Definition of Quality as Seen by Quality Gurus
The definition that the first guru provides states that quality is compliance with standards. He believes that many phrases that contain the word ‘quality in them are clichés and mean something different for each person. The absence of quality is, therefore, non-compliance with personal or organizational standards.
The second definition is provided by Deming. He considers quality from many points of view. To a consumer, quality means satisfaction with a product for a price he is prepared to pay. For a worker, quality is the measurement of how well he did his job. For a manager, it is a successful organizational process that is measured by the smoothness of the company’s operation.
According to Feigenbaum, quality is a user’s satisfaction with his or her experience with the product. Each department’s zeal, knowledge, and skill is imbued into that product. If the customer likes it, then it likes the manufacture, advertising, and marketing.
Ishikawa, however, interprets quality as a number of different facets of this concept. Thus, he includes in quality the manufacturing process, servicing, people, workers, company and its objectives, and many more things. In a more narrow sense, quality is the quality of the product.
Juran defines quality as a summary of features that the customer appreciates in the product, the features that give him or her satisfaction. The absence of such features means the absence of quality. In three words, he puts it as “fitness for use.”
In Pirsig’s view, the definition of quality is somewhat sensory. It is hard for many people to define it, but when they see something that inspires them, something that they admire, they know that it is quality.
Shewhart understands quality as a set of clients’ personal subjective characteristics of a material object that they hold in their heads. A manufacturer tries to measure and turn those perceived characteristics into physical parameters in an aspiration to satisfy the client. There is also an objective side of quality that does not rely on our understanding. It is something measurable and constant that the laws of physics can represent in a quantifiable state.
A somewhat philosophical view of quality is provided by Taguchi. He suggests that quality is what people lose after the product is shipped to them. This unusual definition probably means that the customer abandons something else if the product he or she purchased satisfies them enough.
In my view, the definition of quality needs to be given first for each separate realm in which it is used in the specified context. When it is applied to business and economics, quality refers to the quality of a product or service. Thus, for a client quality means satisfaction with the product’s functions, appearance, durability, and other physical characteristics.
The Difference between Quality and Total Quality Management (TQM)
The difference between quality and TQM is that the former is a concept while the latter is an approach to achieve that concept, making it quantifiable. Total quality management is a complex method that consists of certain practices aimed to provide clients with the best product tailored according to the majority of their wishes. Quality is the result of such a process. Through customers’ perception of quality, the management defines the effectiveness of their TQM. Essentially, both of them are tools to satisfy the customer, but the quality is a final measure, while TQM is the approach.