Robert J. Masters after an extensive research mention 9 obstacles in implementation of TQM in the organization. The obstacles are given as below
1. Lack of management commitment
In order for any organizational effort to succeed, there must be a substantial management commitment of management time and organizational resources. The purpose must be clearly and continuously communicated to all personnel management must consistently apply the principle of TQM.
2. Inability to change organizational culture
Changing an organization's culture is difficult and will require as much as five years. Individuals resist change--they become habituated to doing a particular process and it becomes the preferred way. Management must understand and utilize the basic concepts of change. They are;
- People change when they want to and to meet their own needs
- Never expect anyone to engage in behaviour that serves the organization's values unless adequate reason(why) has been given.
- For change to be accepted, people must be moved from a state of fear to trust.
It is difficult for individuals to change their way of doing things; It is much more difficult for an organization to make cultural change. Organization that spend more planning for the cultural aspects of implementing a TQM program will improve their chance of success.
e.g. concern to India, Chandigarh is the first smoke free city of India, this is the cultural change.
3. Improper planning
All constituents of the organization must be involved in the development of the implementation plan and any modifications that occur as the plan evolves. The Two-way communication of ideas is the matter of great importance and should be taken by all personnel during the development of the plan and its implementation. Customer satisfaction should be the goal rather than financial or sales goals.
4. Lack of continuous training and education
Training and education is an ongoing process for everyone in the organization. Needs must be determined and a plan developed to achieve those needs. Training and education are most effective, when senior management conducts the training on the principles of TQM. External trainer can be hired for communicating the TQM effort to all personnel on a continual basis. Lack of training in group discussion and communication techniques, quality improvement skills, problem identification, and the problem-solving method was the second most important obstacle.
5. Incompatible organizational structure and isolated individuals and departments
Difference between departments and individuals can create implementation problems. The use of multifunctional teams will help to break down long-standing barriers. Restructuring to make the organization more response to customer needs may be needed. Individuals who do not embrace the new philosophy can be required to leave the organization.
6. Ineffective measurement techniques and lack of access to data and results
Key characteristics of the organization should be measured for effective decision making. To improve a process are you need to measure the effect of improvement ideas. Access to data and quick retrieval is necessary for effective processes. Find the root cause, correct the problem and eliminate the root cause to prevent recurrence of the problem.
7. Paying inadequate attention to internal and external customers
Organizations need to understand the changing needs and expectations of their customers. Effective feedback mechanism that provide data for decision making are necessary for this understanding. Give the right people (who are directly working on the product) direct access to the customers. When an organization fails to empower individuals and teams, it can't hold them responsible for producing results.
8. Inadequate use of empowerment and team work
Teams need to have the proper training and at least in the beginning by a facilitator. Individuals should be empowered to make decisions that affect the efficiency of their process or the satisfaction of their customer.
9. Failure to continuously improve
It is tempting to sit back and rest on your laurels. However, a lack of continuous improvement of the process, product and service will even leave the leader of the pack in the dust.
Will Rogers said it very best
"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."