Total Quality Management (TQM) is a business management strategy aimed at embedding awareness of quality in all organizational processes (Wikipedia 2009).
Elements of Total Quality Management
Customer focused - The customer ultimately determines the level of quality.
Total employee involvement - participation of all employees in working toward commongoals. Total employee commitment can only be obtained after fear has been driven from the workplace, when empowerment has occurred, and management has provided the proper environment.
Process centered - The steps required to carry out processes are defined, and performance measures are continuously monitored in order to detect unexpected variation.
Integrated system - All processes aggregate into the business processes required for defining and implementing strategy. Everyone must understand the mission, vision and guiding principles as well as the quality policies, objectives and critical processes of the organization. Business performance must be monitored and communicated continuously.
Stategic and systematic approach - the strategic and systematic approach to achieving an organization's vision, mission and goals.
Continual improvement - Continual process improvement driving the organization to be both analytical and creative in finding ways to become more competitive and more effective at meeting goals.
Fact-based decision making - Data on performance measures are necessary. The organization continually collects and analyzes data in order to improve decision making, achieve concensus, and allow predication based on past history.
Communications - Communication of strategies, method and timeliness.