W Edwards Deming

W. Edwards Deming suggested that as much as 85 percent of the cost of quality is a management problem. Once the quality issue has hit the floor, or the worker level, the workers have little control. For example, if you're constructing a new highway and the management team that bid on the project proposed using inferior-grade asphalt, the workers laying the asphalt have little control over its quality. They're at the mercy of the management team responsible for purchasing the supplies.

Deming also proposed that workers cannot figure out quality on their own and thus cannot perform at their best. He believed that workers need to be shown what acceptable quality is and that they need to be made to understand that quality and continuous improvement are necessary elements of any organization—or project, in your case.

Many consider Deming to be a major contributor to the Total Quality Management (TQM) theory. TQM, like Deming, says that the process is the problem, not people. Every person and all activities the company undertakes are involved with quality. TQM stipulates that quality must be managed in and that quality improvement should be a continuous way of doing business, not a one-time performance of a specific task or process.

Exam Spotlight

There is some controversy surrounding who is the actual founder of TQM. Some say Deming, but others say Armand V. Feigenbaum. For the exam, I recommend knowing that Feigenbaum is the founder of TQM and Deming believes quality is a management issue. Six Sigma is a quality management approach that is similar to TQM and is typically used in manufacturing and service-related industries. Six Sigma is a measurement-based strategy that focuses on process improvement and variation reduction, which you can achieve by applying Six Sigma methodologies to the project. There are two Six Sigma methodologies. The first is known as DMADV (define, measure, analyze, design, and verify) and is used to develop new processes or products at the Six Sigma level. The second is called DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, and control) and is used to improve existing processes or products. Another tidbit you should understand about Six Sigma is that it aims to eliminate defects and stipulates that no more than 3.4 defects per million are produced.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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