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4.10 - Total Quality Organization – Systems


Total Quality Management (TQM) is the over-arching business culture or ethical environment and management style that encourages the use of tools, techniques and initiatives that contribute to the business objectives of an organization.

The restructuring of a business into Natural Groupings instead of traditional functions will allow control systems to be simplified.

Traditional Systems

  • Rely on large complex databases which cannot be accurately maintained and are not owned
  • Rely on paperwork or computing to chase work through larges numbers of offices
  • Fail to provide customer satisfaction
  • Have high overheads with over 60% non-value added activities
  • Are top-down imposed
  • Develop over-complicated procedures and excessive paperwork
  • Have inappropriate measures of performance for manufacturing systems and Just-in-time operation.
  • Encourage job specialisation with multiple payment systems based on job titles rather than skill levels
  • Have poor quality of performance

Systems Should

  • Assist process integration and be based on analysis of need
  • Facilitate control by recognising the basic business control systems
  • Provide customer satisfaction
  • Be appropriate for the cell or process group and relate to overall needs
  • Simplify operations and procedures and minimise paperwork
  • Have effective measures of performance reflecting business performance measures
  • Indicate achievement visibility with quality feedback
  • Have operator responsibility and ensure reliability in support of a right first time philosophy



  • Achievement of plan
  • Stock Turns
  • Product Quality
  • Lead times
  • Sales arrears
  • Competitor performance
  • Value-added per employee
  • Process Control
  • Audit Process
  • Poka yoke, Taguchi, FMEA
  • Zero defect policy
  • Kanban & JIT
  • Module Scheduling and control
  • Departmental purpose analysis
  • Continuous improvement mechanism
  • Competitor analysis

Important Features for Systems Improvement

  • Clear measures of performance both business and customer oriented
  • Relevant local measures of performance for each cell
  • Identification of waste at source to reduce non-value-added activities
  • On-line problem identification and solutions
  • Use relevant data and problem definition procedures (e.g. Pareto) to focus on priority problems
  • Integrate top-down and bottom-up communication systems
  • Staff appraisal and career trajectory development supported by training
  • Supportive of innovation with clear development targets
  • Internal and external customer / supplier relationships
  • Single payment system based on skills and not jobs to provide motivation and recognition and reward performance
  • Pay attention to methods for project management of change and ensure each project has a resource to match its time scale

We must move



Practices which create expensive non-value added work

The determination of wasteful practices and procedures



Incentives to do the wrong things

Incentives to do the right things



Automation of fragmentation and complexity

Simplify before automation



One-way communication

Two-way communication



A just to late basis

A just-in-time basis via up-front analysis / planning



Seat of the pants judgement processes

Systematic problem definition, analysis and solution procedures

Further Reading