Total Quality Management
TQM represented the basic quality revolution of the 1980s, and quality management continues to evolve today. While many have attempted to move their quality programs beyond TQM, we continue to emphasize these core competencies precisely because they continue to form the bedrock of most successful quality programs. With our training and guidance, clients can develop sound quality programs that drive continuous improvement without the need to commit to the larger, and potentially overwhelming, scale of more advance programs such as Six Sigma or Lean Enterprise. Even in those more advanced programs, we have found that development of these basic TQM competencies before expansion to broader programs can ease a client's transition, and control the level of investment required for quality management.
The Six Sigma movement dominated the quality management field during the 1990s, and expanded into the design engineering disciplines with Design for Six Sigma in the 2000s. Six Sigma expands beyond its TQM predecessor to emphasize controlled measureable process management, and option under TQM but an absolute requirement under Six Sigma with its commitments to process capability at least twice what was demanded of TQM programs in the 1980s. Our combination of training and project mentoring assists organizations in their implementation and on-going support of their Six Sigma programs, enabling the target benefits to materialize as organizational members develop skills, implement projects, and begin to incorporate Six Sigma concepts into their everyday thinking.
A specific emphasis on waste reduction and throughput makes Lean Enterprise a bit different from predecessor quality programs. An application of the Theory of Constraints, lean tinking focuses on reducing waste in and around processes, and in identifying and removing bottlenecks to throughput. We teach clients to use these through processes and tools in conjunction with their other quality programs, such as Six Sigma. Lean squeezes the waste out of a process, and then Six Sigma reduces variation in what is left of that process. The combination is extremely powerful, and our training emphasizes that integration.
Project Quality Assurance
No matter how much an organization invests in process improvement, the desired quality levels are only realized if projects effectively use the resulting processes. Our quality assurance services support project success by providing an interative assessment and mentoring cycle that assists teams in taking advantage of the process capabilities that have been put around them by an organization's quality improvement and process maturity initiatives. We provide an enabling support system that helps assure project success.
Standards represent the knowledge management of an industry or discipline. Too many of our clients waste inordinate resources trying to develop their own internal standards for domains that are already well covered in the industry. Our training and project support emphasizes identifying and adopting external standards, and then developing internal tailoring guidelines for adapting he implementation of those standards to organizational specifics. The synergy allows the broader industry to absorb the energy of overall standards maintenance, while allowing the organization to adapt and benefit quickly from that work. The core metric we focus on with clients is the percentage of an organization's activities are covered by one or more adopted standards. Toward that end, we usually begin wit big broad standards that cover a lot of what an organization needs, and then drill down into specifics using narrower and narrower standards.