The last phase of the PDCA Leadership Model is the Do phase. Here we also have two elements. The final quality plan has to be communicated to everyone concerned and the necessary education has to be achieved. Besides the need to educate the employees (including management) in the use of quality tools there is also a need to educate and train all the employees in human motivation.
- It is necessary that management understanding of TQM principles, error prevention, costs of poor quality etc. is addressed through the quality improvement teams.
- Changing management style was essential to creating a continuous improvement culture. As this is not easily achieved it was important that an effective programme of training be implemented, starting with the steering group itself whose leadership would be essential to the success of the quality improvement programme.
- As part of this process, management needed to move from its reactive style to a proactive one and prevent rather than solve problems.
- Also, as internal competition is wasteful, it was necessary to break down existing internal barriers and to encourage a teamwork culture across the departments. It was emphasized in the quality group meetings that the company’s management strategy needed to reinforce the teamwork approach as part of a TQM implementation.
- According to the pyramid principle (Chapter 4), there are four principles that govern the basic philosophy of TQM:
1. customer focus
2. continuous improvement;
3. focus on facts;
4. everybody’s participation.
To counter the scepticism detected in some quarters, the potential results of a successful TQM process was continually stressed in steering group meetings:
1. reduction in wastage;
2. process control improves;
3. company morale gets better.
- It was emphasized that improvement in quality would lead to increased (right first time) productivity which, in turn, would result in greater (external) customer satisfaction.
- The challenge of TQM implementation is very much dependent on the commitment and will of the company’s senior management to carry it through. The company had embarked on its road to quality voluntarily whilst in a healthy state.
- However, the subsequent failure of its senior management, particularly the managing director, to adopt the objective and methodology of the quality improvement programme at all times eventually weakened the company’s ability to deal effectively with the pressure of competition and downturn in financial performance when the effects of recession worsened.