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4.08 - The Total Quality Organization

The Total Quality Organisation (TQO) is an organisation that is fully committed to quality that:-

Focuses on:

Continuous Process Improvement

  • Everything as a process
  • The use of Scientific methods - decisions supported by facts / data
  • Perfection as the goal


Universal Participation

  • Everyone
  • Everywhere
  • Individuals and teams

Resulting In:

Customer Satisfaction

  • Exceeding expectations


Internal and External Customers

There are three factors that dictate how an organisation functions and how that organisation is perceived. These are shown below:-

Three factors for Total Quality

Success comes from the right balance between these three factors which should be supportive of the concepts outlined above.

CultureThe combination of company values and management style and employee attitudes and reactions to these values supported by training.
StructureFormal reporting relationships usually shown by an organisational chart that trades off specialisation and natural group integration of people, jobs and departments.
SystemsProcedures, formal and informal which match organisational ‘Ownerships’, some of which are supported by information technology.

In principle it should be possible to run a manufacturing product unit with only three mixed discipline office groups linked by clearly defined input / output interfaces:

  • Commercial Operational (including Finance)
  • Manufacturing Operations
  • Development, (i.e. Marketing, Product Development, and Manufacturing Development)

Support systems and their ownership should map onto these. In practice the three major groupings may have a few natural sub-groups.

Definition of a Total Quality Organisation

  • Has a clear focus on the needs of its customers and markets
  • Understands it competitors and their performance in detail
  • Has a good communication procedure and visibly acknowledges good work
  • Operates with the simplest possible structures and procedures
  • Has a clear view of improvements required in its overall measures of performance and ensures that the implications of these are escalated into detailed locally relevant Targets down to every unit of the company
  • Continually scrutinises all processes for the elimination of non-value added activities and waste
  • Has a balanced mix of Operations and Development functions, ensuring both short and long term requirements are met by setting relevant targets
  • Uses well managed multi-disciplinary team approaches for problem definition and solution to meet business priorities
  • Achieves top quality world class levels of performance in all functions, whether manufacturing or service, not just in product quality and uses locally relevant measures to drive this.
Further Reading