as John correctly stated. Again, the devil is in the details. When a program is run ‘initially,’ it is doomed to failure.

We don't want operators to measure, graph, report, analyse, discuss. These are non value adding activities…
Well, OK I guess. Perhaps they are non value added is because they are not being implemented with improvement in mind. They are implemented as ‘fluff’ and ‘polish’ without regard to improvement at all. As stated in Marc’s original post, employees are given tools to find the root cause of problems and techniques to eliminate them forever. The key words are ‘root cause’ and ‘eliminate them forever.’ Measuring and plotting every five of 100 widgets and declaring them ‘quality’ is bull*hit, pure and simple.

We want them to think about their work and understand what is having a bad impact on their output. But that is as far as it goes.
Interesting concept, but perhaps that is too linear. Think about their work. Absolutely. Understand what is having a bad impact on their output. Without a doubt. But then what! Every employee does not have to be a quality engineer, but every employee should THINK like one. In these times of ‘lean and mean,’ a quality engineering staff may be a luxury. Could not employees who are given tools to find the root cause of problems supplement this.

Just the ramblings of an old Wizard Warrior.

Regards,

Don
 
D

Dusty

#6
So senior management drives it for a while and then walks away. Then, in the nature of things, the next level of management walk away because they are keeping their eye on the ball that their bosses are keeping their eye on. How else will they further their careers?
The junior managers likewise.
Supervisors next.
And the line operators etc are told; 'We haven't time for meetings, discussions, analysis and such, keep the numbers rolling'. And, in the context of the late '90s, that is quite true.
For these and other reasons, the enthusiasm will tail off. There will be no cultural change. Even if the idea is good, the implementation is impractical. The last stage of that organisation will be worse than the first because management and quality will have lost credibility.
John C, sounds like you have or are having a similar experience with this, as I have. Sadly, this rings true here, also, in ISO I might add.

In these times of ‘lean and mean,’ a quality engineering staff may be a luxury. Could not employees who are given tools to find the root cause of problems supplement this.
Don, I wish and had hoped this would be the case. However, it seems the "mind-set" if you will, is to outsource no matter what the differences may be in relation to cost, efficiency, etc. Caring employees still do their utmost to put out the best quality product, but moral erodes when one sees the "handwriting on the wall", and it isn't Mene', Mene', Tekel as Daniel saw once upon a time. (or is it?)

------------------
Dusty Rhoads
(Chief Dummy)

This message has been edited by Dusty (edited 04-13-99).
 

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Admin
#7
Climbing onto a soap box:


" We don't want operators to measure, graph, report, analyse, discuss. These are non value adding activities......."

I would like to point out that there are, in my opinion, three categories that activities fall into. Value Added, Non-value Added but necessary, and Non-value added (commonly called waste). Measuring, charting, graphing, inspection, etc. may fall into the middle category, provided that in lieu of not having these activities performed, processes and product may create the third, waste. This is an important consideration.

Educating the work force with tools that are simple to use and deliver a big bang for the buck (makes plain good sense): QE, floor worker, or otherwise, is a MUST in my opinion. What management lacks is commitment. Period. That is why quality initiatives, or any business initiave for that matter, suffer and die painfully. Management expectations are that the ship will steer itself. Pure 'rubbish' (Don's word is cleaner than mine and less offensive). Leadership must come from the top, no excuses. Constancy of Purpose is managements responsibility.

John correctly points out the results of 'false starts' often lead to bad tastes being left in everyones' mouth. It can do more harm than good. Yet there is nothing wrong with the concept itself (personally speaking, until something better comes along or I learn otherwise, it is the only program/concept worth its weight). Management MUST commit to the program and LEAD! There are just too many "blank-it-e-blank" excuses for me. Management should shut up and do the JOB of managing (by fact, not guessing).

Stepping down now.

Back to the group...

P.S. Thanks for letting me vent there.
 
D

Don Winton

#8
…sounds like you have or are having a similar experience with this, as I have.
Yea, been there and done that myself.

Caring employees still do their utmost to put out the best quality product, but moral erodes when one sees the "handwriting on the wall"
Agreed. When employees are constantly bombarded by and exposed to the situation that John describes, the ‘why bother’ syndrome usually sets in, or resumes get sent out, one of the two.

I would like to point out that there are, in my opinion, three categories that activities fall into. Value Added, Non-value Added but necessary, and Non-value added (commonly called waste).
Kevin, I like it! I would equate it something like this.

When operators measure, graph, report, analyze and discuss as a effort towards improvement and optimization, the activities are value added (reduce waste).

When operators measure, graph, report, analyze and discuss as a effort towards monitoring with the potential for improvement, the activities are non-value added but necessary (waste remains constant).

When operators measure, graph, report, analyze and discuss as a effort not towards improvement and optimization, the activities are non-value added (increased waste).

Generally speaking, I always question the purpose of the measure, graph, report, analyze cycle when assessing an organization’s readiness, using the (until now undefined) categories above Kevin kindly provided.

Whaddya think?

Educating the work force with tools that are simple to use and deliver a big bang for the buck (makes plain good sense)
Agreed! Utilizing the workforce as the concepts they are ‘drones,’ just following orders, is outdated AND antiquated. After all, when a potential problem is on the horizon, who is the first one to spot it: the worker. Would it not be nice if they were trained in the concepts of problem solving so, being the first to spot, they are also the first to destroy it.

Management MUST commit to the program and LEAD!
Sadly, many can manage, few can lead. It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end. To successfully complete this type of journey (TQM or whatever), leadership is needed. Period.

There are just too many "blank-it-e-blank" excuses for me.
To that I can add only this:

“Most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do.”

James Harvey Robinson

To be open to new concepts and ideas, even if they are foreign to you, should be a goal which everyone should strive for. If more managers would only learn that lesson. Then they may become leaders.

Just the ramblings of an Old Wizard Warrior.

Regards,
Don
 
J

John C

#9
Just in case anyone thinks that I am being slow to adapt to a new, progressive idea, I feel obliged to point out that ten years ago, I was the staunchest supporter of TQM you could meet. Ten years before that I was starry eyed about the contents of RH Caplin's - "A Practical Approach To Quality Control 3rd edition". Over the years I have learned that quality control techniques are dead easy, getting the thing done right is very difficult, while getting the right thing done is damn near impossible.

Regards the the tools that produce the 'bang for the buck'; If the tools haven't been working for the Quality Department - and they usually aren't, then they won't work for the operators.
A new approach to TQM might be the answer, but it's only good management after all, and that's not new. I suggest the following;
Don't think about TQM until you have a good system, working as intended and producing good results. Introducing TQM into chaos is hardly likely to solve anything.
A lot of the stuff of TQM is excellent. Mostly it's a matter of raising your expectations of the operators/admin operatives and listening to them. Do this with integrity and the way ahead will become obvious. When your expectations are met, then reward them. (Preferably with cash and security. Despite what you hear about motivation, bonuses and golden parachutes are still the preference of the guys at the top - I wonder why.) Don't reward the bad the same as the good - treat them like a herd and they'll act like one.
Don has hit on one very important aspect; 'The initiative'. Give up initiatives. Just start bringing people along. Keep it quiet. Try this and, if it works, try that. Listen to people and ask what their problems are, then give them a hint in fixing them - simple, vital things like adjustments, handling that avoids damage, checking the deliverable as a matter of course - and then leave them to fix them themselves. Never let the supervisor get sidestepped.
Bite the bullet and get into prevention rather than excelling in detection; Direct the engineers into design of experiments and tell the inspectors to pack in what they are doing and help the engineers. This works! Effective analysis is beyond the scope of most quality systems.
Have a bonfire with all the useless data.
When your people are ready, and you're sure it is the right thing at the right time, then you might let them form groups to find out how to move forward into the low hundreds of DPM or into the double figures. It would be an interesting experiment.
Obviously, you'll need saints for managers to maintain this. No problem; Go out and find a bunch of guys who put the long term performance before their short term, personal objectives.
Most of the above is not theory. It's just common sense and good management. Most of what I hear about TQM is theory. Obviously, for TQM to work, it would have to exist in a well managed organisation. Who will come back and tell us they have seen it really working, where the same results or better would not have been achieved by conventional good management and good engineering?
In other words; If you wan't to sell this method, then prove that it is right. Don't rationalise it because, for every positive rationalisation, there's a negative one, plus a lof of painful experience. Can you prove the method works?
rgds, John C
 

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Admin
#10
John,

I doubt you are slow. I believe TQM means many different things to many different people. I think that the common thread is that it is a philosophy of Continuous Improvement. This of course can be acheived through a variety of methods and tools, some statistical, some not. In reading your last post, I would agree that the approach, subtle and supportive, is better than having Management come out and state "Tomorrow we start TQM. Any questions?" You will almost always catch more bees with honey than you will with vinegar.

But this is an approach, a style by which an individual may lead. Still, leadership and commitment are essential in achieving results (positive or negative). TQM, or what ever an individual would like to call it, is generally a positive concept (when lead correctly by management). Can I prove the method works? As a matter of personal experience, no. But there are several cases by which we all have read, well documented ones, where the results are virtually indisputable. Once upon a time, they may have convinced you too. Still, as mentioned repeatedly by Don and Marc, labeling a quality program: TQM, ISO, QS or any other is probably pointless. Even more so, trying to live within the guidelines of one without borrowing from the other (especially the good stuff) is also ridiculous. Defining Quality, still more of the same. Quality is what your Customer and you consider it. The 'program' for any organization should be built about these considerations. Adding a label, well, that is up to the individual. For the sake of discussion, labels help to define what it is we speak about. The problem; they are subjective and lead to confusion. Still, open minded folks can reason beyond this haze and make good discussion as we have found here. So, with that said, I will turn it back to the group.

Regards,

Kevin
 
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