Six Sigma is a lean methodology that is used to help businesses, companies, and organizations improve their processes, products, and services. Its main goals include eliminating defects and streamlining quality control in manufacturing processes so that the possibility of variance is very little or negligible.
Although, Six Sigma is relatively a new concept if compared to Total Quality Management (TQM). However, I was not created to replace TQM. Both these methodologies get along very well in different business environments with their similarities and compatibilities. TQM might have taken over many companies for improving their product/service quality, Six Sigma is still considered a more suitable process for its sharper.
Also Read: Lean Manufacturing Tools and Techniques
Total Quality Management
Total Quality Management is generally associated with the deployment, maintenance, and development of organizational systems that are needed for various business processes. It is a strategic approach that focuses primarily on maintaining existing quality standards and secondarily making incremental quality improvements. In other words, it is a cultural initiative that has its main focus on establishing a culture of collaboration among different departments within an organization that share functionality for improving overall quality.
Comparison of TQM and Six Sigma
Six Sigma, if compared to TQM strictly is different as it focuses only on taking quality improvement processes to their highest level. For understanding, the basic difference between Six Sigma and TQM is their very approaches. While TQM regards quality as conformance to internal requirements, Six Sigma aims to improve product quality by reducing the number of errors/reworks. The result in both cases may be very similar.
In short, Six Sigma assists businesses in reducing their operational/production costs by focusing on cost savings, cycle time reduction, process atomization, the establishment of SOPs, and defect reduction. In this way, it is very different from conventional cost-cutting measures that may compromise on quality and value of your product.
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