Comparison and Contrast of Total
Quality Management, Open Book Management, Continuous Improvement, and Change Management
By: Eduardo R. Zayas-Quiñones
Total Quality Management (TQM) is an organizational
tool that centers on customer satisfaction, involvement of employees and process improvement for the purpose of
improving quality of service (Krajewski et. al., 2001). Through involvement of employees, TQM enables the use of
core competencies, field experience and critical thinking to improve processes in the organization. One tool in
particular "brainstorming" is used to enable critical thinking and flow of new ideas from employees in
an organized and highly productive fashion. The end goal is improving the quality of services provided for customers
with a desired result of increased customer satisfaction.
Open Book Management (OBM) is a workplace philosophy that embraces the concepts of employee empowerment through
ownership. This was an amazing discovery for me since it is a philosophy I have practiced for at least ten years.
Through this management style, I enable empowerment of employees (enable because I think is naturally there) to
make decisions as a partnership. We can contrast this philosophy with TQM's employee involvement and clearly see
that in both, employees are empowered to decide how processes will be improved in the organization. One interesting
thing about empowerment, which some take for granted is that along with it comes responsibility and accountability.
One more thing about Open Book Management worth mentioning is that you can't just open certain pages in a book
- all pages are open. This means that employees will have access to company financial statements, operating budgets
and everything else you could possibly think about. Risky? Perhaps. Worth trying? Absolutely!
Continuous Improvement in my view is the timing belt that drives TQM, OBM and Change Management engines. Perhaps
it should be referred as "perpetual". This is the way processes and work ethics in an organization should
be viewed not just as beginning to absolute end life cycle management but as a never ending loop where employees
collectively and actively find better ways of doing things, where processes constantly evolve and mature and ...
beyond. In order for TQM, OBM or Change Management to be successful, the processes and tools must be at work perpetually.
Change Management is the orderly and systematic process of keeping track of changes, documenting and analyzing
the results of such change. For example, configuration management is a critical application or tool in Information
Technology (IT) through which an organization keeps track of detailed information about all IT resources. Why is
it important to the organization? Suppose I have 200 file servers in my organization and decide that installation
of a new application is critical to the success of my company. The application runs on NT 4 Operating System platforms,
requires 512 Megabytes of memory and 20 Gigabytes of Free disk space - can the application be installed? Hmmm,
let's see - how could I find out? Well, hopefully someone has been keeping track of this information in a database
(a configuration management database) and every time someone has added memory or upgraded the operating system,
they have made entries to update the information for the affected server. In this case, I could just walk over
to the operations manager desk and ask, expecting a quick response. What if nobody kept track? Can you imagine
the amount of work required to find out? This is just one example of how configuration management or change management
can help us make better decisions.
Krajewski, L. J. & Ritzman, L. P. (2002) Operations Management: Strategy and Analysis, 5th edition
Copyright © 2002-2006
Self-Published - All rights reserved.