Total Quality Management

May 5, 2009

Formal Work Group and its Role in Continuous Improvement: Quality Circles

Quality Circle Training

Quality Circle Training

Formal work groups result primarily from the organizing function of management. In other words group of people who report to a supervisor is a formal work group. The role of formal work group is very important in achieving quality and productivity at workplace. There are different team configurations that strive hard to achieve these objectives. One such use of formal work group is the quality circle, which originated in Japan. A quality circle is composed of a group of employees (usually 5 to 15 people) who are members of a single work unit, section, or department. The unit’s supervisor or manager is usually included as member of the quality circle. These employees have a common bond; they perform similar service or function by turning out a product, part of a product, or a service. Membership in a quality circle is almost always voluntary. The basic purpose of a quality circle is to discuss quality problems and to generate ideas that might help improve quality. (more…)

April 21, 2009

Concept of Teams, their Types and Functions


Teams are groups of two or more people who interact and influence each other, are mutually accountable for achieving common objectives and perceive themselves as social entity within an organization. All teams exist to fulfil some purposes, such as assembling a product, providing a service, operating a submarine or making an important decision. Team members are held together by their interdependence and need for collaboration to achieve a common goal. (more…)

September 12, 2008

Organizing for Total Quality Management: Structures and Teams

When we talk about organizing for Total Quality Management, we mean preparing and organizing people in such a manner that they could work according to the philosophies and practices of TQM. One such way is to compare the traditional organization and the organization based upon
TQM philosophy.

The traditional organization of employees in a company is based upon cascading of authority that can best be illustrated in a pyramid, on the apex of which lies top management, then comes middle management, functional management, supervisors, and employees. This organization of employees, though traditionally accepted and most  appropriately defined way to express the employee organization in a company, does not fit well with the TQM philosophy.

Interestingly, when you view organizing of staff based upon TQM philosophy, the traditional pyramid turns upside down. Why? because TQM is highly customer focused philosophy. If you see the inverted pyramid you would notice that customer comes first, which is followed by the employees, front-line supervisors,and so on and so forth.

Why is that so? The answer is simple. The organization need to give particular emphasis on the development of its front-line staff and supervisors since they are the company in the eyes of their customers. For example front-line staff may be a flight attendant, the bank taller, the sales person, a call center operator, etc. (more…)

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