Business Process Management:

Quality Management

Total Quality Management (TQM)

An Integrated Approach to Quality and Continuous Improvement

By: Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Inspiration and Innovation Unlimited!

Author of Smart & Fast mini-course "Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF)"


Best Efficienccy Improvement Sites, Best Kaizen Sites, Best Lean Manufacturing Sites

"If you put a spoonful of wine in a barrel of sewage, you get sewage. If you put a spoonful of sewage in a barrel full of wine, you get sewage."

~ Schopenhauer's Law of Entropy


Five Main Advantages of TQM

  1. Encourages a strategic approach to management at the operational level through involving multiple departments in cross-functional improvements and systemic innovation processes

  2. Provides high return on investment through improving efficiency

  3. Works equally well for service and manufacturing sectors

  4. Allows organizations to take advantage of developments that enable managing operations as cross-functional processes

  5. Fits an orientation toward inter-organizational collaboration and strategic alliances through establishing a culture of collaboration among different departments within organization

TQM and Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF)

Two different perspectives of the same phenomenon

  • The TQM Perspective – the beliefs and practices required of management to bring about and perpetuate a continuous improvement firm (CIF).

  • The CIF Perspective – the organization itself in all its integrity, full-blown, operating and practicing the total quality management (TQM) approaches.


TQM and Just-in-Time (JIT)

  • JIT – seeks improvement through reduction of waste

  • TQM – ensures that the improvements are fundamental and not superficial

Barriers to Successful TQM

  • Lack of long-term commitment and leadership for management

  • Insufficient empowerment of workers

  • Lack of cross-functional, cross-disciplinary efforts

  • Misdirected focus – emphasis on the trivial many problems facing the company rather than a critical few

  • Emphasis on internal processes to the neglect of external  - customer-focused results

  • Lack of focus in training and coaching

  • Lack of cost-of-quality measurement, performance reporting, and reward/formal recognition systems

  • Emphasis on quick fixes and low-level reforms, short-term performance at the expense of long-term improvements

8 Rules for Quality Management

  • Focus all functions and levels of your organization on quality and continuous improvement. Build a companywide lasting commitment to the process of continuous improvement. Involve multiple departments in cross-functional quality improvements processes... More

Main Difference Between TQM and Six Sigma

  • Total Quality Management (TQM) programs focus on improvement in individual operations with unrelated processes

  • Six Sigma focuses on making improvements in all operations within a process

Main Subjects for Suggestions in Japanese Companies

  • Improvements in product quality... More

The Toyota Way: 14 Principles

Canon Production System (CPS) includes:

Two Key Management Concepts Supporting the TQM Strategy

  1. Cross-functional management

  2. Policy deployment

Balanced Organization

5 Basic Elements

Corporate Culture (Earth):

Why TQM?

"Quality is everyone's responsibility." ~ Edward Deming

TQM refers to an integrated approach by management to focus all functions and levels of an organization on quality and continuous improvement. Over the years TQM has become very important for improving a firm's process capabilities in order to achieve fit and sustain competitive advantages. TQM focuses on encouraging a continuous flow of incremental improvements from the bottom of the organization's hierarchy. TQM is not a complete solution formula as viewed by many formulas can not solve managerial problems, but a lasting commitment to the process of continuous improvement.


The Main Driving Force

The main driving force of TQM is customer satisfaction.

Customer Success 360

Deming's 14 Point's Plan for TQM

Point 1: Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of the product and service so as to become competitive, stay in business and provide jobs.

Point 2: Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. We no longer need live with commonly accepted levels of delay, mistake, defective material and defective workmanship.

Point 3: Cease dependence on mass inspection; require, instead, statistical evidence that quality is built in... More

 Case in Point  14 TQM Slogans at Pentel

Pentel is a Japanese firm manufacturing stationary products. The following is a list of 14 Pentel's slogans for explaining Total Quality Management (TQM) and Quick and Easy Kaizen philosophy to its employees.

  • Be problem-conscious at all times... More

Implementation of Kaizen Strategy: 7 Conditions

One of the most difficult aspects of introducing and implementing Kaizen strategy is assuring its continuity.

Kaizen Mindset

When a company introduces something new, such as quality circles, or total quality management (TQM), it experiences some initial success, but soon such success disappear like fireworks on summer night and after a while nothing is left, and management keeps looking for a new flavor of the month.

This if because the company lacks the first three most important conditions for the successful introduction and implementation of Kaizen strategy... More

TQM Requires Cultural Transformation

With TQM quality is not the product but the process. To institute the process, corporate trainers must bring about a cultural transformation wherein all employees shed their individualism for a unified set of corporate values.

TQM was the brainchild of Dr. W. Edward Deming. TQM helped Japan with its postwar economic recovery. That was because it meshed with Japanese culture... More

8 Best Practices of Successful Companies

Be the Best Possible

10 Tips by Ten3 NZ Ltd.


  • Quality is not just product related.  Quality is not just the product; it's a combination of the product and "add-ons," i.e. packaging, availability, convenience of use and value adding customer service, etc.  The same applies to you in the employment market. Possessing a tertiary qualification may only get you 50% of the way towards being internally promoted or externally employed.  The other 50% will depend upon what your acquired "add-ons" are, i.e. what makes you more valuable than your competitor in the mind of potential employers/customers.  Ask yourself "what value adding skills have I acquired and applied to my work within the past 2 years that demonstrate skill flexibility, continuing career development and quality as an employee?"... More

Three Stages of the Suggestion System

1. Encouragement. In the first stage, management should make every effort to help the workers provide suggestions, no matter how primitive, for the betterment of the worker's job and the workshop. This will help the workers look at the way they are doing their jobs... More

 Case in Point  Canon

The objectives of Canon Production System (CPS) are to manufacture better quality products at lower cost and deliver them faster. To achieve these goals, 9 wastes are to be eliminated... More

Lean Enterprise: 13 Tips

 Case in Point  Wall-Mart

In his 10 Rules  for Building a Business Success, Sam Walton, the Founder of Wall-Mart advises: "Listen to everyone in your company and figure out ways to get them talking. The folks on the front lines the ones who actually talk to the customer are the only ones who really know what's going on out there. You'd better find out what they know. This really is what total quality is all about. To push responsibility down in your organization, and to force good ideas to bubble up within it, you must listen to what your associates are trying to tell you."

TPS-Lean Six Sigma

TPS-Lean Six Sigma is like a ‘turbo-charged’ Lean Six Sigma program. TPS-Lean Six Sigma is a revolutionary, holistic concept. It actively has human capital embedded in Lean Six Sigma in a manner that not only stimulates commitment, integrity, work-life balance, passion, enjoyment at work and employee engagement but also stimulates individual and team learning in order to develop a motivated workforce and sustainable performance improvement and quality enhancement for the organization... More

Cross-functional Management

Cross-functional management (CFM) manages business processes across the traditional boundaries of the functional areas. CFM relates to coordinating and synergizing the activities of different units for realizing the superordinate cross-functional goals and policy deployment. It is concerned with building a better system for achieving such cross-functional goals as innovation, quality, cost, and delivery.

In Total Quality Management (TQM) and Kaizen, the cross-functional goals of QCD (Quality, Cost, Delivery) are clearly defined as superior to such line functions as planning, design, production and sales... More

Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF): Kaizen, Lean Manufacturing, Suggestion Systems, TQM






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  1. Kaizen, 25 PowerPoint slides by Factory Strategies Group LLC

  2. Lean Manufacturing Overview, 42 PowerPoint slides by Factory Strategies Group LLC

  3. Continuous Improvement Firm, Vadim Kotelnikov


Quality Management

Deming's 14 Point Plan for Total Quality Management (TQM)

Edward Deming Quotes

Business Processes

10 Commandments of Improvement

Enterprise-wide Business Process Management (EBPM)

8 Essential Principles of EBPM

Lean Production

Kaizen Mindset

Quick and Easy Kaizen

Successful Implementation of Kaizen Strategy: 7 Conditions

7 Principles of Toyota Production System (TPS)

5 Elements of Enabling a Lean Approach

9 Waste Categories and 6 Guidelines of the Canon's Suggestion System

Five Ss at Canon

Lean Manufacturing Quotes