TQM - Total Quality Management

TQM is an organization-wide approach to quality. It focuses on serving customers through better products at lower prices. TQM means improvement. TQM includes many tools and techniques including quality control, quality improvement, PDCA and many more.

In the early 1990s, I had the opportunity to see W. Edwards Deming teach one of his four-day workshops. Dr. Deming said something I've always remembered. He said: "I have no idea where the phrase Total Quality Management came from." I took that to mean that widespread, floor-to-ceiling quality management was unnecessary; that improvements should be focused on the "vital few, not the trivial many" as Juran would say. Unfortunately, this "BIG" approach to quality continued into Six Sigma.

Kaizen, TQM, Lean and Six Sigma are different names for the same methods and tools. The goal remains the same: faster, better, cheaper products and services to satisfy a more demanding customer.


  • Plan - Define the problem, analyze the problem, identify root causes, plan countermeasures
  • Do - Implement improvements
  • Check - Verify results
  • Act - Standardize

Learn More...

Free Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt TrainingTake our FREE Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt training online.