The Total Quality Management in the Kaizen philosophy

Currently, one of the most important methodologies for any manufacturing company is Kaizen. Through this philosophy, the organizations can improve their processes, increase their effectiveness and efficiency. As we have seen in other posts, this idea was developed in Japan, and different industries around the world are applying this to their activities. Today, giant corporations like Toyota, Sony, Mitsubishi, among other companies are taking advantage of what the Kaizen methodology proposes.

Around the Kaizen philosophy, there are multiple techniques, theories, and methodologies, which are based on this idea. One of the most important practices for these organizations is the Total Quality Management, whose main objective is the continuous quality improvement. This strategy was developed in Japan, seeking the best practices for processes in manufacturing companies, in other words, this theory dedicates all its efforts for increasing constantly the quality in any manufacturing process.

Before talking about this strategy, it is important to know its roots and who were founders and promoters of this theory. They are William Edwards Deming and Joseph Juran.

William Edwards Deming

He was born in 1900 in Iowa, United States and died in Washington DC in 1993. During his career, he was very relatedly with the total quality concept, taking it to a higher level due to the implementation of the Total Quality Management, brought by him to Japan after the World War II. Besides his quality theories, Deming developed different statistical models, focused on the processes improvement, especially in Japan.

As we mentioned, Deming was a very important statistic, who studied at the University of Wyoming, Yale, and London. In addition, he was honored with the Wilks Memorial Award and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, which is given by the President of the United States to those people who has made important innovation contributions. Besides these awards, Deming published some books like the Statistical Adjustment of Data or Out of the Crisis.

One of the most important contributions made by Deming were the 14 Deming points, which are 14 principles for the continuous processes improvement, proposing that every process could vary, but if this variation is kept at the minimum expression, the process will have a higher quality. Another Deming contribution were the Seven Deadly Diseases. These points, are planted by him as the seven threats for the implementation of the 14 Deming points, put differently, these diseases are considered as barriers for reaching the total quality.

Joseph Juran

The other key figure for the Total Quality Management was Joseph Juran, an engineer specialized in quality processes. He was born in Rumania in 1904 and died in New York in 2008, and during his career, he was well known for being one of the most important experts in quality. He studied at the University of Minnesota, South High School, and in the Loyola University Chicago School of Law. In addition, he was honored with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation and a member of the Rumanian Academy.

Juran was not only an important quality expert but also the founder of different quality theories. One of the most important ones was the Quality Management, which involves the human activities with the manufacturing processes. Another important concept developed by Juran was the Juran’s trilogy, which is divided into three processes (pacification, quality control, and quality improvement) and proposes 10 principles for reaching this. Besides his theories, Juran wrote important works, like the Quality Control Handbook, Juran on Planning for Quality, Quality Planning, and Analysis, among other pieces.

These two important figures were crucial for the implementation of the Total Quality Management, which was vital for the Japanese economy rising and the development of new manufacturing techniques based in Kaizen. Knowing these imperative figures, then we can talk about the Total Quality Management concept.

Production floor_logistics_kaizen_manufacturing
Image courtesy of Steve at

Total Quality Management (TQM)

As we mentioned, this methodology was proposed in Japan by William Edwards Deming and Joseph Juran, between 1950 and 1960, for the promotion of the quality improvement in the manufacturing processes for the Japanese industries in that time. This concept, not only seeks for the manufacturing processes improvement, but for the awareness raising in all the company ambits. In other words, the Total Quality Management seeks for the quality enhancement in almost every aspect in companies.

The Total Quality Management model is supported by two main concepts; Management and totalization. The first one is also known as the plan-do-check-act model or the Deming circle. The second one is focused on the concept of organization.

Besides the quality improvement in the organization processes and the benefits it brings, this methodology also enhances the relation with customers and providers, due to the delivery times reduction, the products superiority, and the communication upgrading. Having this, and understanding the application of the theories promoted under the Kaizen philosophy, like the Total Quality Management, the organizations not only have higher quality products, but also best processes and working activities.

Related: Kaizen: Focused On Reducing Waste by David Kiger

* Featured Image courtesy of TheLeadSA at


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