Total Quality Management
How To Implement

By Engr. Irfan Ali

Ways of doing business are undergoing sea-change and an organization can no longer survive if it is insensitive to absorb the changes of surrounding environment—customers, investors, society at large and globalization. It is only human being who has capability of being sensitive to social needs and therefore, people constituting the organization have to have sensitivity towards the organization’s Purpose, Mission and Values.

Japanese Industry has evolved ‘Total Quality Management’ as a tool for managing excellence in their organizations which have taken them over 50 years to come to this stage. It is a process that developed over a period of time and people in Japan believe in the process. It is a rare phenomenon that an employee in a Japanese industry absents himself without prior/ timely information to his employer. This shows the faith the people have in the process of management. But how to build such a faith all around is the issue.

Majority of us have faith in Jaisa Karega Vai sa Bhrega. The whole TQM is based and built on this faith. Also people who have faith in what they are doing have highest chance of being successful. This faith is needed to be focused on one and that is TQM.

The Chief Executive of a company has to have total faith in the process of TQM if he has to succeed through it. He also has to have an open mind and belief in this process. This is the foundation of success of TQM.

There are many Chief Executive who believe in TQM, convinced about its relevance and potential, are enthusiastic about its implementation: but unable to connect as how to start and how to go on this journey. There is no one way to do it. However we present a simple way to start on the TQM journey.

Step 1: Appoint a representative or coordinator

We have to identify and nominate a senior executive to coordinate TQM activities in the organization. This person should have some qualities like belief in the process, good communicator, friendly and caring, good listener, good facilitator etc. He should also have good knowledge about the organization and report directly to Chief Executive Officer (CEO). It should always be remembered that responsibility and accountability of TQM remains with Chief Executive and TQM coordinator merely helps while performing the task.

Step 2: CEO to switch on to learning

This suggest that you should switch yourself to learning mode. You should create a liking for knowledge on TQM, participate in programs on TQM, read literature and listen to the people who have done it.

You should open up windows of your mind to see what is happening in the environment.

You should learn to face facts with smile.

You should learn to be a ‘giver’. A giver of encouragement, appreciation, motivation, guidance, information, new opportunities etc.

You should be willing to experience the process of TQM and be part of the solution.

You should develop human sensitivity. People in the organization are its greatest assets and human sensitivity is the most powerful tool to motivate them.

You should learn to treat every one in the organization as human beings an be sensitive to their needs.

Step 3: Purify Environment

People need to sink their differences, communicate with each other and develop mutual trust. If you allow people to socialize in a group periodically, you will observe, they will talk out their differences themselves and over a period of time they will develop mutual trust and communicate openly with each other.

To facilitate this, identify and form a team of senior management people representing most of the function in the organization. This group will be the CEO’s first level of partners in promoting TQM in the organization.

Conduct a workshop on vision, current realities, contradictions and strategies for the above group.

Form task forces out of the senior management group to tackle contradictions identified in the Vision Workshop. Review performance of these task forces every month.

Step 4 : Commitment to do it

You should demonstrate the commitment through framing the Quality Policy. Quality Policy should be practical. People should find it easy to understand and relate to their own role with it. Above all the content of Quality Policy should be visible in all your actions. Please remember that change will not take place overnight. It is a process. Once change sets in, it will blow up as ‘continuos improvement’.

Step 5 : Bring out purity of inner self

You should conduct a purpose, mission and value workshop for senior management group. Arrive at the draft document. You should listen to the voice of inner self while drafting the document.

Discuss this document with all the management executives and allow them to make suggestions for modifications.

People should have conviction to what is written in the document. Without conviction, there will be no commitment.

Once the draft document has been thoroughly discussed across the organization, adopt it and solemnize the values across the organization.

Step 6 : Prepare people to ring the bell in attainment

Prepare training plan of the people based on their needs. It is advisable to have an yearly calendar of in house programs. This should be mutually discussed and finalized.

All the people must be trained in 7-Tools of QC. Some should be trained in advanced tools of QC.

All the people should be trained in problem solving techniques and consensus decision making.

People should also be trained to participate in suggestion schemes and QC circles.

Step 7 : Lighting the lamp

Brighten up the dark areas across the organization and identify areas of weakness requiring action.

Prepare short term and long term action plans. Focus should be on process rather than result alone.

Please remember ‘Small is Beautiful’. Take only those areas where you can concentrate in the first phase.

The action plans should be mutually discussed and agreed to between the leaders and followers.

Step 8 : Empowering people

Encourage and empower people to perform but you have to lead the team yourself while executing TQM action plan.

Step 9 : Have a sense of gratitude to all

Speak to various people, go to their work places, review their programs and achievements, and give encouragement to perform better.

Step 10 : Share success with all

In TQM this is the most important step and one has to freely share information across the organization, share success through appreciation of one’s contribution. Provide motivation through new challenges and the level of human sensitivity in the organization.

It should always be remembered that you can’t do it alone. You need help. People are ready to help provided they trust that their future is in safe hand. Trust can not be shared. It builds through actions. Therefore, you have to be role model to demonstrate the Purpose, Mission and Values, and create human sensitivity in the organization. The process will lead the organization to greater heights of glory.