Total Quality Management
Pitfalls To Avoid


TQM Pitfalls

Undefined Role Of Middle Management


If you are thinking of introducing TQM into you organisation, make sure that all influential people in management are on your side. Especially middle management who are pivotal in any organisation: They will act like filters to lower groups in the organisation: they communicate much more frequently with lower management than the top-level people.

There are two ways to deal with this: Get middle management to start participating at an early stage of your implementing the TQM. This has the advantage that they will have a lot of valuable insights as to the workings within your company. They can even have a special effect in reaching a successful Total Quality Management strategy.

Alternatively, if middle management is too opposed to TQM and the goals of top-management, then certain re-organisation may be necessary. Too much waste can take place with counter-productive power games that may occur if middle management are not integrated to the TQM implementation. Decide quickly before costs get too high.

The Annoying Quality Slogan


Slogans can end up having a disastrous effect on the motivation of employees.  As slogans usually oversimplify the quality goals; the existence of them will cause constant frustration because of its difference to the real-world experience within the organisation.

Who hasn’t experienced employees quoting a company slogan or title of some “rationalisation project” and rolling their eyes at the same time. Only introduce a slogan when it is perceived as being something positive.

As Henry Ford once said “You can’t build a reputation on something you haven’t done yet”.


Culture Replaces System Pitfall


Unfortunately, there is a large misconception that by introducing TQM concepts into an organisation, there will be no need for the more formalized requirements of an ISO9000 standard. No, the fact is that TQM is built upon the concepts of inspection, Quality Control and Quality Assurance.

It is all these, together with added principles concerning Customer-Supplier relationships, employees, continual improvement and culture.


The Understanding Of Quality


As Quality has been defined as the meeting of requirements, it has adopted a role of being a statement of correctness of the product. This means how correctly the product fulfills the requirements placed on it in a specification.

Quality, especially in the eyes of the customer, has another meaningful aspect and that is Effectiveness. The quality of your company’s product must also be effective – it must be able to do the right job for the customer.

Train people and avoid this total quality management pitfall with ease. 


Quote By Crosby on QualityQuality is free...but "Unquality" costs.

Wrong Focus - A Major Total Quality Management Pitfall



As Quality has been defined as the meeting of requirements, it has adopted a role of being a statement of correctness of the product. This means how correctly the product fulfills the requirements placed on it in a specification.

Quality, especially in the eyes of the customer, has another meaningful aspect and that is Effectiveness. The quality of your company’s product must also be effective – it must be able to do the right job for the customer.


Measuring Using The Wrong Indicators



Not looking at customer satisfaction ranks and ratings as an important resource for checking exactly how well the company is doing.

Certainly, the measurement of customer satisfaction is a huge and time-intensive undertaking, but done correctly can be measured up against the costs of mistakes that could have been avoided if one did not do such a survey. 


This is indeed an important Total Quality Management Pitfall you can easily avoid. 


Teams Competing With Each Other



Many companies have allowed different teams to focus on the same topics. This will certainly lead to competition and possible hostilities arising as the teams try to outrun the other.

This has lead to unnecessarily high amounts of money being invested on overblown solutions. The hostility to which team gets the reward creates a hostility that can be hard to resolve.


Replicating Others



What may have worked really well for one company may not be the solution for another. Basically, the cultural differences between companies will make all the difference whether an activity is a success or not.

An example of this is the setting up of an anonymous suggestions scheme. This will possibly flourish in an environment where the culture may not support open discussion and a no-blame culture. In an environment where problems can be freely discussed, you will have no need for anonymity.

So, replicating what will have worked for another company without thinking of the impact and environment it is going into, can be a major pitfall.


Appropriateness Of TQM



Sometimes a decision is made to introduce TQM in areas where it just is not appropriate.

Here is one major Total Quality Management Pitfall you can avoid.

Asking the question first, whether TQM is suitable / appropriate or not. 


Situations where TQM
is appropriate 

Conditions:

Low competitive intensity 

Low strategic risk

Situations where TQM
is not appropriate 


High competitive intensity 

High strategic risk 


Markets:

Mature 

Augmented products 

Markets:

Developing, new Innovative, changing products


Competitive thrust:    

Long-term customer relationships Operational efficiency. 

Competitive thrust:   

Creative, innovative exploitation of markets. 

Aggressive sales and promotion


Technology:

Well-known processes 

Technology:

Unknown processes


Strategy formulation process:

Slow Cautious, conservative Incremental 

Strategy formulation process: 

Fast Flexible, risk taking Quantum


Source: Norman H. Chorn


I hope you liked our article on avoiding Total Quality Management Pitfalls. Here are follow-up articles that may be of interest to you. 

Looking at the other TQM Articles:



› Total Quality Management Pitfalls

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