Total Quality Management

Definition of Total Quality Management

Total Quality Management (TQM) is also referred to as total productive maintenance. It is the approach of the management to achieve long-term success by focusing on customer satisfaction. The organization works towards a steady improvement in the quality at all stages of production. TQM also helps towards reducing risks in manufacturing, improving the customer experience and ensures that the employees are well versed and up-to-date with their training. TQM holds every individual accountable for the overall quality of the production.

After gaining an understanding of TQM, let’s have a look at how to implement the same.

How to Implement Total Quality Management?

The following are the ways of implementing TQM in an organization:

Customer Focused

The customer experiences and judges the level of quality. An organization may invest in a number of methods such as upgrading software and computers, training employees, buying new measuring tools or integrating quality into the design process. This would improve the overall production quality of the products thereby leading to higher customer satisfaction.

Total Employee Involvement

All employees should contribute in achieving a common goal. A proper environment in the management and fear driven from the workplace will help in attaining total employee commitment. Normal business operations should be integrated with high-performance work systems to achieve steady improvement.

Total Quality Management

Process Centered

Process evaluation can contribute in gaining TQM. A process involves taking inputs from internal as well as external suppliers. These inputs are later converted into outputs and delivered to the customers.

Strategic and Systematic Approach

Implementing a strategic and systematic approach will help in gaining an organization’s mission, vision and goals. Formulating a strategic plan that focuses on quality is referred to as strategic management or strategic planning.

Continuous Improvement

Continuous process improvement helps drive TQM to a great extent. A requirement for continuous improvement drives an organization in finding creative and analytical ways in handling stakeholder expectations in an effective manner.

Fact-based Decision Making

Data on performance measures of the organization should be collected on a regular basis. Consistent analysis of the collected data improves decision-making accuracy and permits future predictions on the basis of past history.


Effective communications boost employee motivation and maintain a good morale in the organization. Effective communication should be a part of not just the times of organizational change but also as a part of day-to-day activities and operations.

The above process can be accomplished using the tools for TQM mentioned hereunder.

Tools for Total Quality Management

The following are the basic tools for achieving TQM:

Cause-and-Effect Diagram

Cause-and-effect diagram assists in identifying the possible causes for an effect and sorts ideas into suitable categories.

Check Sheet

Check sheet is an organized and arranged form for accumulating data. This tool can be utilized for a number of purposes.

Control Charts

The changes in the process over time are portrayed in control charts.


Histogram portrays frequency distributions and determines how often a specific value occurs in a set of data.

Pareto Chart

It is a bar graph displaying more significant factors over the rest.

Scatter Diagram

Scatter diagram shows pairs of numerical data with variable on a different axis to determine relationships.


The technique of bifurcating data accumulated from a variety of sources so that patterns can be spotted by Stratification.

Total Quality Management Examples

TQM at Ford Motor Company:

TQM practices were implemented by Ford Motor Company in the 1980’s. They adopted the slogan of “Quality is Job 1”. Ford later entered into a partnership with paint supplier ChemFil. The companies then worked towards producing a stable work environment, profitability, effective management and better quality products. They later changed the slogan to, “Quality People, Quality Products”. The organizations believed that a quality product that meets customer needs translates into financial success. This in turn helps in profit maximisation.

Implementation of TQM made sure that processes at all stages of productions were constantly developed upon, strictly followed and improved time and again through customer quality satisfaction surveys.


Total Quality Management is a contemporary approach to the management of the whole organization. It ensures strict levels of quality at every stage of production. Therefore, if implemented in a strict and correct manner, it will lead to customer satisfaction thereby leading to wealth maximisation for the organization.1–4

total quality management. asq. December 2018. [Source]
seven basic quality tools. asq. December 2018. [Source]
Scheid                  Jean. Ford Motor Company and Total Quality Management (TQM): A History. Bright Hub PM. December 2018. [Source]
total quality management. kbmanage. December 2018. [Source]
Last updated on : August 28th, 2019
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