Total Quality Management

The term Total quality management ( TQM ) was originally coined in 1985 by the Naval Air Systems Command to describe its Japanese-style management approach to quality improvement. The term has taken on a number of meanings, depending on who is interpreting it and how they are applying it. In general, however, it represents a style of management aimed at achieving long-term success by linking quality and customer satisfaction. Basic to the approach is the creation of a culture in which all members of the organization participate in the improvement of processes, products, and services. Various specific methods for implementing the TQM philosophy are found in the works of Crosby (1979), Deming (1986), Feigenbaum (1961, 1991), Ishikawa (1985), and Juran and Gryna (1970).

Since the 1980s, many U.S. companies have adopted the TQM approach to quality. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA), established by the U.S. government in 1988, highlights the embracing of such a philosophy and management style. The adoption of ISO 9000 as the quality management standard by the European Community and the acceptance of such standards by the U.S. private sector in recent years further illustrates the importance of the quality philosophy in today's business environments. In the computer and electronic industry, examples of successful TQM implementation include Hewlett-Packard's Total Quality Control (TQC), Motorola's Six Sigma Strategy, and IBM's Market Driven Quality. In fact, Motorola won the first MBNQA award (in 1988) and IBM's AS/400 Division in Rochester, Minnesota, won it in 1990.

Hewlett-Packard's TQC focuses on key areas such as management commitment, leadership, customer focus, total participation, and systematic analysis. Each area has strategies and plans to drive the improvement of quality, efficiency, and responsiveness, with the final objective being to achieve success through customer satisfaction (Shores, 1989). In software development, the Software Quality and Productivity Analysis (SQPA) program (Zimmer, 1989) is one of the approaches to improve quality.

Motorola's Six Sigma strategy focuses on achieving stringent quality levels in order to obtain total customer satisfaction. Cycle time reduction and participative management are among the key initiatives of the strategy (Smith, 1989). Six Sigma is not just a measure of the quality level; inherent in the concept are product design improvements and reductions in process variations (Harry and Lawson, 1992). Six Sigma is applied to product quality as well as everything that can be supported by data and measurement.

"Customer is the final arbiter" is the key theme of IBM's Market Driven Quality strategy. The strategy comprises four initiatives: defect elimination , cycle time reduction, customer and business partner satisfaction, and adherence to the Baldrige assessment discipline.

Despite variations in its implementation, the key elements of a TQM system can be summarized as follows :

  • Customer focus: The objective is to achieve total customer satisfaction. Customer focus includes studying customers' wants and needs, gathering customers' requirements, and measuring and managing customers' satisfaction.
  • Process: The objective is to reduce process variations and to achieve continuous process improvement. This element includes both the business process and the product development process. Through process improvement, product quality will be enhanced.
  • Human side of quality: The objective is to create a companywide quality culture. Focus areas include leadership, management commitment, total participation, employee empowerment, and other social, psychological, and human factors.
  • Measurement and analysis: The objective is to drive continuous improvement in all quality parameters by the goal-oriented measurement system.

Furthermore, an organization that practices TQM must have executive leadership, must focus on infrastructure, training, and education, and must do strategic quality planning.

Figure 1.3 is a schematic representation of the key elements of TQM. Clearly, measurement and analysis are the fundamental elements for gauging continuous improvement.

Figure 1.3. Key Elements of Total Quality Management


Various organizational frameworks have been proposed to improve quality that can be used to substantiate the TQM philosophy. Specific examples include Plan-Do-Check-Act (Deming, 1986; Shewhart, 1931), Quality Improvement Paradigm/ Experience Factory Organization (Basili, 1985, 1989; Basili and Rombach, 1987, 1988; Basili et al., 1992), Software Engineering Institute (SEI) Capability Maturity Model (Humphrey, 1989; Radice et al., 1985), and Lean Enterprise Management (Womack et al., 1990).

Plan-Do-Check-Act is based on a feedback cycle for optimizing a single process or production line. It uses techniques, such as feedback loops and statistical quality control, to experiment with methods for improvement and to build predictive models of the product. Basic to the assumption is that a process is repeated multiple times, so that data models can be built that allow one to predict results of the process.

The Quality Improvement Paradigm/Experience Factory Organization aims at building a continually improving organization, based on its evolving goals and an assessment of its status relative to those goals. The approach uses internal assessments against the organization's own goals and status (rather than process areas) and such techniques as Goal/Question/Metric (GQM), model building, and qualitative/ quantitative analysis to improve the product through the process. The six fundamental steps of the Quality Improvement Paradigm are (1) characterize the project and its environment, (2) set the goals, (3) choose the appropriate processes, (4) execute the processes, (5) analyze the data, and (6) package the experience for reuse. The Experience Factory Organization separates the product development from the experience packaging activities. Basic to this approach is the need to learn across multiple project developments.

The SEI Capability Maturity Model is a staged process improvement, based on assessment of key process areas, until you reach level 5, which represents a continuous process improvement. The approach is based on organizational and quality management maturity models developed by Likert (1967) and Crosby (1979), respectively. The goal of the approach is to achieve continuous process improvement via defect prevention, technology innovation, and process change management.

As part of the approach, a five-level process maturity model is defined based on repeated assessments of an organization's capability in key process areas. Improvement is achieved by action plans for poor process areas. Basic to this approach is the idea that there are key process areas and attending to them will improve your software development.

Lean Enterprise Management is based on the principle of concentration of production on "value-added" activities and the elimination or reduction of "not-value-added" activities. The approach has been used to improve factory output. The goal is to build software with the minimum necessary set of activities and then to tailor the process to the product's requirements. The approach uses such concepts as technology management, human-centered management, decentralized organization, quality management, supplier and customer integration, and internationalization/ regionalization. Basic to this approach is the assumption that the process can be tailored to classes of problems.

What Is Software Quality?

Software Development Process Models

Fundamentals of Measurement Theory

Software Quality Metrics Overview

Applying the Seven Basic Quality Tools in Software Development

Defect Removal Effectiveness

The Rayleigh Model

Exponential Distribution and Reliability Growth Models

Quality Management Models

In-Process Metrics for Software Testing

Complexity Metrics and Models

Metrics and Lessons Learned for Object-Oriented Projects

Availability Metrics

Measuring and Analyzing Customer Satisfaction

Conducting In-Process Quality Assessments

Conducting Software Project Assessments

Dos and Donts of Software Process Improvement

Using Function Point Metrics to Measure Software Process Improvements

Concluding Remarks

A Project Assessment Questionnaire

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Metrics and Models in Software Quality Engineering
Metrics and Models in Software Quality Engineering (2nd Edition)
ISBN: 0201729156
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2001
Pages: 176
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