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Total Quality Management

According to ISO, Quality management is “that aspect of the overall management function that determines and implements quality policy and as such is the responsibility of top management.” It is a managerial responsibility and controls all activates of the organization. It is the “management of quality, totally and fully in all respects, small areas and all activities of organization, right from top to bottom.”

It applies managerial efforts to change the entire approach to business and make quality a guiding factor in everything that an organization does. The core of Total Quality Management is that managerial attention is focused on every organization activity, howsoever small it may be. It aims at continuous improvement of the organization and focuses on total satisfaction of consumers, both internal and external. Defined as a tool for effective management, TQM refers to “organization’s long-term commitment to the continuous improvement of quality-throughout the organization, and with the active participation of all members at all levels-to meet and exceed customers’ expectations”. TQM is a marked shift form a process, driven by external control though compliance of procedures to a process of habitual improvement, where control is embedded within and driven by the culture of the organization. TQM is a continuous long-term process that involves constant managerial efforts to recognize and reinforce quality through continuous data collection, evaluation, and feedback and improvement programmers. For TQM to be effective, organization has to be a learning organization. That is, all organizational members , from top to bottom , both managerial and non-managerial have to endeavour  for continuous training and education, measurement, accountability, recognition and rewards, communication and teamwork.

TQM is, thus, a continuous process of improvement for individual, groups and the entire organization, where managers change the organization’s way of working by developing people’s knowledge about what to do, how to do, doing it with the  right methods and measuring improvement of the process and the level of achievement .

The concept of TQM can be understood by understanding the terms that make the concept. These are.

1.    Total : Everyone in the company is involved in continuous improvement including customers 
        and suppliers.

2.    Quality: Customers’ stated and implied requirements are fully met.

3.    Management: Executives are fully committed.

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