This informative post by Khurram Hashmi gives a detailed, near-complete overview of Total Quality Management (TQM), how an organization can embrace it, and what challenges come from implementing it. With a concise attention paid to the facts and objective understanding, Hashmi makes clear what some organizations merely grasp at. Starting with a history lesson on where TQM came from, the post moves on to define exactly what TQM is, principles of TQM, and some of the challenges in applying it to an organization:
If an organization has a track record of effective responsiveness to the environment, and if it has been able to successfully change the way it operates when needed, TQM will be easier to implement. If an organization has been historically reactive and has no skill at improving its operating systems, there will be both employee skepticism and a lack of skilled change agents. If this condition prevails, a comprehensive program of management and leadership development may be instituted. A management audit is a good assessment tool to identify current levels of organizational functioning and areas in need of change. An organization should be basically healthy before beginning TQM. If it has significant problems such as a very unstable funding base, weak administrative systems, lack of managerial skill, or poor employee morale, TQM would not be appropriate.
Hashmi then goes on to explain steps in managing the transition, citing Beckhard and Pritchard's outlining of the basic steps towards TQM, including communication strategy, efforts, and long-term goals.