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TQC and the "Australia for Quality" Campaign

In the book   TQC: Total Quality Control - The Australian Experience  author John Sprouster stated:

The International market place is a ruthless environment which acquires its needs in the most competitive markets and ignores the idealogies of competing countries.

That was in 1984 as the Pime Minister kicked off the "Australia for Quality" campaign, and his words are even more meaningful today for Australian IT services industries.  That initiative was supported by a number of Australian organisations, including Hewlett-Packard, Ford Australia and IBM Australia.  What happened to the campaign since then, and how does TQC compare to TQM (both founded in the teachings of Demming and others)?

I finally got around to reading this book today at the local tavern (as one does on a hot summer arvo in Sydney).  I borrowed it from a good friend and colleague at IBM two years ago, and was starting to feel guilty at having it collecting dust on my bookshelf.  (I'll return it next week, Peter).

I never gave the subject of TQC much credence as a solid quality methodology, seeing it as basically as a variant of TQM (Total Quality Management).  Whilst the "Australia for Quality" campaign seems to have fizzled out at some stage, Total Quality Control is indeed a strong, discrete and active alternative to TQM and other quality systems and tools (but mainly in Japan). In fact TQC is defineded in japanese language on Wikipedia only.  The english Wikipedia defines TQC the same as TQM (under Quality Control).

In any case the prime motivation for this article not to dispense with TQC as a viable quality system, but to provide sufficient understanding that all of its principles and components are covered in our discussiona and reference to other tools and methods (notably, TQM, Lean and Six Sigma).

Total Quality Control  versus  Total Quality Management

Total Quality Control Total Quality Management
  • Emphasis on process and continuous process improvement
  • Requires total employee participation. Staff is urged to suggestions for improvements, and implement
  • No absolute target -suitable in a changing market
  • Sometimes the end result is quite different from the original target
  • Employees often lose sight of the stated goals because they are too focused on processes
  • Emphasis on the targets and achieving them as soon as possible (short term financial wins)
  • System is simple and straight-forward
  • Imformation delivery is based on accurate data
  • Continuous process improvement isfundamental, but considered after the goals have been established
  • Employees often stop activities and implementation on process improvement, as they prioritise avoidance of errors and delays (Service Levels)

To avoid blowing this article out to a full length disertation and lose audience interest, I have summarised further distinguishing features in Total Quality Control and Total Quality Management.  I welcome feedback on this, but I believe that the principles, practices and tools provided in a TQC system are covered in one or more of our other focal quality systems (notably TQM, Lean and Six Sigma).


TQC  1. Make Total Quality Control the foundation of your business practice.  2. Focus full scale efforts on the control of cost, price and profit.  3. Control quantity - amount of production and stock.

 The Total Quality Control Process  P-D-C-A

1. Plan  - Determine goals and targets

2. Do  - Education and Training - work standards and technical standards must be taught. Workers must be mentored, coached and encouraged to do their best.

3. Check  - Inspection - It is the supervisor's duty to check and confirm the standards have been put into practice exactly When problems occur, check every possible angle, focus on each process.

4. Action  - Take appropriate action.

 TQM  1. Focus on Customers.  2.  Continuous Improvement.  3.  Total Employee Participation.

1. Acquiring customer satisfaction is the essence of improving quality. Rather than confining quality improvement to upgrading product quality and after-sale service, companies must transform themselves to foster a sense of enjoyment and pleasure within every employee in his or her work to enhance customer satisfaction. What every worker does eventually leads to higher customer satisfaction. Every employee`s workplace is an important part of the process.

2. This is also known as lean kaizen or lean management. The way managers understand and implement improvement activities shapes corporate culture. Fostering a workplace where employees have high morale, motivation and a sense of achievement in their improvement activities, greatly depends on the supervisor`s management expertise.

3. Total participation literally means employee engagement in activities to achieve the company`s goals. This is a workforce management strategy that creates a corporate culture of cooperation and respect for the individual which then paves the way for companies to take advantage of employees` individual talents and strengths. This encourages success and creates momentum.

Sharing a sense of common values, common mission and a common awareness of the problems in the workplace is a foundation for fostering teamwork in an organization. Two important factors here are leadership of the supervisors and open communication among staff members. 

TQC systems advocate the use of a number of quality improvement tools seen elsewhere in other systems:  Pareto Charts and the 80:20 principle;  Process flow charts akin to value stream mapping, and the identification and elimination of waste;  Cause and Effect diagrams introduced by Dr K. Ishikawa; Run charts, Action schedules and ControlCharts.  See our references for further information.

Finally, for future reference, I have added some  useful links on Total Quaity Control under our site's Quality Help menu - Other Resources.  I found one of the better sites on TQC at  Process Improvement Japan to be very interesting and rich in support material for many quality systems.  I even started subsribing to the site's monthly newsletter.


[References:  "TQC: Total Quality Control - The Australian Experience", by John Sprouster (Castle Books);  Total Quality Control at ]

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