What is the difference between TQM and six sigma?
This article will discuss the differences between TQM and Six Sigma.Knowing the difference between TQM and Six Sigma can be incredibly helpful for managers or business owners who are looking for a quality control and management approach that is right for their organization.
It's important to remember that while TQM, or Total Quality Management, was around for quite a while before Six Sigma came along, Six Sigma and TQM do not have to be mutually exclusive in terms of business use.They are actually quite compatible in a number of different business situations and industries.It's best to think of the relationship between TQM and Six Sigma as TQM being able to help you improve the quality of your processes, your products, and your services, Six Sigma has the ability to help you make those improvements even sharper and more focused.
Alright, let's start with TQM, Total Quality Management.TQM is a quality control approach that is usually thought of along with the development, implementation, and continual control of different organizational systems that are used with a number of different processes.TQM is based on a particular organizational approach, an approach that zones in on how to keep already existing quality standards at a high while simultaneously improving quality.Essentially, TQM is meant to focus on the culture of a business.What TQM strives to do is to get different departments in your business-whether manufacturing, service, or something else-to work together so that you can all help improve the quality of processes and products.
Six Sigma is also an approach that seeks to correct and improve the quality of your processes.So how is Six Sigma different from TQM?Well, let's look at how it's obviously different.TQM strives for general improvements based on a collaborative cultural approach to the problem.Six Sigma also requires the efforts of numerous departments.However, Six Sigma is a statistical and data driven approach that measures and analyzes data in an effort to discover how variations and defects can be reduced to the level where when you are running a process, there are less than 3.4 defects per million cycles or million products.Six Sigma is used along with Statistical Process Control, and together the two of them use statistics in order to monitor and maintain your processes. Six Sigma is a lot of TQM taken to another level.
So now that we've gone over what the general differences are between TQM and Six Sigma, let's talk about the most fundamental difference between the two approaches.The fundamental difference between Six Sigma and TQM is the way that each one approaches quality control.First, let's look at TQM.TQM defines quality as the level to which a process or a product meets standards produced inside the company.Six Sigma shifts the definition of quality to a relational one, emphasizing that quality is based on the fewest number of defects, which must be removed as much as possible.However, Six Sigma's quality is also defined in large part by the customer, who determines the value of the process or the product.Six Sigma takes a more holistic approach to quality improvement, working to improve the entire business instead of focusing on individual processes and operations within segregated departments.Another difference between TQM and Six Sigma is that if you want to implement Six Sigma's approach, you need professionals who are certified in Six Sigma techniques.TQM does not require this type of complete, full-time dedication to the quality management system chosen by your company.Once again, while there are many fundamental and superficial differences between Six Sigma and TQM, the two can work in tandem and support each other in all situations.