OVERVIEW OF THE BASICS OF STATISTICAL TECHNIQUES USED
AS TQM TOOLS
This section gives just a glimpse of the basics of statistical techniques to help readers
to appreciate the relevance and indispensability of certain techniques that act as
TQM enablers. Serious readers interested in the theory may kindly consult reference
books on statistics or those TQM books which have elaborately dealt with statistical
tools & techniques used in TQM.
TQM without statistical techniques is unthinkable; implementation of total
quality management principles is just not possible without deploying any of the
statistical techniques or tools. Leaders, businessmen, and professionals, irrespec-
tive of their specialization, need to have an overview and appreciation of statistical
techniques as used in business and governance, just as in this modern world they
cannot ignore information technology. Unfortunately most businessmen and pro-
fessionals have an unfounded fear that statistics is too difficult and complicated to
understand. Thanks to advancements in software packages, complicated calcula-
tions and graphics can be done on computers and this development has really
made statistics user-friendly to non-statisticians. Leaders or professionals can now
easily understand, interpret, and initiate actions based on the statistical data
though they might require the help and guidance of a professional statistician in
certain cases.
Life is a pattern and its every activity follows a rhythm. The heartbeats follow
a particular rhythm; if the rhythm of the heart beat shows some irregularity or
abnormality the doctor says that we have a problem! The pump supplies the blood
to the heart, if the rhythm is distorted or erratic, the doctor or God intervenes. A
workaholic professional wonders about the worried (rather panicky) expression
of his wife when he returns home early at 4 PM instead of usual 8.30 PM to 9 PM.,
it is the broken rhythm of the routine that triggers the warning bell in the mind of
wife. The point is that all our activities of life, whether it concerns our body, mind,
profession or family life follow a certain pattern or rhythm. Whether one is suffering
from typhoid or not, is diagnosed by the doctor by studying the temperature chart
of the patient. We may not actively notice, but the milkman comes more or less in
same time, so does the newspaper vendor when delivering newspaper early
morning at certain time. All our daily activities or chores follow a particular pattern
or rhythm. Any major variation from this routine or rhythm causes some concern.
The ‘spikes’ in our routine (normal) trends or rhythms are indicative of aberrations
in the system. These aberrations need to be corrected, otherwise one day the system
could be out of tune. Regularity of these spikes is indicative an underlying pattern
and suggest its treatment, but if the occurrences are sporadic or random, interpre-
tation and correction may be totally different. When the doctors say that cholesterol
level is high, he is referring to an indicative range or limit; similarly range or limit
is also a usual thing in our profession or daily home/social life. If someone
behaves irrationally beyond the accepted norm, we admonish him by saying that
he has crossed the limit. The foregoing simple examples from daily life is referred
to explain that all activities whether in profession, or daily life develop a rhythm
210 MACRO STRATEGY

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