What is TQM (Total Quality Management)?

Precisely what is TQM? Total Quality Management (TQM) is a management system that, ideally, leads to increased customer satisfaction. In this approach, everyone at an organization partakes in changing processes, services, and products to serve customers better.

To answer “What is TQM?” look at the main components of strategy as well as implementation and components.

Five Elements of Total Quality Management

Continual improvement is the goal of TQM. To that end, everything—strategy, communications, and data—is leveraged. Providing a partial picture of “What is TQM?” the following tenets are part of modern quality management systems:

Customer-centric organization

The measures of success for customer satisfaction comes directly from the consumer. In TQM, the customer has the final word about improving your strategy, communications, and data. 

Company-wide involvement 

Every employee works toward a common goal, giving the customer the best experience. This comes from a place of empowerment instilled by management as they use systems for continual improvements. 

System-centered processes  

Systems thinking means modeling a process as a series of steps with triggers and relationships. Inputs transform into outputs through careful steps carried out in sequence. In part, the answer to “What is TQM?” is the sum of these systems. 

Evidence-based directives  

Data guides the decisions of management who collect information for the sole purpose of gauging performance. Analysis and reporting of data is a constant and regular process that allows management to achieve consensus more quickly. 

Morale-boosting communications 

Your organization, under TQM, progressively and incrementally changes over time. Communications play a role in motivating and catalyzing these changes. 

If you want to harness the attributes of Total Quality Management, define these principles of “What is TQM?” for your specific organization. Through core values, beliefs, and practices, you can cultivate a continually improving organization.

TQM Checklist

Every business process is a series of actions that work toward customer satisfaction. And, every business has many processes for many departments. In general, you want to do three things when implementing what you’ve learned about “What is TQM?”:

  • Start with modeling your core business processes and collecting data on their results.
  • Look at each process—and its outcome—to test whether you need to improve quality in that area.
  • Sharpen core processes to be completed and repeated to achieve total quality.

And, when it comes to your commitment, cooperation, and culture, ensure the following:

  • Gain complete commitment from all employees of your company or organization. Participation must help improve performance.
  • Continually enrich your culture with a modern quality improvement manifesto and mission. Focus your mission on customer expectations and requirements.
  • Allow all procedures and policies to evolve by a regular and predictable mechanism. It takes analysis and evidence-based actions from management.

Finally, you’ll feed all these efforts that will carry your organization toward greater success.

  • Map out how commitments and procedures will work together to sustain a culture. Strive for purposeful improvement and empowered problem-solving.

Learning More about “What is TQM?”

For more information about the goals, parts, and functions of TQM, here are some resources to help you become a Total Quality Management practitioner. Weigh these other answers to “What is TQM?”

To learn more about the evolution made possible by TQM, contact Sync Resource today for an individual consultation. See how we can improve and boost your customer satisfaction.

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founder of sync resource

About Author

Sunita Verma, Founder and President of Sync Resource started the company in 2009 with a vision to provide management consulting to small & medium size businesses around the country.
Sunita holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering(India) with prestigious gold medal by then President of India and renowned Scientist Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
As an active philanthropist she believes in pay it forward and is a contributing member of charitable organizations like St. Jude’s Foundation and North Fulton Charities.


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