Total Quality Management as defined by Wikipedia:
When used together as a phrase, the three words in this expression have the following meanings:
Total: Involving the entire organization, supply chain, and/or product life cycle
Quality: With its usual definitions, with all its complexities
Management: The system of managing with steps like Plan, Organize, Control, Lead, Staff, provisioning and organizing.
As defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO):
"TQM is a management approach for an organization, centered on quality, based on the participation of all its members and aiming at long-term success through customer satisfaction, and benefits to all members of the organization and to society." ISO 8402:1994
One major aim is to reduce variation from every process so that greater consistency of effort is obtained. (Royse, D., Thyer, B., Padgett D., & Logan T., 2006)
In Japan, TQM comprises four process steps, namely:
Kaizen – Focuses on "Continuous Process Improvement", to make processes visible, repeatable and measurable.
Atarimae Hinshitsu – The idea that "things will work as they are supposed to" (for example, a pen will write).
Kansei – Examining the way the user applies the product leads to improvement in the product itself.
Miryokuteki Hinshitsu – The idea that "things should have an aesthetic quality" (for example, a pen will write in a way that is pleasing to the writer)
TQM requires that the company maintain this quality standard in all aspects of its business. This requires ensuring that things are done right the first time and that defects and waste are eliminated from operations.
Total Quality Management continues to evolve in the form of the Criteria for Performance Excellence which was first published in 1988. The criteria provide the basis for the Baldrige National Quality Program (BNQP) that is administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Organizations benchmark against the criteria to assess how well their actions are aligned with their strategies. Results are examined to determine the effectiveness of their approaches and deployment of these strategies. Dr. Juran once stated that the Criteria for Performance Excellence is the embodiment of those philospophies and practices we call TQM.
A comprehensive definition
Total Quality Management is the organization-wide management of quality. Management consists of planning, organizing, directing, control, and assurance. Total quality is called total because it consists of two qualities: quality of return to satisfy the needs of the shareholders, and quality of products.
Lean Six Sigma is widely recognised as a more rounded approach to improvement, encompassing all aspects of the business rather than focussing predominantly on quality.
The Lean Six Sigma Green / Black Belt certification program covers much much more than just Total Quality Management