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Total Quality Management in Construction Projects


Quality is in its essence a way of management of the organization.

Quality is conformance to customer requirements. The requirements have many dimensions. The number of quality experts also called quality gurus contributed to the evolution of quality.


A name itself is sufficient to describe everything but a bit more clarification will add to a base for the description. Total quality management is a management’s approach towards the quality, it can be in regard to products,  customer satisfaction and employees  satisfaction. The concept  of TQM  was developed by an American W. Edwards Deming and i.e. why it is called as Deming’s concept of TQM .He introduced this concept for improving the quality of various products and services. Earlier it was just related with the quality of products which a organization is producing but now other concepts like marketing, finance design, customer service has also joined the area. Which means that now good numbers of things are there to manage. TQM works on one belief that mistakes can be avoided and defects can be prevented. And management should believe in watching each and every step.

TQM is now a day’s called as TPM (total productivity management) and an organization needs to consider ABCD for the effective application of TQM where A stands for accident cure , B stands for breakdown , C stands for cost reduction and D stands for damage. This policy of ABCD is in relation to product and if TQM needs to be introduced a positive attitude from the side of management and employees is required and then a collective effort will come up. TQM should give chance for unleashing employee’s creativity and potential. The aim of TQM is to reduce variations in quality of the products as well as in the working of whole organization. For the successful implementation of TQM, an organization must consider the commitment from all the level of organization. A concept of Six sigma is a part of TQM. It is a strategy developed by Motorola and it helps to detect the defects and to remove them.

TQM talks about the satisfaction of customer, supplier, employees etc. and it requires continuous improvement. If the workers of an organization are efficiently working then their morale will go up. TQM works effectively if the organization works in a family manner. Here management is like a father, employees are the children and manager is like mother and as father and mother takes care for their home collectively the same way , management and managers are supposed to take care for their organization with the help of tool called TQM. Total quality management is called total because entire organization is involved, Quality means degree of excellence. And management in literal sense means getting things done by others. In a TQM effort, all members of an organization participate in improving processes, products, services and the culture in which they work. The earlier introduced quality management concept is now taken over by Total quality management. To have effective TQM the first requirement is strong internal motivation and emotional involvement for implementation. So the concept of TQM talks about adopting the new policy, creating quality products, eliminate defects, estimate for breakdown, accidents etc . Hence TQM should be purpose driven so first the whole organization should be willing to accept the change then only TQM can actually affect the organization in a positive way.


Need for quality:

The need for quality was felt, during World War II due to the unprecedented need for manufacture goods. From them on methodologies for assuring quality in products and services evolved continuously finally lead to TQM.

Evolution of quality (or) GURUS OF TQM:

SHEWHART       -        Control chart theory

                             -        PDCA Cycle

DEMING    -        Statistical Process Control

JURAN       -        Concepts of SHEWHART

          -        Return on Investment (ROI)

FEIGANBAUM   -        Total Quality Control

          -        Management involvement

          -        Employee involvement

          -        Company wide quality control

ISHIKAWA         -        Cause and Effect Diagram

          -        Quality Circle concept

CROSBY    -        “Quality is Free”

-                  -        Conformance to requirements

TAGUCHI  -        Loss Function concept

-        Design of Experiments


Quality is fitness for use

Quality is conformance to requirements

Quality is the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to

satisfy stated and implied needs of customer.

Quality can be quantified as follows

Q = P / E


Q       =       Quality

P       =       Performance

E       =       Expectation



Dimension Meaning and Example


Performance Primary product characteristics, such as the brightness of the picture

Features Secondary characteristics, added features, such as remote control

Conformance      Meeting specifications or industry standards, workmanship

Reliability  Consistency of performance over time, average time of the unit to fail

Durability  Useful life, includes repair      

Service        Resolution of problems and complaints, ease of repair

Response    Human – to – human interface, such as the courtesy of the dealer

Aesthetics   Sensory characteristics, such as exterior finish   

Reputation Past performance and other intangibles, such as being ranked first

1.3.1 Dimensions of service quality          

Reliability  Refers to the dependability of the service providers and their ability to keep

          their promises.              

Responsiveness    Refers to the reaction time of the service.  

Assurance  Refers the level of certainty a customer has regarding the quality of the service provided.             

Empathy    Being able to understand the needs of the customer as an individual.

Tangibles   Similar to the physical characteristics of quality of products.

Other Dimensions         Time, Courtesy, Timeliness, consistency, accuracy, credibility and security.

Total Quality Management (TQM) is an enhancement to the traditional way of doing business.

Definition of TQM

Art of managing the whole to achieve excellence.

Total -        Made up of the whole

Quality       -        Degree of Excellence a Product or Service provides.

Management         -        Art of handling, controlling, directing etc.

TQM is the application of quantitative methods and human resources to improve all the processes within an organization and exceed CUSTOMER NEEDS now and in the future.


The above definitions revealed the following characteristics of TQM :

1. TQM is a customer oriented.

2. TQM required a long term commitment for continuous improvement of all processes.

3. TQM is teamwork.

4. TQM requires the leadership of top management and continuous involvement.

5. TQM is a strategy for continuous improving performance at all levels and in all areas of responsibility.

Basic Concepts of TQM:

1. A committed and involved management.

2. An unwavering focus on the customer both internally and externally.

3. Effective involvement and utilization of entire work force,

4. Continuous improvement of the business and production process.

5. Treating suppliers as partners.

6. Establish performance measures for the processes.


A framework summarizing the important elements of TQM discussed in this text.

Three elements of TQM include

1. The philosophical elements of TQM stress the operation of the company using quality as the integrating element.

2. The generic tools consist of various statistical process control (SPC) methods that are used for problem solving and continuous improvement by quality teams. Quality function deployment is typically used by managers to drive the voice of the customer into the organization.

3. Tools of the QC department consists of statistical quality control (SQC) methods such as sampling

plans, process capability and Taguchi methods.

TQM Frame work:


1.       Benchmarking     

2.       Six sigma   

3.       Seven Traditional Tools         

4.       New seven management tools

5.       FMEA       

6.       Quality circle       

7.       Quality function deployment 

8.       Taguchi quality loss function 

9.       TPM


1. Leadership

2.       Quality statements

3.       Customer focus

4.       Employee involvement

5.       Performance appraisal

6.       PDSA cycle

7.       5S

8.       Kaizen

9.       Supplier partnership.


Continuous improvement process.


Performance Measures


Ø Customer’s requirements must be met the first time, every time.

Ø There must be agreed requirements, for both internal and external customers.

Ø Everybody must be involved, from all levels and across all functions.

Ø Regular communication with staff at levels is must. Two way communication at all levels must be promoted.

Identifying training needs and relating them with individual capabilities and requirements is must.

Ø Top management’s participation and commitment is must.

Ø A culture of continuous improvement must be established.

Ø Emphasis should be placed on purchasing and supplier management

Ø Every job must add value.

Ø Quality improvement must eliminate wastes and reduce total cost.

Ø There must be a focus on the prevention of problems.

Ø A culture of promoting creativity must be established.

Ø Performance measure is a must at organization, department and individual levels. It helps to asses and meet objectives of quality.

Ø There should be focus on team work.


Ø Lack of Management Commitment

Ø Inability to change Organizational culture

Ø Improper planning

Ø Lack of continuous training and education

Ø Incompatible organizational structure and isolated individuals and departments

Ø Ineffective measurement techniques and lack of access to data and results

Ø Paying inadequate attention to internal and external customers

Ø Inadequate use of empowerment and teamwork

Ø Failure to continually improve


Ø Improved quality

Ø Employee participation

Ø Team work

Ø Working relationships

Ø Customer satisfaction

Ø Employee satisfaction

Ø Productivity

Ø Communication

Ø Profitability

Ø Market share


1. Create and publish the Aims and Purposes of the organization.

2. Learn the New Philosophy.

3. Understand the purpose of Inspection.

4. Stop awarding business based on price alone.

5. Improve constantly and forever the System.

6. Institute Training.

7. Teach and Institute Leadership.

8. Drive out Fear, Create Trust and Create a climate for innovation.

9. Optimize the efforts of Teams, Groups and Staff areas.

10. Eliminate exhortations for the Work force.

11a. Eliminate numerical quotas for the work force.

11b. Eliminate Management by objectives.

12. Remove Barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship.

13. Encourage Education and Self-improvement for everyone.

14. Take action to accomplish the transformation.


Juran views quality as fitness for use.

Juran Trilogy is designed to reduce the cost of quality over time.


Ø Determine internal & external customers.

Ø Their needs are discovered.

Ø Develop product / service features.

Ø Develop the processes able to produce the product / service features.

Ø Transfer plans to operations.


Control is used by operating forces to help meet the product, process and service requirements.

It consists of the following steps

1. Determine items to be controlled.

2. Set goals for the controls.

3. Measure actual performance.

4. Compare actual performance to goals.

5. Act on the difference.


Aims to attain levels of performance that are higher than current levels.

It consists of the following steps

Ø Establishment of quality council.

Ø Identify the improvement projects.

Ø Establish the project teams with a project leader.

Ø Provide the team with the resources.


The Four absolutes of quality are

1. Quality is defined as conformance to requirements.

2. The system for causing Quality is prevention.

3. The performance standard must be zero defects.

4. The measurement of Quality is the Price of Nonconformance

Crosby’s Fourteen Points:

1. Management Commitment

2. Quality Improvement Team

3. Quality Measurement

4. Cost of Quality Evaluation

5. Quality Awareness

6. Corrective Action

7. Establish an Ad Hoc Committee for the Zero Defects Program

8. Supervisor Training

9. Zero Defects Day

10.Goal Setting

11.Error Cause Removal


13.Quality Councils

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