What are TQM, QFD, Six Sigma, and Lean?

You may have heard of QMS but are not sure how your activities fit in. Or, you’ve heard of QFD, ISO 9000, Six Sigma, Lean...these cryptic names that you’re not sure what they’re about. You may be doing activities under one of your company’s procedures and asking, “Why am I spending time on this?"  Sometimes it’s good to re-orient to the big picture. That’s what we’ll be doing in this episode: reorienting to the QMS.

We'll also talk about some of the standard QMS (Quality Management System) philosophies:

  • TQM (Total Quality Management)
  • ISO 9000
  • QFD (Quality Function Deployment)
  • Six Sigma
  • Lean
  • Malcom Baldrige National Quality Award 

A good QMS provides a process for our work that aligns what we do with the company’s overall goals and objectives and its definition of “quality”.  

If we understand the underlying philosophy behind the QMS we’re working within, then we’re better equipped to do our job with quality in mind, and we can better watch for ways we can contribute in a meaningful way to continuous improvement.  

What is your company’s definition of Quality? What philosophy (or which combination) does your company’s QMS adopt?

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