Total Quality Management (Archived)

RT-031 Topic Summary
RT 031


Research Team 31 (RT-31) followed two distinctly different areas in the general subject area of quality.

The first is Total Quality Management (TQM). Special Publication 31-1, Implementing TQM in Engineering and Construction, defines four elements associated with TQM implementation.

  • TQM implementation roadmap
  • Critical role of management
  • TQM training
  • Results of implementing TQM

The work is the result of the research source document (SD-74), Guidelines for Implementing Total Quality Management in the Engineering and Construction Industry, which provides the baseline from which the roadmap for TQM implementation was defined. Each phase of implementation is supported by a detailed list of do’s and don’ts that is valuable to anyone who is interested in TQM implementation. 

The second area researched was on Quality Function Deployment (QFD). At the time the research was conducted, Quality Function Deployment (QFD) was a planning and communication tool of proven value in manufacturing and service industries so the intent was to define the steps needed to implement into the Engineering & Construction (E&C) industry. The primary purpose of QFD is to capture the voice of the customer into the formative stages of project definition and early stages of design. The project or product delivered would exhibit the desired attributes defined by the customer as they were converted to design requirements. A second research effort examined the deployment process that would be needed to implement QFD in the engineering and construction industry. An “application framework” was defined but no implementation resource or special publication was created for QFD. 

RT-31 research has been superseded by RT-254 Quality Management Best Practice Refresh which is included as part of the CII Best Practice for Quality Management.

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : The TQM Implementation Roadmap

The TQM Implementation Roadmap – TQM is described as a journey not a definition because the improvement process never ends. The TQM Implementation Roadmap includes 4 major phases. 

  • Phase I, Exploration and Commitment Phase – The key in this phase is identifying the need and providing the training necessary for TQM implementation.
  • Phase II: Planning and Preparation – The keys identified for this phase include selection of the deployment process, training implementation at various levels, and team selection and commissioning process.
  • Phase III: Implementation – Phase III success factors include formation of a steering team, realignment in the award systems, chartering QI teams, continued training, Pilot teams, and rolling out the process based on pilot results.
  • Phase IV: Sustaining – Key factors in this phase include conversion of QI results to standard procedures, continuation of planning, improvement process, management commitment, training, and active management oversight. 
Reference: (SP31-1)

2 : Quality Function Deployment

Quality Function Deployment (QFD) – QFD is a method to develop design quality to satisfy customer expectations in the final product by creating alignment with the defined needs of the customer. Key information on implementation of QFD is provided in SD-97 Adaptation of Quality Function Deployment to Engineering and Construction Project Development. (SD-97, p2-1)

  • The primary phases that the research team viewed QFD as being most appropriate for implementation include feasibility, conceptual development, and preliminary design. The business requirements phase was considered not to yield opportunities to apply QFD.
  • An illustration of the application of QFD to the feasibility stage is provided in SD 97. Similar examples are provided for the conceptual and preliminary design phases. The final design phases offers discrete opportunities for QFD applications but were not illustrated in the document.  

Other key information on the QFD process, including the primary definitions of QFD can be found in SD-74.

Reference: (SD-97)

3 : Implementation Tool #1

SP31-1, Implementing Total Quality Management

The TQM Roadmap provides step-by-step guidelines for successfully implementing TQM in the E&C industry. These guidelines are based on the experiences of the interviewed firms and represent the most likely path to TQM success.
Reference: (SP31-1)

Key Performance Indicators

Improved quality (reduced errors & omissions), Improved customer satisfaction

Research Publications

Implementing TQM in Engineering & Construction - SP31-1

Publication Date: 02/1994 Type: Special Publication Pages: 182 Status: Archived Tool

Adaptation of Quality Function Deployment to Engineering and Construction Project Development - SD-97

Publication Date: 12/1993 Type: Source Document Pages: 168 Status: Archived Reference

Implementation Process for Improved Quality in Plants/Divisions - SP-17

Publication Date: 12/1992 Type: Special Publication Pages: 26 Status: Archived Tool

Guidelines for Implementing TQM in the Engineering and Construction Industry - SD-74

Publication Date: 06/1992 Type: Source Document Pages: 155 Status: Archived Reference

Identifying Customer Requirements Through Quality Function Deployment - SD-69

Publication Date: 02/1992 Type: Source Document Pages: 39 Status: Archived Reference