Quality management encompasses concepts, methods, tools, procedures, and techniques that aim to improve the company performance. Quality in the company can refer to its processes or products. Organizational quality must be oriented to the various company stakeholders. Easily measurable quantities can have the disadvantage that it is not clear what, exactly, led to the test results (e.g. when it comes to people’s perceptions) and thus not clear what actions must be taken. In reverse, the quantities to be measured can be determined on the basis of possible actions for improvement. But their measurement can entail excessive expense.
The Deming cycle, or Shewhart cycle, gathers together the traditional tasks of quality management, namely, quality planning, quality control, quality assurance, and quality activation (Plan, Do, Check, Act). Today, in addition, the Six Sigma method is also very well known. The Six Sigma method is divided into steps that, taken together, correspond with the tasks of the Deming cycle. For each task, there is a set of tools. Particularly well-known tools are the House of Quality in quality planning and poka yoke in quality control. For quality assurance, besides the statistical methods, a wealth of representation tools are available. These and further tools can also be utilized in quality activation. When the Deming cycle is conducted repeatedly, or a number of Six Sigma projects are carried out, this leads ultimately to continual process improvement. However, innovation on a grand scale, such as new development of products, breaks with that process, and a new process of continual improvement begins.
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a management-oriented quality concept. In the case of management systems that follow the fulfillment paradigm, all organizations that achieve a certain level of quality receive certification. The ISO 9000:2015 series belongs here. In the case of management systems that follow the optimization paradigm, the best organizations receive an award. The various prizes here include the Deming Prize, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA), and the EFQM Excellence Award. In comparison, awards have the advantage that they promote best practices, which are found in very few organizations, whereas certification indicates a satisfactory level at many organizations. To determine the standing of a company in quality management, there are various assessment methods. The main method is self-assessment. Using benchmarking, companies compare their performance with others in their search for best practices.
Course sections and their intended learning outcomes
Intended learning outcomes: Produce an overview on concept and measurement of quality. Explain quality management tasks at the operations level. Describe quality management systems.
Intended learning outcomes: Produce an overview on the quality of processes, products and organizations as well as its measurability. Present the concept of quality measurement and Six Sigma.
Intended learning outcomes: Produce an overview on the Deming Cycle (PDCA Cycle) and the Shewhart Cycle as well as the Six Sigma Phases. Present the phases of quality planning, control, assurance, and activation of the Deming Cycle. Describe the Six-Sigma phases of define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. Differentiate between continual improvement and reengineering.
Intended learning outcomes: Present standards and norms of quality management: ISO 9000:2015. Describe the optimization paradigm: models and awards for Total Quality Management. Produce an overview on audits and procedures for assessing the quality of organizations, as well as on benchmarking.