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Total Quality Management Department
To all veterans,
Has anyone of you worked in an IT organziation where there is a TQM department? If not, which department the TQM team belongs to? And what is the extent of its role?
I have never worked in a company with that specific department, though my old director was brought in to fix the QUALITY of the whole company, but I do know Pharmaceutical companies have Quality Control Departments that to me are pretty much TQM departments. I may be wrong, but I think they are close to the same thing.
TQM in Software companies
I spent 8 years at HP Labs and 6 years at SAP Labs in a QA role.
Both of these companies have a formal (ISO 9000 certified) quality assurance process, that would be required for TQM.
In both these companies the QA oversight, which is an audit function, is carried out by a small group of individuals that have little knowledge of the product and specialize in process compliance.
The QA function makes sure that when a formal inspection process is carried out, by an external certification body, the process and organization will pass the inspection and remain certified.
The formal audit process requires full documentation, for compliance, and check points to verify the appropriate process is being followed.
What is important, for the QA dept, is that they do not report to the Dev manager that has the responsibility to ship the product as the QA dept should be completely independent.
In smaller organizations that I have worked in the formal QA role is mixed with QC (testing) and typically both report to the Dev Manager.
The key for TQM, in terms of organization, is a separate and independent QA (audit) group that can ensure the appropriate processes and standards are being used.
Of course to ensure anything complies with documented procedures requires those procedures, standards etc. are in place (which is a whole other story).