American Society of Civil Engineers

Effective Total Quality Management (TQM) Process

by G. W. Chase, M.ASCE, (Assoc. Prof., Constr. Engrg. Program, Dept. of Civ. and Construc. Engrg., Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA 50011-3232)

Journal of Management in Engineering, Vol. 9, No. 4, October 1993, pp. 433-443, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: This paper presents a 10-element total quality management (TQM) process that includes the common elements found in the TQM processes being used by design and construction companies. The model draws on two primary sources—i.e., three workshops conducted by Iowa State University on the application of TQM to the design and construction of buildings, and continuing study by the writer of design and construction companies practicing TQM. The 10 elements include: (1) Upper-management involvement, commitment, and leadership; (2) vision, mission, and guiding principles, developed in concert with the employees of an organization; (3) a significant amount of training in quality awareness, communication, leadership, teamwork, process improvement, and job-related skills; (4) improved communications; (5) teamwork; (6) a focus on satisfying the customer; (7) a focus on improving the work environment, helping employees improve, and involving them in the improvement efforts of the organization; (8) the use of formalized process improvement techniques; (9) helping suppliers and subcontractors improve; and (10) striving for continuous improvement.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Quality control
Construction industry
Management methods
Organizational policy