Chapter 25. Improvement Approaches

A. van der Wiele, J. D. van Iwaarden, B. G. Dale and A. R. T. Williams


The earlier chapters in this part 3 of the volume have explained the use of various specific systems, tools and techniques. This chapter builds on the previous chapters by comparing and examining five improvement approaches: total quality management (TQM), total productive maintenance (TPM), business process re-engineering (BPR), six sigma, and lean management. The argument is made that approaches such as TQM and TPM tend to focus on the desired end-state whereas BPR and six sigma lay more emphasis on what an organization must do in order to achieve the desired end-state. It is also pointed out that many of the principles, tools and techniques in each of the approaches are timeless and that all approaches are useful but need to be treated with caution, and that the replacement improvement approach theory advocated by some management consultants and academics is wasteful of an organization's resources and fails to build on synergy of past experiences.

Five Modern Improvement Approaches

This chapter is a revised version of a paper published initially in the International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2006, 1(4), 363–78.

The continuous elimination of errors, defects and waste and their associated value-adding activities to improve the quality of products and services is essential for all organizations, irrespective of their size, product/service offerings ...

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