Saturday, 20 March 2010
Saturday, 11 April 2009
W. Edwards Deming
Born: October 14, 1900(1900-10-14)Sioux City, Iowa, USA
Died: December 20, 1993 (aged 93)Washington DC, USA
William Edwards Deming (October 14, 1900 – December 20, 1993) was an American statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and consultant. Deming is widely credited with improving production in the United States during World War II, although he is perhaps best known for his work in Japan. There, from 1950 onward he taught top management how to improve design (and thus service), product quality, testing and sales (the last through global markets) through various methods, including the application of statistical methods.
Deming made a significant contribution to Japan's later renown for innovative high-quality products and its economic power. He is regarded as having had more impact upon Japanese manufacturing and business than any other individual not of Japanese heritage. Despite being considered something of a hero in Japan, he was only beginning to win widespread recognition in the U.S. at the time of his death.
2 Early life and work
2.1 Work in Japan
2.3 Later work in the U.S.
3 Deming philosophy synopsis
3.1 The Deming System of Profound Knowledge
3.2 Deming's 14 points
3.3 Seven Deadly Diseases
4 Quotations and concepts
5 See also
8 External links
Dr. Deming's teachings and philosophy can be seen through the results they produced when they were adopted by the Japanese, as the following example shows: Ford Motor Company was simultaneously manufacturing a car model with transmissions made in Japan and the United States. Soon after the car model was on the market, Ford customers were requesting the model with Japanese transmission over the USA-made transmission, and they were willing to wait for the Japanese model. As both transmissions were made to the same specifications, Ford engineers could not understand the customer preference for the model with Japanese transmission. It delivered smoother performance with a lower defect rate. Finally, Ford engineers decided to take apart the two different transmissions. The American-made car parts were all within specified tolerance levels. On the other hand, the Japanese car parts had much closer tolerances than the USA-made parts - i.e. if a part was supposed to be one foot long, plus or minus 1/8 of an inch - then the Japanese parts were within 1/16 of an inch. This made the Japanese cars run more smoothly and customers experienced fewer problems.
Deming received a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Wyoming at Laramie (1921), an M.S. from the University of Colorado (1925), and a Ph.D. from Yale University (1928). Both graduate degrees were in mathematics and physics. Deming had an internship at Bell Telephone Laboratories while studying at Yale. He subsequently worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Census Department. While working under Gen. Douglas MacArthur as a census consultant to the Japanese government, he famously taught statistical process control methods to Japanese business leaders, returning to Japan for many years to consult and to witness economic growth that he had predicted as a result of application of techniques learned from Walter Shewhart at Bell Laboratories. Later, he became a professor at New York University while engaged as an independent consultant in Washington, D.C.
Deming was the author of Out of the Crisis (1982–1986) and The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education (1993), which includes his System of Profound Knowledge and the 14 Points for Management (described below). Deming played flute & drums and composed music throughout his life, including sacred choral compositions and an arrangement of The Star Spangled Banner.
In 1993, Deming founded the W. Edwards Deming Institute in Washington, D.C., where the Deming Collection at the U.S. Library of Congress includes an extensive audiotape and videotape archive. The aim of the W. Edwards Deming Institute is to foster understanding of The Deming System of Profound Knowledge to advance commerce, prosperity and peace.
Early life and work
Born in Sioux City, Iowa, Deming was raised in Polk City, Iowa on his grandfather's chicken farm, then later in Powell, Wyoming. His father's name was also William, so he was called Edwards (the maiden name of his mother, Pluma Irene Edwards). In 1917, he enrolled in the University of Wyoming at Laramie, graduating in 1921 with a B.S. in electrical engineering. In 1925, he received an M.S. from the University of Colorado, and in 1928, a Ph.D. from Yale University. Both graduate degrees were in mathematics and mathematical physics. Deming worked as a mathematical physicist at the United States Department of Agriculture (1927–39), and was a statistical adviser for the United States Census Bureau (1939–45). He was a professor of statistics at New York University's graduate school of business administration (1946–1993), and he taught at Columbia University's graduate School of business (1988–1993). He also was a consultant for private business.
In 1927, Deming was introduced to Walter A. Shewhart of the Bell Telephone Laboratories by Dr. C.H. Kunsman of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Deming found great inspiration in the work of Shewhart, the originator of the concepts of statistical control of processes and the related technical tool of the control chart, as Deming began to move toward the application of statistical methods to industrial production and management. Shewhart's idea of common and special causes of variation led directly to Deming's theory of management. Deming saw that these ideas could be applied not only to manufacturing processes but also to the processes by which enterprises are led and managed. This key insight made possible his enormous influence on the economics of the industrialized world after 1950.
Deming edited a series of lectures delivered by Shewhart at USDA, Statistical Method from the Viewpoint of Quality Control, into a book published in 1939. One reason he learned so much from Shewhart, Deming remarked in a videotaped interview, was that, while brilliant, Shewhart had an "uncanny ability to make things difficult." Deming thus spent a great deal of time both copying Shewhart's ideas and devising ways to present them with his own twist.
Deming developed the sampling techniques that were used for the first time during the 1940 U.S. Census. During World War II, Deming was a member of the five-man Emergency Technical Committee. He worked with H.F. Dodge, A.G. Ashcroft, Leslie E. Simon, R.E. Wareham, and John Gaillard in the compilation of the American War Standards (American Standards Association ZI.1-3 published in 1942) and taught statistical process control (SPC) techniques to workers engaged in wartime production. Statistical methods were widely applied during World War II, but faded into disuse a few years later in the face of huge overseas demand for American mass-produced products.
Work in Japan
In 1947, Deming was involved in early planning for the 1951 Japanese Census. The Allied powers were occupying Japan, and he was asked by the U.S. United States Department of the Army to assist with the census. While Deming was there, his expertise in quality control techniques, combined with his involvement in Japanese society, led to his receiving an invitation from the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers (JUSE).
JUSE members had studied Shewhart's techniques, and as part of Japan's reconstruction efforts, they sought an expert to teach statistical control. During June–August 1950, Deming trained hundreds of engineers, managers, and scholars in statistical process control (SPC) and concepts of quality. He also conducted at least one session for top management.Deming's message to Japan's chief executives: improving quality will reduce expenses while increasing productivity and market share. Perhaps the best known of these management lectures was delivered at the Mt. Hakone Conference Center in August 1950.
A number of Japanese manufacturers applied his techniques widely and experienced theretofore unheard of levels of quality and productivity. The improved quality combined with the lowered cost created new international demand for Japanese products.
Deming declined to receive royalties from the transcripts of his 1950 lectures, so JUSE's board of directors established the Deming Prize (December 1950) to repay him for his friendship and kindness. The Deming Prize—especially the Deming Application Prize, which is given to companies—has exerted an immeasurable influence directly or indirectly on the development of quality control and quality management in Japan.
In 1960, the Prime Minister of Japan (Nobusuke Kishi), acting on behalf of Emperor Hirohito, awarded Dr. Deming Japan’s Order of the Sacred Treasure, Second Class.The citation on the medal recognizes Deming's contributions to Japan’s industrial rebirth and its worldwide success. The first section of the meritorious service record describes his work in Japan:
· 1947, Rice Statistics Mission member
· 1950, assistant to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers
· instructor in sample survey methods in government statistics
The second half of the record lists his service to private enterprise through the introduction of epochal ideas, such as quality control and market survey techniques.
Later work in the U.S.
David Salsburg wrote: "He was known for his kindness to and consideration for those he worked with, for his robust, if very subtle, humor, and for his interest in music. He sang in a choir, played drums and flute, and published several original pieces of sacred music." (page 254, The Lady Tasting Tea)
Washington, D.C., Dr. Deming continued running his own consultancy business in the United States, largely unknown and unrecognized in his country of origin and work. In 1980, he was featured prominently in an NBC documentary titled If Japan can... Why can't we? about the increasing industrial competition the United States was facing from Japan. As a result of the broadcast, demand for his services increased dramatically, and Deming continued consulting for industry throughout the world until his death at the age of 93.
Later, from his home in
Ford Motor Company was one of the first American corporations to seek help from Deming. In 1981, Ford's sales were falling. Between 1979 and 1982, Ford had incurred $3 billion in losses. Ford's newly appointed Division Quality Manager John A. Manoogian was charged with recruiting Dr. Deming to help jump-start a quality movement at Ford. Deming questioned the company's culture and the way its managers operated. To Ford's surprise, Deming talked not about quality but about management. He told Ford that management actions were responsible for 85% of all problems in developing better cars. In 1986 Ford came out with a profitable line of cars, the Taurus-Sable line. In a letter to Autoweek Magazine, Donald Petersen, then Ford Chairman, said, "We are moving toward building a quality culture at Ford and the many changes that have been taking place here have their roots directly in Dr. Deming's teachings." By 1986, Ford had become the most profitable American auto company. For the first time since the 1920s, its earnings had exceeded those of arch rival General Motors (GM). Ford had come to lead the American automobile industry in improvements. Ford's following years' earnings confirmed that its success was not a fluke, for its earnings continued to exceed GM and Chrysler's.
In 1982, Dr. Deming, as author, had his book published by the MIT Center for Advanced Engineering as Quality, Productivity, and Competitive Position, which was renamed Out of the Crisis in 1986. Deming offers a theory of management based on his famous 14 Points for Management. Management's failure to plan for the future brings about loss of market, which brings about loss of jobs. Management must be judged not only by the quarterly dividend, but by innovative plans to stay in business, protect investment, ensure future dividends, and provide more jobs through improved products and services. "Long-term commitment to new learning and new philosophy is required of any management that seeks transformation. The timid and the fainthearted, and the people that expect quick results, are doomed to disappointment."
Over the course of his career, Deming received dozens of academic awards, including another, honorary, Ph.D. from Oregon State University. In 1987 he was awarded the National Medal of Technology: "For his forceful promotion of statistical methodology, for his contributions to sampling theory, and for his advocacy to corporations and nations of a general management philosophy that has resulted in improved product quality." In 1988, he received the Distinguished Career in Science award from the National Academy of Sciences.
In 1993, Dr. Deming published his final book, The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education, which included the System of Profound Knowledge and the 14 Points for Management. It also contained educational concepts involving group-based teaching without grades, as well as management without individual merit or performance reviews.
In December 1993, W. Edwards Deming died in his sleep at his Washington home at about 3 a.m. due to "natural causes." His family was by his side when he died.
Deming philosophy synopsis
The philosophy of W. Edwards Deming has been summarised as follows:
"Dr. W. Edwards Deming taught that by adopting appropriate principles of management, organizations can increase quality and simultaneously reduce costs (by reducing waste, rework, staff attrition and litigation while increasing customer loyalty). The key is to practice continual improvement and think of manufacturing as a system, not as bits and pieces."
In the 1970s, Dr. Deming's philosophy was summarized by some of his Japanese proponents with the following 'a'-versus-'b' comparison:
(a) When people and organizations focus primarily on quality, defined by the following ratio,
quality tends to increase and costs fall over time.
(b) However, when people and organizations focus primarily on costs, costs tend to rise and quality declines over time.
The Deming System of Profound Knowledge
"The prevailing style of management must undergo transformation. A system cannot understand itself. The transformation requires a view from outside. The aim of this chapter is to provide an outside view—a lens—that I call a system of profound knowledge. It provides a map of theory by which to understand the organizations that we work in.
"The first step is transformation of the individual. This transformation is discontinuous. It comes from understanding of the system of profound knowledge. The individual, transformed, will perceive new meaning to his life, to events, to numbers, to interactions between people.
"Once the individual understands the system of profound knowledge, he will apply its principles in every kind of relationship with other people. He will have a basis for judgment of his own decisions and for transformation of the organizations that he belongs to. The individual, once transformed, will:
Set an example;
Be a good listener, but will not compromise;
Continually teach other people; and
Help people to pull away from their current practices and beliefs and move into the new philosophy without a feeling of guilt about the past."
Deming advocated that all managers need to have what he called a System of Profound Knowledge, consisting of four parts:
Appreciation of a system: understanding the overall processes involving suppliers, producers, and customers (or recipients) of goods and services (explained below);
Knowledge of variation: the range and causes of variation in quality, and use of statistical sampling in measurements;
Theory of knowledge: the concepts explaining knowledge and the limits of what can be known;
Knowledge of psychology: concepts of human nature.
Deming explained, "One need not be eminent in any part nor in all four parts in order to understand it and to apply it. The 14 points for management in industry, education, and government follow naturally as application of this outside knowledge, for transformation from the present style of Western management to one of optimization."
"The various segments of the system of profound knowledge proposed here cannot be separated. They interact with each other. Thus, knowledge of psychology is incomplete without knowledge of variation.
"A manager of people needs to understand that all people are different. This is not ranking people. He needs to understand that the performance of anyone is governed largely by the system that he works in, the responsibility of management. A psychologist that possesses even a crude understanding of variation as will be learned in the experiment with the Red Beads (Ch. 7) could no longer participate in refinement of a plan for ranking people."
The Appreciation of a system involves understanding how interactions (i.e. feedback) between the elements of a system can result in internal restrictions that force the system to behave as a single organism that automatically seeks a steady state. It is this steady state that determines the output of the system rather than the individual elements. Thus it is the structure of the organization rather than the employees, alone, which holds the key to improving the quality of output.
The Knowledge of variation involves understanding that everything measured consists of both "normal" variation due to the flexibility of the system and of "special causes" that create defects. Quality involves recognizing the difference in order to eliminate "special causes" while controlling normal variation. Deming taught that making changes in response to "normal" variation would only make the system perform worse. Understanding variation includes the mathematical certainty that variation will normally occur within six standard deviations of the mean.
The System of Profound Knowledge is the basis for application of Deming's famous 14 Points for Management, described below.
Deming's 14 points
Deming offered fourteen key principles for management for transforming business effectiveness. The points were first presented in his book Out of the Crisis (p. 23-24).
1. Constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and stay in business, and to provide jobs.
2. Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.
3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.
4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, minimize total cost. 5. Move towards a single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.
Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease cost.
6. Institute training on the job.
7. Institute leadership (see Point 12 and Ch. 8 of "Out of the Crisis"). The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers.
8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company. (See Ch. 3 of "Out of the Crisis")
9. Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team, to foresee problems of production and in use that may be encountered with the product or service.
10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.
11. Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute leadership.b. Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers, numerical goals. Substitute workmanship.
12. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality. Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by objective (See CH. 3 of "Out of the Crisis").
13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
14. Put everyone in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everyone's work.
Seven Deadly Diseases
The Seven Deadly Diseases (also known as the "Seven Wastes"):
Lack of constancy of purpose.
Emphasis on short-term profits.
Evaluation by performance, merit rating, or annual review of performance.
Mobility of management.
Running a company on visible figures alone.
Excessive medical costs.
Excessive costs of warranty, fueled by lawyers who work for contingency fees.
A Lesser Category of Obstacles:
Neglecting long-range planning.
Relying on technology to solve problems.
Seeking examples to follow rather than developing solutions.
Excuses, such as "Our problems are different."
Quotations and concepts
In his later years, Dr. Deming taught many concepts, which he emphasized by key sayings or quotations that he repeated. A number of these quotes have been recorded. Some of the concepts might seem to be oxymorons or contradictory to each other; however, the student is given each concept to ponder its meaning in the whole system, over time.
"There is no substitute for knowledge." This statement emphasizes the need to know more, about everything in the system. It is considered as a contrast to the old statement, "There is no substitute for hard work" by Thomas Alva Edison (1847–1931). Instead, a small amount of knowledge could save many hours of hard work.
"The most important things cannot be measured." The issues that are most important, long term, cannot be measured in advance. However, they might be among the factors that an organization is measuring, just not understood as most important at the time.
"The most important things are unknown or unknowable." The factors that have the greatest impact, long term, can be quite surprising. Analogous to an earthquake that disrupts service, other "earth-shattering" events that most affect an organization will be unknown or unknowable, in advance. Other examples of important things would be: a drastic change in technology, or new investment capital.
"Experience by itself teaches nothing."This statement emphasizes the need to interpret and apply information against a theory or framework of concepts that is the basis for knowledge about a system. It is considered as a contrast to the old statement, "Experience is the best teacher" (Dr. Deming disagreed with that). To Dr. Deming, knowledge is best taught by a master who explains the overall system through which experience is judged; experience, without understanding the underlying system, is just raw data that can be misinterpreted against a flawed theory of reality. Deming's view of experience is related to Shewhart's concept, "Data has no meaning apart from its context" (see Walter A. Shewhart, "Later Work").
"By what method?... Only the method counts."When information is obtained, or data is measured, the method, or process used to gather information, greatly affects the results. For example, the "Hawthorne effect" showed that people just asking frequently for opinions seemed to affect the resulting outcome, since some people felt better just being asked for their opinion. Dr. Deming warned that basing judgments on customer complaints alone ignored the general population of other opinions, which should be judged together, such as in a statistical sample of the whole, not just isolated complaints: survey the entire group about their likes and dislikes. The extreme complaints might not represent the attitudes of the whole group. Similarly, measuring or counting data depends on the instrument or method used.
"You can expect what you inspect." Dr. Deming emphasized the importance of measuring and testing to predict typical results. If a phase consists of inputs + process + outputs, all 3 are inspected to some extent. Problems with inputs are a major source of trouble, but the process using those inputs can also have problems. By inspecting the inputs and the process more, the outputs can be better predicted, and inspected less. Rather than use mass inspection of every output product, the output can be statistically sampled in a cause-effect relationship through the process.
"Special Causes and Common Causes": Dr. Deming considered anomalies in quality to be variations outside the control limits of a process. Such variations could be attributed to one-time events called "special causes" or to repeated events called "common causes" that hinder quality.
Acceptable Defects: Rather than waste efforts on zero-defect goals, Dr. Deming stressed the importance of establishing a level of variation, or anomalies, acceptable to the recipient (or customer) in the next phase of a process. Often, some defects are quite acceptable, and efforts to remove all defects would be an excessive waste of time and money.
The Deming Cycle (or Shewhart Cycle): As a repetitive process to determine the next action, the Deming Cycle describes a simple method to test information before making a major decision. The 4 steps in the Deming Cycle are: Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA), also known as Plan-Do-Study-Act or PDSA. Dr. Deming called the cycle the Shewhart Cycle, after Walter A. Shewhart. The cycle can be used in various ways, such as running an experiment: PLAN (design) the experiment; DO the experiment by performing the steps; CHECK the results by testing information; and ACT on the decisions based on those results.
Semi-Automated, not Fully Automated: Dr. Deming lamented the problem of automation gone awry ("robots painting robots"): instead, he advocated human-assisted semi-automation, which allows people to change the semi-automated or computer-assisted processes, based on new knowledge. Compare to Japanese term 'jidoka' (which can be loosely translated as "automation with a human touch").
"The problem is at the top; management is the problem." Dr. Deming emphasized that the top-level management had to change to produce significant differences, in a long-term, continuous manner. As a consultant, Deming would offer advice to top-level managers, if asked repeatedly, in a continuous manner.
"What is a system? A system is a network of interdependent components that work together to try to accomplish the aim of the system. A system must have an aim. Without an aim, there is no system. The aim of the system must be clear to everyone in the system. The aim must include plans for the future. The aim is a value judgment. (We are of course talking here about a man-made system.)"
"A system must be managed. It will not manage itself. Left to themselves in the Western world, components become selfish, competitive. We can not afford the destructive effect of competition."
"To successfully respond to the myriad of changes that shake the world, transformation into a new style of management is required. The route to take is what I call profound knowledge—knowledge for leadership of transformation."
"The worker is not the problem. The problem is at the top! Management!" Management’s job. It is management’s job to direct the efforts of all components toward the aim of the system. The first step is clarification: everyone in the organization must understand the aim of the system, and how to direct his efforts toward it. Everyone must understand the damage and loss to the whole organization from a team that seeks to become a selfish, independent, profit centre."
"They realised that the gains that you get by statistical methods are gains that you get without new machinery, without new people. Anybody can produce quality if he lowers his production rate. That is not what I am talking about. Statistical thinking and statistical methods are to Japanese production workers, foremen, and all the way through the company, a second language. In statistical control, you have a reproducible product hour after hour, day after day. And see how comforting that is to management, they now know what they can produce, they know what their costs are going to be."
"I think that people here expect miracles. American management thinks that they can just copy from Japan—but they don't know what to copy!"
"What is the variation trying to tell us about a process, about the people in the process? Dr. Shewhart created the basis for the control chart and the concept of a state of statistical control by carefully designed experiments. While Dr. Shewhart drew from pure mathematical statistical theories, he understood that data from physical processes never produce a "normal distribution curve" (a Gaussian distribution, also commonly referred to as a "bell curve"). He discovered that observed variation in manufacturing data did not always behave the same way as data in nature (Brownian motion of particles). Dr. Shewhart concluded that while every process displays variation, some processes display controlled variation that is natural to the process, while others display uncontrolled variation that is not present in the process causal system at all times. Dr. Deming renamed these distinctions "common cause" for chance causes and "special cause" for assignable causes. He did this so the focus would be placed on those responsible for doing something about the variation, rather than the source of the variation. It is top management’s responsibility to address "common cause" variation, and therefore it is management’s responsibility to make improvements to the whole system. Because "special cause" variation is assignable, workers, supervisors or middle managers that have direct knowledge of the assignable cause best address this type of specific intervention.
A Quality Circle is a volunteer group composed of workers (or even students) who meet to talk about workplace improvement, and make presentations to management with their ideas, especially relating to quality of output in order to improve the performance of the organization, and motivate and enrich the work of employees. Typical topics are improving occupational safety and health, improving product design, and improvement in manufacturing process. The ideal size of a quality circle is from eight to ten members.
Quality circles have the advantage of continuity; the circle remains intact from project to project.
Quality circles were first established in Japan in 1962, and Kaoru Ishikawa has been credited with their creation. The movement in Japan was coordinated by the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers (JUSE).
The use of quality circles then spread beyond Japan. Quality circles have been implemented even in educational sectors in India and QCFI (Quality Circle Forum of India) is promoting such activities.
There are different quality circle tools, namely:
The Ishikawa diagram - which shows hierarchies of causes contributing to a problem
The Pareto Chart - which analyses different causes by frequency to illustrate the vital causes.
Students Quality Circles
Students Quality Circles work on the philosophy of TQM. The idea of SQCs was presented by a school in Lucknow India in 1992. After seeing its utility, the visionary educationists from many countries started these circles. This is considered to be a co-curricular activity. Students Quality Circles have been established in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Mauratius etc
Friday, 10 April 2009
So, what does SQM mean in practice? It simply involves preparing a submission for the EFQM Excellence Model (Europe) or the Baldrige Award (USA) for your School, College or University and then action planning against each recommendation.
“a management philosophy embracing all activities through which the needs and expectations of the customer and the community and the objectives of the organisation are satisfied in the most efficient and effective way by maximising the potential of the employees in a continuous drive for improvement.”
Total Quality Management is an approach to the art of management that originated in Japanese industry in the 1950's and has become steadily more popular in the West since the early 1980's. Total Quality is a description of the culture, attitude and organisation of a company that aims to provide, and continue to provide, its customers with products and services that satisfy their needs. The culture requires quality in all aspects of the company's operations, with things being done right first time, and defects and waste eradicated from operations. Many companies have difficulties in implementing TQM. Surveys by consulting firms have found that only 20-36% of companies that have undertaken TQM have achieved either significant or even tangible improvements in quality, productivity, competitiveness or financial return. As a result many people are sceptical about TQM. However, when you look at successful companies you find a much higher percentage of successful TQM implementation.
Some useful messages from results of TQM implementations:
1. if you want to be a first-rate company, don't focus on the second-rate companies who can't handle TQM, look at the world-class companies that have adopted it;
2. the most effective way to spend TQM introduction funds is by training top management, people involved in new product development, and people involved with customers;
3. Don't label it "Total Quality Management" or anything else for that matter. This could five ammunition to the cynics and cause it to become just another band-wagon.
Important aspects of TQM include customer-driven quality, top management leadership and commitment, continuous improvement, fast response, actions based on facts, employee participation, and a TQM "Quality-focussed" culture.
Customer-driven quality TQM has a customer-first orientation. The customer, not internal activities and constraints, comes first. Customer satisfaction is seen as the company's highest priority. The company believes it will only be successful if customers are satisfied. The TQM company is sensitive to customer requirements and responds rapidly to them. In the TQM context, `being sensitive to customer requirements' goes beyond defect and error reduction, and merely meeting specifications or reducing customer complaints. The concept of requirements is expanded to take in not only product and service attributes that meet basic requirements, but also those that enhance and differentiate them for competitive advantage. Each part of the company is involved in Total Quality, operating as a customer to some functions and as a supplier to others.
TQM leadership must originate from top management. TQM is a way of life for a company. It has to be introduced and led by top management. This is a key point. Attempts to implement TQM often fail because top management doesn't lead and get committed - instead it delegates and pays lip service. Commitment and personal involvement is required from top management in creating and deploying clear quality values and goals consistent with the objectives of the company, and in creating and deploying well defined systems, methods and performance measures for achieving those goals. These systems and methods guide all quality activities and encourage participation by all employees. The development and use of performance indicators is linked, directly or indirectly, to customer requirements and satisfaction, and to management and employee remuneration.
Continuous improvement of all operations and activities is at the heart of TQM. Once it is recognised that customer satisfaction can only be obtained by providing a high-quality product, continuous improvement of the quality of the product is seen as the only way to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction. As well as recognising the link between product quality and customer satisfaction, TQM also recognises that product quality is the result of process quality. As a result, there is a focus on continuous improvement of the company's processes. This will lead to an improvement in process quality. In turn this will lead to an improvement in product quality, and to an increase in customer satisfaction. Improvement cycles are encouraged for all the company's activities such as product development and the way customer relationships are managed. This implies that all activities include measurement and monitoring of cycle time and responsiveness as a basis for seeking opportunities for improvement.
Elimination of waste is a major component of the continuous improvement approach. There is also a strong emphasis on prevention rather than detection, and an emphasis on quality at the design stage. The customer-driven approach helps to prevent errors and achieve defect-free production. When problems do occur within the product development process, they are generally discovered and resolved before they can get to the next internal customer. Fast response To achieve customer satisfaction, the company has to respond rapidly to customer needs. This implies short product and service introduction cycles. These can be achieved with customer-driven and process-oriented product development because the resulting simplicity and efficiency greatly reduce the time involved.
Simplicity is gained through concurrent product and process development. Efficiencies are realised from the elimination of non-value-adding effort such as product re-design. The result is a dramatic improvement in the elapsed time from product concept to first shipment. Actions based on facts The statistical analysis of engineering and manufacturing facts is an important part of TQM. Facts and analysis provide the basis for planning, review and performance tracking, improvement of operations, and comparison of performance with competitors. The TQM approach is based on the use of objective data, and provides a rational rather than an emotional basis for decision making. The statistical approach to process management in both engineering and manufacturing recognises that most problems are system-related, and are not caused by particular employees. In practice, data is collected and put in the hands of the people who are in the best position to analyse it and then take the appropriate action to reduce costs and prevent non-conformance. Usually these people are not managers but workers in the process. If the right information is not available, then the analysis, whether it be of shop floor data, or engineering test results, can't take place, errors can't be identified, and so errors can't be corrected.
A successful TQM environment requires a committed and well-trained work force that participates fully in quality improvement activities. Such participation is reinforced by reward and recognition systems which emphasize the achievement of quality objectives. On-going education and training of all employees supports the drive for quality. Employees are encouraged to take more responsibility, communicate more effectively, act creatively, and innovate. As people behave the way they are measured and remunerated, TQM links remuneration to customer satisfaction metrics.
A TQM culture
It's not easy to introduce TQM. An open, cooperative culture has to be created by management. Employees have to be made to feel that they are responsible for customer satisfaction. They are not going to feel this if they are excluded from the development of visions, strategies, and plans. It's important they participate in these activities. They are unlikely to behave in a responsible way if they see management behaving irresponsibly - saying one thing and doing the opposite. Product development in a TQM environment Product development in a TQM environment is very different to product development in a non-TQM environment. Without a TQM approach, product development is usually carried on in a conflictual atmosphere where each department acts independently. Short-term results drive behavior so scrap, changes, work-arounds, waste, and rework are normal practice. Management focuses on supervising individuals, and fire-fighting is necessary and rewarded. Product development in a TQM environment is customer-driven and focused on quality. Teams are process-oriented, and interact with their internal customers to deliver the required results. Management's focus is on controlling the overall process, and rewarding teamwork. Awards for Quality achievement The Deming Prize has been awarded annually since 1951 by the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers in recognition of outstanding achievement in quality strategy, management and execution. Since 1988 a similar award (the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award) has been awarded in the US. Early winners of the Baldrige Award include AT&T (1992), IBM (1990), Milliken (1989), Motorola (1988), Texas Instruments (1992) and Xerox (1989).