Are TQM & BPR Outdated Methods

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Master's August 2001

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"TQM and BPR are just management fads that have passed their use-by date!"� Total Quality Management and Business Process Reengineering have been the two most talked about (and implemented) business improvement strategies of the past decade. I like to think of the two strategies as complementary rather than as contending since they have different focuses but the same result albeit to different degrees of improvement. To say that they are outdated and no longer useful is, in my opinion, an inaccurate statement.

Firstly, there are not many other quality improvement strategies around that are enjoying the same success as TQM and BPR are. To say that these two strategies are just fads that have passed their use by date is equivalent as saying that businesses no longer need to improve. It is clear that businesses will always need to continue to improve and strive to gain a larger share of their respective markets, so unless there are other improvement methods that can be implemented, TQM and BPR will remain the forerunners of business strategy.

Fads, by definition, are just temporary crazes that don't last very long or are of much benefit. The statement that TQM and BPR are just fads is another falsehood. TQM has been traced back as far as 1950 with Dr Deming's lectures to the Japanese and since then has become a major worldwide business strategy of the past two decades. BPR hasn't been around as long but is beginning to enjoy the same sort of success with companies such as Ford, AT&T, Texas Instruments and Showtime among many others becoming dedicated disciples of the business approach. The massive followings that TQM and BPR have attracted only goes to show that they are indeed more that just fads and are the quintessential business strategies of the past...