Total Quality Management, good business or good buzz words?

Subject: Total Quality Management, good business or good buzz words?
From: Steve Fouts <sfouts -at- ELLISON -dot- SC -dot- TI -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 1993 14:55:08 CST

Len Olszewski opins that
|} Bonni Graham notices that the emperor is buck naked:
|} > I don't know a lot about TQM (read: if someone else does, please post
|} > what you know), BUT it seems to me to be a fad, kind of like the
|} > business equivalent of pet rocks.
|} I've suspected this on more than one occasion, but really didn't have
|} the temerity (or the appropriate audience) to articulate it quite this
|} pithily. I imagine that the committment any given company invests in any
|} quality management philosophy (a) varies wildly from company to company
|} (b) has some very specific bottom-line justification within any given
|} company, and (c) is probably only selectively enforced within "a lot" of
|} companies who pay lip service to the concept.

Dr. Deming will be the first to tell you that in order for his principles
to work, the philosophy has to be embraced and believed in by everyone
from the CEO to the janitor and back. If they don't walk the walk then
it just doesn't work.

If neither of you have ever listened to the man then I really don't have a
whole lot I can tell you. I thought that it was a bunch of hoakem too, until
I listened to Dr. Deming talk for an hour and realized that 99% of his
message is that in order to succeed you have to work HARD, but plain hard
work doesn't guarentee success unless you work smart too.

In a nutshell: Your customer knows what s/he wants. Find out. Give it to 'em.
Quality is free, so make it the best you possibly can. If you do this, they
will come.

|} Does that mean that TQM as a concept is irrelevant? I've always felt
|} that any general operating philosophy can be good or bad, depending on
|} how good the philosophy is, but also on how much effort a company
|} expends in adhering to it.

Exactly. See, you agree with Dr. Deming and you don't even know it.

|} And why is it that Joe Bob Briggs isn't quoted more on this list,
|} anyway?

Your message had no nekked breasts, no dead bodies, no car crash scenes,
no big explosions, and no three headed monsters. Joe Bob says it's a

******************** Steve Fouts
* _ ___ * sfouts -at- ellison -dot- sc -dot- ti -dot- com
* ( |____| *
* _ /\ |\ _ * "a little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of
* / / \ _| \ \ * explanation."
* ( * ) \/_|__* ) * --H. H. Munro
* \_/ _/ \_/ * <Boilerplate disclaimer here>

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