Total Quality Management (TQM) is a fairly recent phenomenon in management thinking, and is now a distinct area of study in its own right, formally unrelated to project management. However TQM is of interest, since it draws upon many concepts originally developed within project management.
Arising from the increasingly competitive nature of modern business, TQM is essentially concerned with giving priority to quality of service, particularly within line management operations. The implications are more psychological than formal, the main emphasis being placed upon all individuals within an organisation recognising that they have customers, even if it is only another part of the same company (e.g. accounts dept.) The intention is that quality is perceived and measured at all stages of an organisation’s activities.