History of the quality movement
The Malcom Baldridge Award, the Deming Quality Award and The European Foundation of Quality have all served to give TQM a high profile. One count suggests that there are over 400 TQM tools and techniques (Pyzdek, 2000). This high profile has, however, paradoxically contributed to a level of scepticism, especially by middle managers and staff. Promises have not been realized, high-profile organizations that claimed to be practising TQM have gone into decline, and staff have seen slogans and mission statements published that focus on customer service and people coupled with TQM, followed by redundancies and drastic cuts in training budgets. This chapter discusses what is meant by quality and gives a historical overview of the development of quality thinking, beginning with Total Quality Management. It concludes with a summary of how FIT SIGMA™ builds on prior quality initiatives.