Enterprise Quality and Total Quality Management

Dr. Joseph A DeFeo Knowledge

What is TQM?

Total Quality Management (TQM) is a term used mainly in Japan, and is the equivalent of what other countries or organizations may call a Company-Wide Quality Management System, Enterprise Assurance System or Integrated Quality Management System, to name a few. 

The term ‘total’ means the entire organization is involved in quality management – all products, services and processes. The ‘system’ refers to the managerial, statistical, and technological methods to achieve quality requirements and business objectives throughout an entire organization. Although it may go by various names, we at Juran believe that Enterprise Quality is a more appropriate and descriptive name. 

The Juran Excellence Management System has long been expressed as an enterprise business excellence and enterprise quality assurance system. It is a strategic system which embodies organizational beliefs and habits set forth in policies and processes, to develop a culture capable or designing and delivering products and services that will “no doubt” exceed customer, regulatory,  business and societal needs.

TQM-Total Quality Management - Juran Graphic


Why Follow TQM Principles?


The Quality Departments in many enterprises has been responsible for Quality Control and Assurance of product and services. Their focus was limited to the supply chain – not the Enterprise. These functions have been led by a gallery of engineers, some business types, and even marketing types – some even followed gurus like to defeat. Others have tried to change the tune (“I have known six sigma for 25 years, we just never called it that”).  But few ever looked across the enterprise.

In recent years, as competitive pressures have forced a theme going far beyond the traditional quality control, inspection, quality engineering, and reliability engineering; the role of the quality department and function must change or it will die. The Quality Function must become an enterprise function capable of focusing its energy on leading the total enterprise on its journey to achieve its mission. It must move from its current  not “little q” focus as it has done for decades to a “bigger Q focus”.  




This role will evolve similarly to that of financial management and the Chief Financial Officer. This new EA department will be small in number of employees and will be a guide to other functions to achieve the assurance system implementation and compliance.

EQ best practices demonstrate the EA role as to:

  • Administering the Quality Assurance tasks from design through delivery for product, service, and process quality 
  • Assisting upper management with aligning business excellence to the business strategy
  • Determining the Critical to Customer Experience requirements including those critical to finance, legal (product safety and environmental), quality, reliability, speed and efficiency, and effectiveness
  • Provide coaching to all departments to improve and maintain process performance
  • Reviewing the EA system in real time as needed 
  • Developing metrics that matter for a truly  “balanced scorecard” of the enterprise

Examples/success stories of TQM



An effective Enterprise Assurance Strategy can enable an enterprise to:

  • Reduce risk and mitigate risk when designing new products and processes
  • Resolve problems before they occur
  • Resolve problems that occur during operations
  • Control processes to avoid risk even when scaling up
  • Increase productivity or all employees
  • Reduce the total cost of quality not just the costs of poor quality.


Conclusion/summary of Key Learnings


Juran Institute will provide consulting support for the design and development of the EA system. 

The consulting assignment will be divided into waves/phases. Each wave will include four full time consultants for four to six months per wave. The consulting effort will involve designing the specifics of the EA and support the entry of the selected organizations for the first wave in completion of the requirements indicated above. The consulting will include an audit of the EA organization.

Consulting support for future waves will be supported in the same way until the entire organization becomes part of the EA system.

Author: Dr. Joseph A DeFeo

Dr. Joseph A. DeFeo, Chairman and CEO of Juran, is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on transformational change and breakthrough quality management.

For 28 years, Dr. DeFeo has worked as a trusted adviser helping business leaders increase sales, reduce costs and improve its customer experience through the deployment of performance excellence programs. These include Business Process Quality Management, Lean, Six Sigma, Strategy Deployment and Change Management. His recent publication, Juran’s Quality Essentials for Leaders, provides a concise message delivered for leaders to teach them how to embrace quality, not fight it, to be a globally competitive enterprise. Dr. DeFeo has co-authored three other popular texts.

DeFeo’s belief that a relentless customer focus and integrity drives business results was recently noted by Steve Denning of Forbes.com. A frequent motivational guest speaker at international conferences, Dr. DeFeo has presented in over 30 countries.