Glossary of Lean Production Related Terms The following contains a sometimes commented glossary of terms related to lean manufacturing or production management with a brief definition. The list includes a lot of Japanese terms, although almost all of them can also easily be explained using English terms, which are also given. This list is ever expanding but never complete, as the tendency to invent new terms or buzzwords outstrips the ability of any lexicographer.
Service relationship with internal customers Never compromise quality Customer driven standards The Concept of Continuous Improvement by TQM TQM is mainly concerned with continuous improvement in all work, from high level strategic planning and decision-making, to detailed execution of work elements on the shop floor.
It stems from the belief that mistakes can be avoided and defects can be prevented. It leads to continuously improving results, in all aspects of work, as a result of continuously improving capabilities, people, processes, technology and machine capabilities.
Continuous improvement must deal not only with improving results, but more importantly with improving capabilities to produce better results in the future. The five major areas of focus for capability improvement are demand generation, supply generation, technology, operations and people capability.
A central principle of TQM is that mistakes may be made by people, but most of them are caused, or at least permitted, by faulty systems and processes. This means that the root cause of such mistakes can be identified and eliminated, and repetition can be prevented by changing the process.
Preventing mistakes defects from occurring mistake-proofing or poka-yoke. Where mistakes recur, stopping production until the process can be corrected, to prevent the production of more defects.
If the current reality does not include important preconditions, TQM implementation should be delayed until the organization is in a state in which TQM is likely to succeed.
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.
People need to feel a need for a change. Kanter addresses this phenomenon be describing building blocks which are present in effective organizational change.
Departures from tradition are activities, usually at lower levels of the organization, which occur when entrepreneurs move outside the normal ways of operating to solve a problem. A crisis, if it is not too disabling, can also help create a sense of urgency which can mobilize people to act.
In the case of TQM, this may be a funding cut or threat, or demands from consumers or other stakeholders for improved quality of service. After a crisis, a leader may intervene strategically by articulating a new vision of the future to help the organization deal with it.
A plan to implement TQM may be such a strategic decision. Such a leader may then become a prime mover, who takes charge in championing the new idea and showing others how it will help them get where they want to go.
Finally, action vehicles are needed and mechanisms or structures to enable the change to occur and become institutionalized. Task identification would include a study of present conditions assessing current reality, as described above ; assessing readiness, such as through a force field analysis; creating a model of the desired state, in this case, implementation of TQM; announcing the change goals to the organization; and assigning responsibilities and resources.
This final step would include securing outside consultation and training and assigning someone within the organization to oversee the effort. This should be a responsibility of top management.
In fact, the next step, designing transition management structures, is also a responsibility of top management.
In fact, Cohen and Brand and Hyde assert that management must be heavily involved as leaders rather than relying on a separate staff person or function to shepherd the effort.
An organization wide steering committee to oversee the effort may be appropriate. Developing commitment strategies was discussed above in the sections on resistance and on visionary leadership. Special all-staff meetings attended by executives, sometimes designed as input or dialog sessions, may be used to kick off the process, and TQM newsletters may be an effective ongoing communication tool to keep employees aware of activities and accomplishments.
Management of resources for the change effort is important with TQM because outside consultants will almost always be required. Choose consultants based on their prior relevant experience and their commitment to adapting the process to fit unique organizational needs.
While consultants will be invaluable with initial training of staff and TQM system design, employees management and others should be actively involved in TQM implementation, perhaps after receiving training in change management which they can then pass on to other employees.
A collaborative relationship with consultants and clear role definitions and specification of activities must be established. In summary, first assess preconditions and the current state of the organization to make sure the need for change is clear and that TQM is an appropriate strategy.
Leadership styles and organizational culture must be congruent with TQM. If they are not, this should be worked on or TQM implementation should be avoided or delayed until favorable conditions exist.
Remember that this will be a difficult, comprehensive, and long-term process. Leaders will need to maintain their commitment, keep the process visible, provide necessary support, and hold people accountable for results. Use input from stakeholder clients, referring agencies, funding sources, etc.TQM is a management philosophy that seeks to integrate all organizational functions (marketing, finance, design, engineering, and production, customer service, etc.) to focus on meeting customer needs and organizational objectives.
Total Quality Management (TQM) Changes and Innovations Based on the corporate philosophy of 'customer first' and 'quality first' since its founding, Toyota Motor Co., Business Objectives; Total Quality Management (TQM) Changes and Innovations; Organizational Changes; Executives.
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