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Important Issues

Although important to the implementation of Total Quality Management, implementation

of the fourteen universal points and elimination of the five deadly diseases are only a part
of the TQM transformation. Other TQM issues are discussed as follows.
Quality Framework
Three quality factors must exist in an organization for Total Quality Management to be
successful. One, the organization must have an established base level of service. Two, it
must have interaction and direct contact the public. Three, it must have the proper service
surroundings, such as the quality of its buildings, vehicles, and equipment. Once the
quality framework is established, an organization must determine its focus.
Organization Focus
Before Total Quality Management implementation, upper management must first
determine the organizations common purpose or focus. This focus sets the stage for the
implementation process. Focus consists of three elements: the vision, the mission
statement, and values of the organization. The vision is where the organization wants to
be in the future. It reflects the organizations continuous quest for excellence and its
pursuit to fulfill customer quality expectations. Top management creates the vision, but
the entire organization must embrace it for it to have meaning. The mission statement
describes the organizations basic purpose and expected results. Values guide the
organizations conduct. They describe ways of communicating within the organization,
guide relationships with customers, and generally establish ground rules for how the
organization will operate. Once an organization determines its focus, it must begin
empowering its employees.
Employee Empowerment
Empowering the workforce involves giving employees a degree of control over the
organizations operation. When empowered, employees feel they are an active part of the
organizations decision-making process and they have an organizational sense of "family"
. Once empowered, employees begin to take pride and ownership in their work, which
may lead to improvement in their job performance, which then may increases overall
organizational quality. As employees become more involved in the organization, they
become self-motivated and do not require as much direct praise or monitoring from
managers. As a part of the empowerment process, employees are permitted more
management participation.
Participative Management
Participative management advocates using the cumulative skills and expertise of
employees to solve problems and improve service quality. It calls for all members of a
organization to share authority, responsibility, accountability, and decision making.

Although it emphasizes group effort, a leader is needed who is responsible for keeping
the group on track and making final decisions on group suggestions.
Delegation of responsibility and authority is required for participative management to be
successful. Delegation is entrusting the responsibility and authority to complete a task to
another person. Along with this trust comes accountability, which is holding the other
person accountable for acceptable completion of the task. Many managers manage by the
philosophy "If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself," so they find delegation
difficult. Other managers do not mind delegating responsibility, but they are reluctant to
delegate authority.
Participative management may meet resistance from all organizational levels. Managers
may resist it since they may fear losing control or worry they will no longer be needed.
Organizational traditions may hamper its use since it is so different from the way things
have been done for so long. Unions may reject the team concept of participative
management because they fear that allowing workers to mix with management may
reduce union control of workers. Workers may reject assumption of any responsibility for
quality, maintaining that quality is the responsibility of management. Organizational
reward systems may be detrimental to participative management since they tend to
recognize quantity, not quality. They usually reward individual production, not group
Participative management involves giving employees membership on committees that
make recommendations on changes to organizational polices. Since TQM requires the
formation and use of numerous committees, it has been called management-bycommittee.
Total Quality Management uses committees to analyze specific processes and
recommend changes. Three main committees are used: the executive steering committee,
the quality management board, and the process action team. These committees are
discussed in detail as follows.
The executive steering committee (ESC) is the core TQM committee. It is composed of
top managers from each department who develop the organizations focus, guide the
organizations cultural change, and manage resources used in the TQM process. The ESC
issues charters that create the next level of committees, the quality management boards,
as they are needed. A charter delineates a boards composition, purpose, and the specific
area it is to examine .
A quality management board (QMB) is an interdepartmental, cross-sectional group of
middle managers created by the ESC to study a specific problem the committee has
identified. The ESC may create as many quality management boards as it feels are
necessary and a QMB may in turn charter process action teams to analyze and gather data
on specific problems or processes.

A process action team (PAT) is a group of lower level supervisors and workers created by
a QMB to gather detailed data that it may use to justify its recommendations to the ESC.
The PAT is the workhorse of the committee process; it does the legwork required to
gather enough data to analyze a process adequately.
In a routine TQM quality improvement process, the ESC is first made aware of a problem
by input from employees or customers. It considers the problem, and if it deems the
problem worthy of further study, it charters a QMB to analyze the problem in detail.
Many times more information is required on the problem than the QMB may collect on
its own, so it may charter a PAT to collect the data. The QMB analyzes the data received
from the PAT, and any other information the board has collected, and makes
recommendations to the ESC on possible solutions to the problem. The ESC considers
the recommendations and then either rejects them, forwards them "as is" to the head
administrator, makes modifications and forwards them, or returns them to the QMB for
more study.
Other types of TQM committees may be used to accomplish specific tasks, such the
quality circle, process involvement team, and the self-managed team. A quality circle is
usually composed of persons within the same department who try to solve minor
problems with minimal management direction. A process involvement team is composed
of members from the same department, or from other departments, who work on specific
problems in a work process. A self-managed team is a cross-functional, interdepartmental
task force with no manager or supervisor that is formed to attack an immediate problem
that needs a quick solution.
All these committees must constantly collect and analyze data. Total Quality
Management requires extensive statistical analysis to study processes and improve
Use of Statistics
Total Quality Management requires constant statistical measurement of quality to monitor
performance. All members of an organization must become proficient in the use of
statistics to the level required by their position or job. This means an organization must
conduct extensive statistical training for all employees. As with other management styles,
Total Quality Management has advantages and disadvantages that should be considered
when deciding whether TQM is the best management style for an organization.