Tqm Business At Its Best Essay Research

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Tqm: Business At Its Best Essay, Research Paper “You manage things, and you lead people. ” In a way, Grace Hopper’ words are a formula for success in Total Quality Management, for she has offered equal but different approaches to things and people. Things can be manipulated, quantified, measured, and calculated, people cannot. By distinguishing between managing and leading, Hopper has given us to understand clearly that you cannot lead things or manage people – she’s right. Hopper’s insight is universal and we are inclined to agree with it almost instinctively without having a notion of what it means in the day-to-day world. We feel like Calvin Coolidge’s wife asking what the preacher had said about sin. “He said,” Coolidge told her tersely, “he was

against it. ” Now that we know that, what do we do? In hopes of clearing away some of the fog, I offer a formulation that, I believe, says the same thing as Hopper’s version but is a little more quantified. It may not sound as impressive, but it is practical enough that we can do something with it. It goes like this: C + L + t1 + t2 = TQM …that is, Customer focus + leadership + teams + tools = Total Quality Management The notion of “customer” is as foreign to as many bureaucrats as the idea of a bicycle is to a fish. We think of a customer as someone who buys something. In Total Quality Management, the word “customer” has taken on a new meaning: the beneficiary of our work. Beneficiaries may be people or organizations; they may be citizens or they may be the people

at the next desk or in the next office. Beneficiaries outside our organizations are called “external customers;” those within, “internal customers.” Their designation as internal or external matters little. The point is that all we do is for their sake; without them, our work has no purpose. Therefore, if we are serious about quality, customers, regardless of whether they are internal or external, have every right to have their requirements, needs, and expectations met the first time and every time. So all definitions of quality — in the sense that Total Quality Management people use the word –state or imply the same orientation: giving the customers what they want. Stew Leonard, the famous dairy entrepreneur in Norwalk, Connecticut frames the issue in earthy terms we

all can understand (Crosby 40): Rule 1: The customer is always right! Rule 2: If the customer is ever wrong, reread rule 1. These definitions of quality imply two properties: (1) freedom from defect (the negative aspect), and (2) pleasing the customer (the positive aspect) (Rao 20). In creating a product, a service, or a piece of knowledge, the two aspects must receive equal attention. In the federal government, the negative has a tendency to be accentuated — getting rid of the defects (often under the name of “productivity,” “zero defects,” or “quality control”) without much attention to the positive — finding ways to please the customer. As a consequence, there is a tendency to become narrowly focused on issues like specifications and tolerances and overlook

obvious factors like simple courtesy; arranging the work process for the comfort of the customer rather than ourselves; and getting the product, service, or knowledge to the customers when promised it — or better yet, when they want it. When government becomes dysfunctional, bureaucrats begin to look down on the customer as an ignorant nuisance. If customers are in a rival agency, they may be ignored, have to wait, or be told what they need. If they are in the general public, they are patronized. If they are in a different branch of government, things are made complicated, generalized, and delayed, hoping they will just go away. It is forgotten that in the public sector, unlike the private sector, losing customers is a luxury that is not dealt with; one of the worst things we