TQM Should Not Be Rushed
TQM initiatives are becoming more and more important in business these days. Almost every business we as consumers deal with today is considering or has already begun the move toward Quality Management as their business model rather than the past business model of getting the work done without shutting down the business process.
One thing TQM is not however is a fast process. The reason I mention this is that there are companies that have begun the process of moving toward Total Quality within their business activities and are looking for results within a few months. Management is told to stay on employees and not let them slack, to take control of the workflow and make sure it does not slow down and to keep improving. This causes a serious problem that is hazardous to Quality management.
TQM takes as much time to achieve as it takes to develop. In fact there are few organizations that achieve their quality goals in less than an entire year. TQM is a process that takes business and improves it to a standard that is in line with what the customers of the business in question desire of the products or services and then moves beyond that. In fact, TQM is a continuous process of business improvement that seeks to increase customer satisfaction and product quality at all times. Some may call TQM a never ending process of self improvement for the business entity.
Quality management takes a close look at all the functions of a business’s day to day processes to see where variations from expected are, or even where improvements can be made. The problem with rushing a TQM process is that actual problems could be overlooked or troubled processes could be included in the updated processes once all the details have been worked out. Even worse, newer problems as there are often with early TQM could be introduced to the business without a solution because things were ignored or bypassed.
TQM is a process that needs time to ferment and time to reap the rewards. Not to say that Quality management should be a slow process, but it should be a process of discovery and change. When an organization gives the TQM processes the time it needs to work its way into the normal business routine it delivers good rewards for that organization. But if a TQM process is rushed it could be disastrous for that organization.
The best practice within any Quality movement is to be patient and understanding with the results of each process. The first few results when measured maybe way down because of the changes or resistance to changes, but given time and repetition the process will work its way into the everyday routine of the organization and become integrated once ingrained. TQM will change the habits of the organization from reactive to proactive within a set time frame seeing that the process is not changed prematurely or interrupted before it matures. Given the time it needs however, TQM will make an organization a formidable competitor in any marketplace.