Total Quality Management in Education

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Assessment that asks students to demonstrate direct is as critical as those asking them to reflect indirect on their learning. Managing of the educational quality assurance infrastructure encompasses seeking the best fit among the various assessment methods and the rest of the activities that in their own ways determine quality of educational outputs and outcomes.

Educational QA quality assurance has various activities, including assessments and quality controls QCs that are designed to track and resolve deficiencies, optimise inputs and processes to ensure that emergent customer needs and requirements are met continually. While QC quality control tends to focus on comparing inputs, throughputs and outputs against some scheme of criteria and specifications, quality assurance goes a little further in recognising that customer needs are complex, diverse and mobile [ 8 ].

Thus, in a fast-pacing world the need for focusing on quality assuring than QC is imperative. Because of globalisation, changes in resources types, processes and skillsets are giving rise to floods of styles and fashions. New Business Models have become more invasive in HEIs higher education institutions than in primary and secondary education institutions.

Applying Total Quality Management In Academics

The relation among inputs, processes and outcomes is not uncommon in educational management literature. The generic perception is that it is needful to ensure that the quality of inputs is as high as we would like the quality of outputs to be. Two assumptions come into play in this instance: The quality or how well the processes will work out will be determined by the quality of the resources input into the transforming processes. Assuming the input resources are favourable, the quality of outputs will be determined by the appropriateness and quality of the transforming operations.

But further to these assumptions is the need to ensure that the recruitment and selection of the inputs is subordinated to the framework of customer satisfaction performance. It basically means that the inputs and outlay of processes must be built from an analysis of the demands, needs and wants of the student, industry-commerce and society.

Among the touted inputs are: Quality of teachers often defined by their level of certification rather than by their ability to make their students acquire and perform particular skills;. Quality of the buildings often rated by the imagery in them than their appropriateness as facilitators to a process of learning and transformation and. Quality of students often perceived through lenses of some assessment system that is little aligned to what the student will develop along the institutional experience.

Management of educational throughputs is a complex program because it calls for vertical alignment as well as horizontal integration of modes of thinking as of action. There is need to link the Strategy Plan from top-level goals to shop-flow operations and across the sectors and departments of the institution. It is therefore of paramount importance that strategists, managers and those at the operational-technical level appreciate the criticality of connecting every micro-activity with the bigger macro- picture of the institution.

These assumptions are combined to an array of standing and emergent policy regime that is meant to support or positively exploit the human skills. The delivery of high quality education may be constrained by inconsistencies in the policies and in their implementations. Educational outputs include the extant, the near and medium range results of an instructional experience. This includes the reflections undertaken by the teacher after encounters with the students and these focus on the reactions and responses of the learners. There is a need to differentiate educational outputs from educational outcomes.

Educational outputs are more of the immediate and fairly near-term results of the education delivery system. Outcomes of an educational system and experience are rather difficult to winnow and claim in an exclusive fashion. Outcomes are a much delayed feature and their manifestation embodies the influence of other learning from society and the environment that the individual brushed with since the last instructional relationship. Outcomes reflect the deeper learning that resulted in the transformation of behaviour. It is important that the institutional process in the classroom does not limit itself to impacting content.

It must as well focus on developing critical thinking skills, systems thinking and personal mastery. This transformative approach has implications on subject didactics and school pedagogy [ 9 ]. The next section compares six quality management models, evaluating their biases and thus, assesses their capability of improving quality of educational delivery.

A comparative analysis of QMSs should help in assessing and evaluating why and how QM models fail or survive their brush with the gang aft agley of operational reality. The five focus areas in Section 3 are in fact categories of the models shown in Table 1. In summary, the nine quality management models under Section 3 call on the education delivery system to respond to the needs of the student and the market of future employers including self ; the robustness of the metrics for success; the empowerment of the learner and the teacher to determine what constitutes a real learning chain or environment and the growth through collaborated engagement of the society, the institution and the student.

The failure of most QMSs ubiquitous in education is based on their miniaturisation of education and focusing on small-scale issues of education [ 10 ]. Sections 4. The content and processes of leadership at any institution is determined by the balance of interaction between top management and the led or followership, and the stage in evolution of the institution. Literature is awash with castigations of top-down, hierarchical and authoritarian leadership styles [ 11 , 12 ]. Despite the castigations, these styles of leadership will continue to find relevance at various stages of institutional development.

These styles may be used where resistance is anticipated and where quick fixes are required. Except for radical business process redesign BPR , most quality models tend to encourage a mixture of bottom-up and top-down management system, with many authors arguing that a team-based structure would greatly favour success of most QMSs. Most strategic plans view education as an ongoing program of multiple subprograms and projects with each having multiple activities and objectives.

Therefore, a QMS would work better if everyone was fully committed to work with and recognise the value of everyone else. Leaders, managers and strategists in QMS should facilitate in defining and clarifying the different project priorities; inspire sufficient collaboration and participation; manage and catalyse change and deal with conflict. The transformation towards locally based, distributed or participative leadership is important [ 13 , 14 ].

Inclusion of institutional members in modelling decisions multiplies their power to act on those decisions. Strategic planning is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an institution is, what it does, where it wants to be and how it intents getting there.

The fundamental output of strategic planning is a strategy plan which is a documentation of what the institution is, what is undesirable about it and what it wants to be in some specific time. The outcome of good strategic planning and implementation is institutional survival, growth and sustainability. Institutional growth may not always be measured in financial terms as there are many non-financial pursuits of the institution. Any desirable change, for instance, profound understanding of stakeholder requirements, substantial reduction in the frequency and content of customer complains can be interpreted as growth.

Scholars [ 15 ] refer to five fundamental disciplines that form the bedrock of profound change: systems thinking. Framing strategy planning and implementation on the five disciplines improves the breadth and depth of understanding of related key performance indicators and critical success factors. With such understanding, the institution will be able to continually narrow its risk envelop [ 16 ].

The following sections focus on the meanings and implications of the five disciplines as relating to education. Systems thinking in education are a mental tool of understanding how sub-components of a whole influence one another so that resolving problems within one part of education should neither negatively impact the performance of other areas nor create unforeseen consequences.

Generating and maturing a systemic and complete vision of education or the institution can be enriched and perfected by use of such techniques as causal loop diagrams, links and loops, stock and flow modelling, archetypes and computer models among others. These tools help the institution examine and exchange hypotheses about institutional performativity. These are shown in Figure 1. The five CSFs for cross-stakeholder engagement are co-creating a vision, learning together to co-create projects and programs and self-governance impact QM in a significant way. However, most education managers develop and diffuse systems thinking skills through casual experiences far late in their careers.

Management that focus on quick fixes and quick results are less likely to sustain a quality culture. Notwithstanding, most management show high disposition to bring change by dealing with rules, work processes, information flows, physical facilities, material flows, control mechanisms and reward systems.

Systems thinking create the vocabulary and language that help members see events, patterns of behaviour, systems and mental models in strong vinculum. Mental model refer to the images, assumptions and stories which people carry in their minds about themselves, other people, institutions and every aspect of their environment. Because people are differently attracted by different details of any one system, they are bound to pay unequal attention to same issues. Consequently, they will have different intensities of emotions about the same components of a system. To have a complete picture of the ever-changing world, people need to be more reflexive and truthful about how they feel about what surrounds them.

Personal mastery means the capability of learning to expand individual, team or institutional capacity to create own strategic capabilities in pursuance of personal, team and institutional goals. The individual is the basic unity of structure and function in the deployment of quality. It is therefore important that individuals in the institution appreciate the gaps in their behaviour, knowledge and skills so that they can map out an atlas of personal developments and improvement.

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The tools of personal mastery help to measure and analyse the gap between where one stands and where one want to be. Once people have a correct and accurately detailed picture of the scope of the gap people get to the thresholds of a creative tension. The creative tension now becomes the motivator for improvement. The power to resolve the creative tension arises from the relationship among the different elements of the institutional context. Institutions thus, need a workforce and strategists that help one another clarify and understand the current reality and chemistry of the creative tension.

Creative tension means the felt gaps among components of a system and the gap between the current and the desired futures. Figure 2 depicts the creative tension as a dynamic system of the context, the desired future and the pathway thereto. Personal mastery relates to quality management in that if people are able to reflex truthfully they should be able to tell themselves how they are causing poor quality performance.

They too should be able to say how they can contribute to quality education. Team learning is about how the organisation can work with internals and externals to create and share a coherent and relevant vision, think strategically on even the minor issues and build a mental model of a continuously improving institution. The crux of the discipline of team learning is to help teams re-create themselves in ways that sustain and self-reinforce gained strategic capabilities.

In reality, quality assurance agencies, industry, students and governments have as top of their agenda—high quality education. Applying the Six Sigma roadmaps should help stakeholders appreciate that working in some co-ordinated manner creates the strategic capacity of thinking, learning and acting in synergy. In a team, each needs the other to accomplish a result. The intricate relationship among the disciplines and each of them and the whole to strategic thinking and the strategic planning process itself cannot be overemphasised. The assumption of the model depicted at Figure 1 is more complex than the schematic representation is.

The manner in which individuals conduct themselves in relationship to others and their contexts personal mastery determines their disposition to learn and grow themselves and others team learning. The more they interact and converse about their experiences and the more they understand their contexts and the broader universe. The more people comprehend their contexts and incorporate such understanding systematically in their decisions the more they improve the quality of their universe and incorporate such understanding in their decisions systems thinking. Profound personal mastery and a disposition for team learning and systems thinking help build strong and informed mental models that help people accomplish enlightened strategies of accomplishing win-more-win-more outcomes shared vision.

It benefits institutions to think and adopt strategic planning for quality education guided by the five disciplines. Much of the failure with the adoption of quality assurance measures are not in the models but in the incapability of conceptualising how workforce and stakeholders can draw up vectors of learning and improvement within the five disciplines. Sharing a vision about quality and its management into daily institutional practices is about connecting with the rest of the workforce and stakeholders, understanding what they are doing now that is constraining or improving quality of education.

Open deliberations help people be truthful about their contexts and helps too in people talking frankly about what futures they desire and how much they are willing to give to achieve that future. The Six Sigma roadmaps shown in Figure 3 is one such strategy of putting together different voices in building shared visions. Process management is the set of methodological and management practices used in ensuring that business and institutional activities accomplish their allotted performance targets.

Information technology IT enhances process management and continuous improvement thus turning processes into assets.

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Indeed the basis of quality assurance is in assuring that processes are optimised without compromising their focus, effectiveness and efficiency in pursuing customer satisfaction performance. Quality can only be assured with appropriateness of processes. Business process management systems can benefit the quality effort in a number of ways including pinpointing interface noise. Interface noise cause quality to decline. The Six Sigma roadmaps Figure 3 in various ways improve quality of products and services by: Firstly, focusing institutional design and processes DFSS on operational target goals and objectives.

Secondly, by aligning and integrating system-system, system-person and person—person processes SSPD. Thirdly, by using technology in optimising utilisation of core and complementary resources TFSS. Processes that may have detrimental effects on value or do not add any are a liability to the institution. Setting-up a process improvement infrastructure should start from interviewing and surveying people throughout the institution to find out what they do, how they do it and why they like or dislike the experience.

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  • This however, needs honed skilful discussion competences on the part of management and the workforce. People are more prone to hiding information and data when they are in fear, mistrust and doubtful. In times of poor quality performance, the temptation for corporate isomorphism or adoption of radical process and structural redesign or the use of consultants to fix the messy is high. In fact the institution may suffer a duplication of activities, clogging of interfaces and exhaustion of workforce on valueless activities.

    This leads to overall decline in amount and quality of processes that directly create customer value. District offices and schools complain of too much work which would be greatly reduced were processes that created that work aligned, integrated and right-sized. Quality of work depends somewhat on the amount of such unstructured time people spend ruminating about their roles and the assignment in their charge.

    In education the many customers to an institution may be allotted into one of the four categories below: Voice of Customer students, society and industry. Figure 3 illustrates the interaction of the four voices and they ultimately confluence into business results as measured by yardstick of student, society and industry satisfaction. In the ultimate instance, the Voice of Market, Voice of Business and Voice of Employee must focus on meeting requirements in Voice of Customer students, society and industry as in Figure 3.

    A focus on the customer should translate into a robust market-oriented philosophy or mental model and a pragmatic methodology of hearing, understanding, learning and responding to the four voices. Profiling and understanding the customer has a strong impact on how well the institution will develop and refine their processes, mission, values and consider development of their own vision sketch. Vector of CI is meant a specification of how much and what direction a process, skill or competency needs to be improved so as to meet a customer requirement.

    The amount of change may be quantitative or qualitative. The direction of improvement may be negative removal or reduction or positive addition or innovation. These three types of improvement vectors can be operated singly or may be executed within the same program. In their isolation, these voices will not lead to much long-lasting change towards customer-focusing.

    To avoid reactivity to multiple and fragmented customer demands the voices can be combined, forming four Six Sigma Roadmaps as illustrated in Figure 3. Most institutions receive or do provide training and some sorts of skilling on customer care. The value of such budgets become questionable if the trainers, the content and the purpose is alien to the contexts of the four Six Sigma roadmaps. Customer-focused training and skilling must be premised on creating strategic capabilities in the form of substitute quality characteristic SQC or technical competences TC and target values TV.

    These three terms are meant conceptual, managerial, behavioural or practical capabilities that close the gap between P i intended performance and P o observed performance as illustrated in Eq. Note that the terms target value can be applied to non-human resources like tools and machines while the terms SQC and TC are often used in Ref.

    In the ultimate instance, the strategic concern is for all the voices to feed into the needs and wants of the student, society and industry-and-commerce. This point is further illustrated in the comparative analysis of the structure of the different QMSs. In Table 2 , it is shown that business results are measured in terms of customer satisfaction performance, wherein the customer is students, society and the institution.

    Total Quality Management (TQM): What is TQM? | ASQ

    These include interviews, student evaluation of teaching effectiveness SETE forms, observation schedules, records of complains, training needs analysis, learning needs analysis, etc. The data and information can be processed by use of brainstorming, tree diagrams, Kano diagrams, etc. Research has shown that copious amounts of data are collected by institutions but very little is done to process the data and make it influence hiring, procurement, budgeting and other management decisions [ 21 ].

    Least done is the process of making the customers validate the information extracted from the data. Representatives from within the four voices can be used too in constructing and contenting the different data gathering instruments.

    The Birth of TQM

    Representatives from within the four voices can further be used to validate the list of needs and wants. Strategic planning must identify the improvement vectors within the disciplines of systems thinking; team learning; personal mastery; mental model and shared vision. Improving skills in the five disciplines should increase relevance of the Change-Project Management schedule and appropriateness of the Framework of Implementation Strategies as well as comprehensiveness of the Strategy for Risk Management as shown in Figure 4.

    The basis of continuous improvement is a creative tension that correctly and accurately details the undesirability of the current institutional context s and the aspired future state s Figure 2. The creative tension itself sets the atlas of institutional change. Expert strategists, through intra-inspection personal mastery , systems thinking, team learning and sharing visions of their institutions build mental models of what their customers really desire. Based on these mental models, the institution must be able to precisely define the desirable behaviour change indicators BCIs , key performance indicators KPIs and critical success factors CSFs that improve quality performance of individuals, teams and the institution as a whole.

    Different institutions adopt different strategies of doing strategic planning. In this stage, special emphasis is brought on assessing the environment to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges; identifying and framing strategic issues; formulating strategies to manage the strategic issues; reviewing and adopting the Strategy Plan.

    One of the shortfalls is coming up with SWOT analyses as being an end unto itself. In quality management, a SWOT analysis is just but a tool for designing a set of strategic plans that should use institutional resources to deal with institutional challenges. The prime focus of the SWOT analysis should be to help the institution see how on a cost—benefit analysis the institution can utilise opportunities and its strengths to mitigate threats and weaknesses and drive change and projects through. Making strategies work is directed at driving change-projects through and hinges on the functionality of the seven BPPs: Being disciplined.

    Done well, the main gains to the QMS would be an effective implementation process, and the establishing of an effective organisational vision for the future. In educational QMSs, this role can be protagonised by Vice Chancellors right to front-line workforce helped by mathematical and statistical tools such as those used in descriptions of costs, enrolments, etc. Descriptive and predictive analyses can be used to identify future opportunities and challenges. This also constitutes strategic risk management whose focus is ensuring that strategies and the strategic planning process are reassessed continually. This ensures that every objective attained becomes a means or tool for accomplishing future goals and objectives. Resourcing for the long-term confer moderate risk to activities of QMS. It further ensures that an objective achieved now should be a resource and means for achieving future institutional objectives.

    In contrast, radical BPR confers high risk to quality strategies as its habit of starting from scratch forfeits it of the historical success of the institution. Radical approaches to institutional difficulties and problems often quickly run out of steam, budgets and support as people are bound to feel short-changed. Others sited problems of individuals being unresponsive to suggestions on their learning needs or performance deficiencies.

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    • But to help another one needs to understand where the deficiency is first. The aforementioned instances show how even when people share a vision of quality improvement their mental models about how to do quality improvement may be quite different. Even when improvement strategies were crafted from the institution, some felt their operationalisation would be swamped by regulations and requirements.

      Thus, locally grown change needs and projects would always be scantly driven through. By implication it means that much of institutional budgets are spend on chasing issues that are valueless in terms of continuous institutional improvements. It also implies that the risks positive or negative perceived by the institution or part thereof are not exploited as they are left to compete with those dictated from above by top management. It was not always that dictates from top-management are irrelevant at the middle or lower institution echelons.

      Despite the alignments there are many chances that the requirements are felt by both but enjoy different priority levels with each group. Differences in priority result in either over-budgeting or under-budgeting on each activity. Either way, over-budgeting or under-budgeting exemplifies lack of strategic risk management. The priority given to the improvement of a target value must correspond with the amount of value the target value or CSF critical success factor will leverage towards customer satisfaction performance.

      Kano diagrams Kano model should accomplish this. Focusing on an improvement vector and target value and the prioritisation of related budgets is an important part of system thinking-based strategic categorisation activity. Strategic categorisation should see the institution build its critical strategic capability on a continual basis.

      By knowledge management is meant a process of generating, sharing, managing and using the know-hows and information of an institution. Great amounts of knowledge can be generated where there is strong teamwork culture and managers and leaders acting as knowledge nodes and knowledge distributors. TQM will help achieve excellence, which only can guarantee the survival of institutions now in a highly competitive world, with ever decreasing subsidy in the education sector. Skip to main content. Advertisement Hide. Total Quality Management in Educational Institutions. Authors Authors and affiliations A.

      Hoque M. Hossain M. Conference paper First Online: 26 January This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. He is perhaps the best known for his work in Japan.

      Google Scholar. Martin, L.