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I taught TQM for 3 years. How is this different? It looks very similar to me.
There are some similarities certainly, but also some differences. TQM did not have a universally accepted implementation method, so your version of TQM may not match other implementations. I point out four main differences in a properly designed Six Sigma deployment in my Six Sigma Demystified book:
1. Project Focus and Duration: Improvement activities in Six Sigma are tasked to focused projects, assigned to multi-functional teams sponsored by management. Projects are scoped to conclude in 3 to 6 months with annualized savings of $100k or more to the organization.
2. Organizational Support and Infrastructure: The Deployment is led by the Executive Staff, who select Six Sigma projects aligned with their strategic goals and objectives. The program is actively championed by mid and upper level leaders, who sponsor specific projects in their functional areas to meet the challenges laid down by their divisional leaders (in terms of the strategic goals). Black Belts are trained as full-time project leaders in the area of statistical analysis, while process personnel are trained as Green Belts to assist in projects as process experts. Master Black Belts serve as mentors to the Project teams and Deployment experts to the Managerial staff.
3. Clear and Consistent Methodology: The DMAIC project methodology (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) is a structured approach to the projects. This discipline ensures that Six Sigma projects are clearly defined and implemented, processes analyzed and optimized, and results standardized into the daily operations. If youâ€™ve ever experienced partial success from projects, or success that is short-lived, you will appreciate the structured approach of DMAIC.
4. Top-down Deployment: A properly-structured Deployment starts at the top, with training of key management. Six Sigma Champions, consisting of executive-level decision makers and functional Managers, are necessary to align the Six Sigma program with the business objectives through project sponsorship, and allocate resources to project teams. Without committed Champions supporting them, Black Belts lack the authority, resources and business integration necessary for project success. Once Champions have been trained, and project selection criteria has been established, Black Belts can begin their training. Black Belts are trained in a variety of topics, presented as they will be needed in the DMAIC process, including Change Management skills, Designed Experiments and Lean Thinking. Successful Six Sigma project teams include trained Green Belts who offer process expertise to the change management and problem solving expertise offered by the Black Belt. Process Supervisors and respected operational personnel, who retain their operational role in the Six Sigma organization, are great Green Belt candidates.
Although not all TQM initiatives suffered from problems (some were quite successful), many failed to reach their intended goals due to a variety of problems, including delegation of quality improvement to a Quality department, lack of resources, and a focus on product quality at the expense of service quality. A proper implementation of Six Sigma will integrate the program leadership into the executive ranks, with Six Sigma projects providing the mechanism for deploying change and improvement throughout the organization. Product quality is not the goal, but organizational effectiveness through data driven decision making.
Learn more about the Quality Management tools for process excellence in The Handbook for Quality Management (2013, McGraw-Hill) by Paul Keller and Thomas Pyzdek or their online Quality Management Study Guide.