Total Quality Management is a formal management style premised on the notion that measurement of a finished product or project is insufficient to ensure quality. Instead, each process necessary for its completion should be measured and monitored to ensure that all deliverables are operating at expected quality standards — including both management and operational processes. The aim of a quality management plan is a road map that, in part, identifies specific quality standards and sets out the processes and conditions necessary to fulfill quality standards.
When drafting quality objectives, start with identifying the targeted customers and their needs. Objectives should be stated in terms that address the product or project objective and the organizational objectives. The broad objective of any quality management plan is to effectively and efficiently respond to customer demands by employing processes that are able to meet the quality standard expectations, prevent nonconformance with quality standards and timely identify and turn around performance deficiencies.
Roles and Responsibilities
The roles of those responsible for achieving the objectives also should be outlined in the plan. For a small business, this might be one person or key personnel from throughout the organization — from quality assurance manager to operations testing supervisor. The plan should set out the lines of authority, communication requirements and staff levels, compentencies, and training needs required to maintain quality standards.
Specific product or project deliverables are identified with timetables that might be associated with each deliverable, which is the tangible or intangible object produced. Key resource requirements for each deliverable should be listed in the quality management plan. Also, incorporate a process into the plan for reviewing prior data related to deliverables for evaluation purposes.
The criteria is the quantifiable standards, metrics and specifications used to determine quality requirements. In addition to customer expectations, industry benchmark standards and regulatory requirements are reviewed and used to develop quality performance criteria. For example, the quality criteria for a product might be that it must be 97-percent free of defect and that it meets all legal compliance requirements.
In a written plan, set out the schedule of audits, audit personnel, and documentation and reporting requirements. Quality control and assurance activities measure the optimal quality criteria for deliverable against existing conditions. This might include mechanical reporting as well as daily occurrence logs from quality control personnel. The goal is to maintain optimal levels of performance by monitoring performance of deliverable. Examples of quality management tools include Zero Defects and ISO 9000, methodologies designed to measure and correct nonconformances.