Why some TQM Programmes Fail?

What is Total Quality Management?

TQM is a management strategy that focuses on customers and their satisfaction with the product or service. It emphasizes quality throughout all aspects of the company, from product development to delivery to customer service. TQM (Total Quality Management) has been under fire in workplaces worldwide. Critics unanimously point out that companies like Xerox, IBM, Motorola and General Motors did not benefit from their TQM programmes. Many employees argue that TQM is just a fancy name for what has been traditionally called “quality control”.

Why Do Companies Implement Total Quality Management?

TQM is often seen as a way to cut costs and improve efficiency, and it can be used to streamline processes, make operations more efficient and improve quality. TQM programmes have also been seen to motivate employees and improve communication within organizations.

Why Do TQM Programmes Fail?

There are several reasons why TQM programmes can fail. One of the main reasons is that TQM often requires a change in company culture, challenging to achieve. TQM also involves a lot of time and effort to implement correctly, and many companies do not have the resources or the commitment to see a program through to the end.

Another reason for the failure of TQM programmes is that they often focus on process improvement rather than on customer satisfaction. While process improvement is essential, it is not enough on its own to ensure success. Many companies have found that they need to adopt a customer-focused strategy to see real benefits from TQM.

Besides, continuous improvement is one of the key principles of TQM, but only companies committed to constant improvement will see it work for them. Too many companies adopt TQM without fully believing in its principles or being serious about changing their business culture. This means that they are unlikely to see improvements in quality over time, which can lead to their failing TQM programmes.

Moreover, organizations often expect too much from TQM and similar customer-focused strategies like Lean or Six Sigma. Just because a company has adopted such a programme does not mean that it will start producing perfect products with zero defects immediately. There needs to be an understanding across all levels of management that TQM will take some time to implement and achieve results.

For TQM programmes to be successful, there needs to be a genuine desire from those on the ground level of an organization to improve processes and ensure that customers experience a high-quality product or service every time they interact with them. Without this commitment, TQM can fail even if it is introduced by management as a top priority initiative.

In conclusion, TQM is a powerful tool that can bring about positive change in an organization. Still, it requires the commitment of all employees and a focus on customer satisfaction to be


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