Quality Management

What is Quality Management?

Quality Management Definition: QM is the act of overseeing all activities and tasks that must be accomplished to maintain a desired level of excellence.

QM ensures consistency in an organisation’s products and services.Quality Management is not only aiming to preserve excellence in a product or service but also to attain it. The four primary disciplines of QM are:

  • quality planning
  • quality assurance
  • quality control
  • quality improvement.

A “quality management system” defines an organisations QM standard.

Quality Management System (QMS) Definition

QMS are aligned with an organisation’s purpose and strategic direction (ISO9001:2015). It is expressed as the organisational goals and aspirations, policies, processes, documented information and resources needed to implement and maintain it. Therefore, early QMSs emphasised the predictable outcomes of an industrial product production line, using simple statistics and random sampling. By the 20th century, labour inputs were typically the most costly inputs in most industrialised societies, so focus shifted to team cooperation and dynamics, especially the early signaling of problems via a continuous improvement cycle. Furthermore, applying QMS to sustainability and transparency enhances investor and customer satisfaction. The ISO 9000 family of standards is the most popular QMS worldwide. The ISO 19011 audit regime applies to both and deals with quality and sustainability and their integration.

Origins of QM

TQM in the 1920s is the first well-documented attempt at QM as we know it today. However, businesses would not successfully implement the statistics revolution until the 1950s.

Today there are many methodologies for QM in a business setting. Japan, in particular, introduced a lot of methodologies and QM strategies in their attempt to lose a reputation for cheap, inferior products. Organisations like Toyota were particularly successful so much so, that they became incredibly influential essentially leading the way forward for other organisations to improve their quality.

Further resources: 

See our collection of articles on quality management

Source: Rose, Kenneth H. (July 2005). Project Quality Management: Why, What and How. Fort Lauderdale, Florida: J. Ross Publishing. p. 41.

Søren Pommer

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