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Total Quality Management (TQM) and Quality

T otal Quality Management is a structured system for satisfying internal and external customers and suppliers by integrating the business environment, continuous improvement, and breakthroughs with development, improvement, and maintenance cycles while changing organizational culture.

One of the keys to implementing TQM can be found in this definition. It is the idea that TQM is a structured system.  In describing TQM as a structured system, I mean that it is a strategy derived from internal and external customer and supplier wants and needs that have been determined through Daily Management, Hoshin, Hoshin Management, and Cross-Functional Management.

Pinpointing internal and external requirements allows us to continuously improve, develop, and maintain quality, cost, delivery, and morale.  TQM is a system that integrates all of this activity and information.

When all of its elements are implemented properly, TQM is like a well-built house.  It's solid, strong, and cohesive.  If TQM is not planned for and implemented correctly, it will be structurally weak and will probably fail.

Hoshin is a one-year plan for achieving objectives developed in conjunction with managements choice of specific targets and means in quality, cost, delivery, and morale. Accordingly, Hoshin can be described as follows.

Hoshin = Targets + Means

A target statement can be established by combining at least one direction word, performance measure, target value for the performance measure, and time period. Example: Decrease new product development cycle from 8 to 4 months by December 1995. After determining a target based on this rule, the means for achieving the target should be determined. For example, to accomplish decreasing the new product development cycle from 8 to 4 months by December 1995, the means may be: Establish an effective development process Develop documentation for the product development Implement QFD within the quality assurance system Depending on the particular organization, the means will differ from other organizations that share the same targets. Customarily, there are a few means for each target. It is consequential to determine both the targets and means for Hoshin. The hierarchical management levels, such as top management and middle management, need to determine the Hoshin according to the above rules.

Hoshin Management is the PDCA (development), CAPD (improvement), and SDCA (maintenance) activities for achieving the Hoshin big picture of TQM.

1. Determine Hoshin

In phase one, Hoshin will be determined by the top management. Hoshin should be executed with targets and means for achieving targets.

While top management is determining the Hoshin, middle and line management also should determine the Hoshin based on their experiences and historical data (if necessary) by themselves. In this phase, it is unnecessary for any levels of the organization to brainstorm each target and mean between the levels.

2. Deploy Hoshin

After determining the Hoshin for each level of management, it is necessary to identify if there are Hoshin relationships between the top and middle levels and the middle and line levels in the organization.

Deploying Hoshin is called catchball. It is important for any organization to understand the what targets should be achieved and how to do so. During the catchball process, it is necessary to reach the consensus for targets and means between varying levels of the organization.  Since targets and means will be determined individually, it is necessary and important to identify the relationships between targets and means of each level and targets between the different levels of the organization.

An example of a failure in Hoshin deployment follows. Top management, individually, determines a one million dollar sales target. The necessary means for this target are determined to be 0.5 million dollar sales for product A and 0.5 million dollar sales for product B. Each mean then becomes a target for middle management. Therefore, in theory, top management doesn't have to do anything to achieve the target because all however levels of management now have the responsibility to achieve the targets set by top management. In true targets and means deployment, these problems will be avoided

3. Implement Hoshin

After adjusting the Hoshin, the means for Hoshin should be implemented. During the implementation, each target should be measured using performance measures from the target statement. Ideally, it is necessary to determine how often the performance measures should be reviewed prior to implementing the means.

4. Review Hoshin

Using charts or diagrams, run chart and pareto chart, the performance measure in the target statement should be measured. Measurement should be performed by each level of management. Thus, from top to bottom, all members related to Hoshin should observe the performance measure for each level.

5. Adjust Hoshin

If the Hoshin target is achieved, the target value should be accordingly adjusted. Existing target values might be low or activities for the means might be highly effective. In both cases, it is significant to realize why and how the targets were achieved. The case may be that the target values do not require adjustment. It should be decided, depending on the organizational situation, if the target value needs adjustment.

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