Deming’s Contribution to TQM (Total Quality Management)

Deming's Contribution to TQM (Total Quality Management)

W. Edwards Deming, a Western statistician, was the founder of the third wave of the Industrial Revolution. During the 1920s, he developed statistical quality control and the concept of quality management.

The successful implementation of his approach has greatly contributed to Japan’s high reputation for quality and reliability and, therefore, to its industrial success. He is considered the main inventor of total quality management.

Deming’s Emphasis on Management’s Role in Quality Improvement

He emphasized top managers’ knowledge and their clear appreciation of the usefulness of statistical tools for achieving enhanced quality and increased productivity.

The fundamental concept of the Deming approach to TQM concerns the formation of an organizational system that fosters teamwork and learning. This facilitates the implementation of process management practices, which, in turn, leads to continuous improvement of processes, products, and services, as well as employee fulfillment.

Leadership and Continuous Improvement

According to Deming, it is the responsibility of top management to show the way in changing processes and systems. Leadership plays a key role in ensuring the success of quality management.

As he stated, top management is responsible for creating and communicating a vision to move the firm toward continuous improvement.

Management’s Responsibility for Quality Problems

Top management is responsible for most quality problems. They should provide workers with clear standards for acceptable work and the methods to achieve it. These methods include a suitable working environment and climate for work free of faultfinding, blame, or fear.

Identifying and Addressing Quality Issues

He highlighted issues such as identifying customer demands, forming supplier partnerships, using functional teams to identify and solve quality problems, improving employee skills, involving employees, and pursuing continuous improvement.

Effective Control and Management of Systems and Processes

To improve quality, it is imperative to have the ability to control and manage systems and processes effectively.

Deming advocated methodological practices such as the use of specific tools and techniques in the design, management, and improvement of processes with a view to reducing the unavoidable deviation that occurs from “common causes” and “special causes” in production.

Understanding “Common Causes” and “Special Causes”

“Common causes” of variations are systematic and are shared by many operators, machines, or products. They include poor product design, non-conforming incoming materials, and poor working conditions. These are the responsibilities of management. “Special causes” relate to the lack of knowledge or skill or poor performance.

Deining’s 14 Principles of TQM

Deming’s 14 principles, as mentioned below, suggest the essential pathway that helps companies to sustain productivity and competitiveness in the long run.

  1. Principle 1: Create stability of purpose toward the development of products and services. The aim is to become competitive, stay in business, and provide jobs.
  2. Principle 2: Adopt the new quality viewpoint. We can no longer live with commonly accepted levels of delays, mistakes, defective materials, and defective workmanship. Western management must awaken to the challenge, team up their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.
  3. Principle 3: Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place. Both manufacturing and purchasing functions require statistical evidence of built-in quality.
  4. Principle 4: Minimize total cost rather than awarding business based on the price tag. Shift toward a single supplier for any item on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.
  5. Principle 5: Regularly institute the system of production and service to improve quality and productivity and thus decrease costs regularly.
  6. Principle 6: Initiate on-the-job training.
  7. Principle 7: Introduce leadership. The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines do a better job. Management supervision is in need of an overhaul and supervision of production workers.
  8. Principle 8: Motivate two-way communications to drive out fear so people may work effectively for the company.
  9. Principle 9: Remove barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team to foresee problems of production and use that may be encountered with the product or service.
  10. Principle 10: Eliminate slogans, posters, and exhortations for the workforce, demanding zero defects and new productivity levels without providing methods. Such exhortations only create an adversarial relationship; the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the workforce.
  11. Principle 11: (a) Eradicate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor, (b) Eradicate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers and numerical goals.
  12. Principle 12: (a) Break down barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality, (b) Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This indicates, inter alia, abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by objective.
  13. Principle 13: Introduce a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
  14. Principle 14: Involve everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody’s job.

Deming Prize

The Deming Prize is a prestigious award in TQM. Established in 1951, it was named after Dr. William Edwards Deming (1900-1993), whose teachings helped Japan build its industrial foundation.

Deming contributed by teaching the basics of statistical quality control plainly and thoroughly. He donated the royalties of his lectures, which were compiled and sold, to executives, managers, engineers, and researchers of the Japanese industries.

In recognition of his contributions, the then-managing director of JUSE, Mr. Kenichi Koyanagi, proposed to fund a prize commemorating Deming’s contribution.

The JUSE’s board of directors unanimously resolved to establish the Deming Prize to promote the continued development of quality control in Japan. The JUSE now carries out the overall administrative costs of this prize.

Categories of the Deming Prize

There are three categories of the Deming Prize. These are:

  1. Deming Prize for Individuals,
  2. Deming Application Prize, and
  3. Quality Control Award for Operations Business Units.

A brief description of these three types of prizes is provided below:

Deming Prize for Individuals (or groups): This prize is given to those who have made outstanding contributions to the study of TQM or statistical methods used for TQM, or those who have made outstanding contributions in the dissemination of TQM.

Deming Application Prize: This prize is given to organizations or divisions of organizations that manage their business autonomously and that have achieved distinctive performance improvement through the application of TQM in a designated year.

Quality Control Award for Operations Business Units: This award is given to the operations business units of an organization that have achieved distinctive performance improvement through the application of quality control/management in the pursuit of TQM in a designated year.

Deming Prize for Individuals

Any person who fulfills the eligibility criteria may apply for the “Deming Prize for Individuals” regardless of nationality.

However, those whose activities are limited to outside Japan are not eligible for application. Either an individual may apply by himself or herself for the prize, or others may recommend a person’s name.

When recommended by others, the candidate may be asked to submit the records of his/her achievement. The Deming Prize for Individuals Subcommittee examines and selects the candidates for the Prize and reports to the Deming Prize Committee.

According to the report by the Subcommittee, the Deming Prize Committee determines the winners of the Prize.

Deming Application Prize

The Deming Application Prize is an annual award presented to a company that has achieved distinctive performance improvements through the application of TQM.

Any organization can apply for the Prize, be it public or private, large or small, or domestic or overseas. If a division of a company manages its business autonomously, it may apply for the Prize separately from the company.

The following evaluation criteria are used for the examination to determine whether or not the applicant should be awarded the Prize:

  1. The applicants have established challenging and customer-oriented business objectives and strategies under their clear management leadership, reflecting their management principles, industry, business, scope, and business environment.
  2. TQM has been implemented properly to achieve business objectives and strategies as mentioned in Item 1 above.
  3. As an outcome of Item 2, outstanding results have been obtained for business objectives and strategies, as stated in Item 1.

The Deming Application Prize Subcommittee examines and selects the candidates for the Prize.

A document examination is carried out based on the description of TQM practices submitted by the applicant company.

If the applicant company passes the document examination, an on-site examination is conducted. The Deming Prize Committee determines the winners of the Prize based on the report submitted by the subcommittee.

If the applicant has not attained a passing point score, final judgment is reserved, and unless the applicant requests withdrawal, the status is considered as “continued examination.” Subsequent examinations are limited to twice during the next three years.

The applicant is recognized as having passed the examination when he has sufficiently improved upon the previously noted issues and has achieved the necessary levels.

More than 160 companies have been awarded the Deming Application Prize. As a result, a quantum leap in the quality of their products and services has been achieved. The Deming Application Prize, which was born in Japan, has earned an internationally renowned reputation as a coveted quality award.

Quality Control Award for Operations Business Unit

This Award for Operations Business Units accommodates an individual business unit that is not eligible for the Deming Application Prize challenge.

To be eligible for this Award, the head of the business unit must possess management responsibilities for the budget.

In addition, the unit must have clearly established responsibilities and authorities for quality management within the business unit, with a clearly defined relationship with the head office or other related departments. The unit does not have to possess all quality management and assurance functions.

Application and examination processes are the same as the Deming Application Prize. A successful applicant-unit receives the Certificate of Merit and a Plaque at the award ceremony.