in today' s competitive environment, delivering quality products and services is essential for success. Total Quality Management CTQM) is a focused management philosophy encompassing leadership, training, and motivation for continually improving an organization' s business processes. TQM differs radically from some traditional management practices. Quality is not considered an overlay, but is built into business processes. As more companies adopt TQM, IS organizations are being challenged to incorporate TQM principles into their own operations. This tutorial has three parts, starting with a general introduction to TQM. This summarizes alternative definitions of quality, TQM principles (e.g., management by fact, customer focus, continual improvement employee involvement), TQM tools (e. g., flow charts, fishbone diagrams, Pareto charts), and implementation mechanisms (c.g., improvement teams. quality councils, training programs). The second part discusses a year-long project in which SIM (the Society for Information Management, a leading organization for IS managers) identified ways to apply TQM to the IS function. Results from several regional working groups will be discussed. One group used Lhe criteria for the Commerce Department's Baldrige Award as an organizing framework for assessing an IS organization's processes in TQM. Participants in several task forces provided brief write-ups of particular techniques for a proposed catalog of "best practices" related to TQM in IS. Overall, many ways to apply TQM techniques were identified. although most participants felt their organizations were near the beginning of a long road. Challenges in applying TQM to the IS function include the nature of key business processes, the inertia of existing systems and methods, and the unstable business environment surrounding these efforts. The third part shows how TQM principles can be combined into a general framework any business person (a user, a manager. or a system developer) can use to analyze an information system. The framework focuses on business processes and views an information system as a business process that is always part of a larger business process. The framework's elements include the business process itself, its customer and stakeholders, controllable results it produces, its participants, and the information and information technology it contains. These six elements and interactions between the elements can be used to summarize a system, identify key issues for the analysis, outline Lhe system's formal structure, and describe system characteristics and evaluation criteria. This framework will be used to summarize several information systems used by IS groups in TQM efforts.
Alter, Steven, "TUTORIAL 4 TOTAL QUALITY AND THE IS FUNCTION" (1993). ICIS 1993 Proceedings. 3.