Total Quality Management in the Department of Defense


Strickland, Jack; Angiola, Peter   (1989, ASQC)   Department of Defense (DOD), The Pentagon, Washington, DC ;Defense industry;Total quality management (TQM)

Annual Quality Congress, Toronto, Ontario, Canada    Vol. 43    No. 0
QICID: 3662    May 1989    pp. 806-811
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Article Abstract

This paper explores some of the causes that have contributed to the current status of our economy, the stigma of poor quality associated with weapon systems, the adversarial relationship between Government and industry and the general attitude of mistrust between management and labor. The paper addresses the new DoD approach to quality and offers a persuasive argument to the defense industry for joining in this revolution.

Quality has continued to evade us through our various quality systems, inspection methods and costly tests. Previous attempts to achieve improvements have traditionally consisted of more quality audits, reports, additional testing and inspection, legal battles over contract compliance, and prosecution for fraud. In the DoD we have come to the realization that it's time to do something different, not simply more of what we are already doing. Therefore, we have developed the DoD Total Quality Management (TQM) strategy, one objective of which is to broaden the focus of quality to embrace the quality from defect correction to defect prevention; from quality "inspected" into the product to quality designed and built into the product; from acceptable levels of defects to continuous improvement; from approval of waivers to conformance to properly defined requirements; from emphasis on cost and schedule of emphasis on quality, cost, and schedule.

The TQM approach is comprised of organized continuous process improvement activities involving everyone in the organization, managers and workers, in a totally integrated effort toward improving performance at every level. This improved performance is directed toward satisfying such cross-functional goals as Quality, Cost, Schedule, Manpower development, and Product development. Quality principles will be integrated in all acquisition functions including production, contracting, competition, design, manufacturing, operation and support, with a focus on reducing overall costs by improving quality in every phase of acquisition and logistics. These activities are ultimately focused on increased customer/user satisfaction.

In conclusion, the TQM effort is the vehicle for attaining continuous quality improvement in our operations, and is a major strategy to meet the President's productivity objectives contained in Executive Order 12552. The cultural change involves embracing the concept that Quality is everyone's responsibility, and especially management's.


Department of Defense (DOD),Space,Aviation industry

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