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Applying Total Quality Management Concepts to the Security Assistance Community

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Journal article

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As long ago as the 1930s, two men at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Walter A. Shewhart and W. Edwards Deming, developed techniques to bring industrial processes into what came to be called statistical control. Under this approach to management, limits of random variation in any aspect of a task were defined, establishing acceptable highs and lows to detect, study, and correct causes and effects in any process that affected the quality of a product resulting from that process. Dr. Deming later joined the Supreme Command for the Allied Powers to help prepare for the 1951 Japanese census. Within a relatively short period of time his philosophy and influence expanded into virtually every aspect of Japanese industry. Thirty years after he first taught the Japanese his methods, Dr. Deming and the concept of Total Quality Management TQM was finally discovered in America. The environment of the 1990s demands that the United States change its approach to production and management. For the most part, our industrial base has recognized how dramatic these changes have been, and at the very least, has given verbal commitment to the need for Statistical Process Control SPC and the TQM approach to business operations. In some very significant instances, U.S. industries and government have made dramatic changes in the way they conduct business and produce goods and services. Both, however, have much more to do to actively apply Deming techniques to their day to day business operations. The Security Assistance SA Program, because of its potential effect on our domestic industrial base and influence on the international marketplace, is in a unique position to serve as the flagship for the TQM revolution in government and to lead the way with actual applications of Deming management techniques. It is the objective of this paper to show how this management approach can be instituted and specifically applied to the SA work environment.

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  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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