How To Measure Total Quality Management, TQM, Success

Implementing TQM is an initiative many organizations wanted to embark on. Assuming that you are a leader of this organization, a common question you probably asked would be: “How do I know whether my organization is successful in implementing TQM?”

TQM implementation has been in my mind for a long time and I wondered how to measure the success of TQM implementation in an organization. If we take an organizations who are winners of the Baldrige Award, then my question is whether taking an assessment based on Baldrige Criteria an appropriate measure to gage the success of TQM in an organization.

There is no doubt that measuring TQM implementation is success rate is of interest with all if not most leaders. Otherwise, how would you as a leader know the effort put into implementing TQM is really worthwhile, more so when a lot of resources such a money, manpower etc are deployed to support the implementation of a TQM initiative.

So, would you ask a similar question before the TQM initiative is started? Or You would ask half way during its implementation? How would you like to measure the success of the TQM implementation? Do you accept the opinion of your management comment alone or you rather based on some form of evaluation result?

One of the ways to evaluate the TQM success is to adopt a holistic approach of assessing your organization. One of the examples of such a holistic approach is the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award assessment approach. This is a national level award system in the United States to recognize organizations for achieving an excellent in their respective business.

To prepare for an assessment, you need to understand the Baldrige criteria which is used a reference for the assessment. Once you have understood the Baldrige Criteria, you would start to conduct an assessment based on these criteria. You may perform a self assessment guided by the Baldrige Self Assessment criteria to ascertain your level of performance with reference to the Baldrige Criteria. For a self assessment, it takes must lesser time. Alternatively, you can go for a full scale assessment. This mode of assessment may be conducted by your management team or a 3rd party Baldrige Assessors.

To help you to adopt the Baldrige Criteria, there are eleven core values and concepts used by the Baldrige Criteria. To jump start your assessment effort, perhaps you start with the understanding of these core values and concepts.