TQM vs Six Sigma: Difference and Comparison

The market is ever-increasing, and so are the industries. Companies carry out various production methods to meet the supply and demand ratio.

This also involves good quality control or quality management technique. Six Sigma and Total Quality Management are two very beneficial quality management tools that might appear the same on a superficial level but have their differences.

Key Takeaways

  1. TQM focuses on continuously improving processes by involving everyone in the organization, while Six Sigma focuses on reducing defects by following a data-driven approach.
  2. TQM emphasizes customer satisfaction, while Six Sigma focuses on improving the bottom line by reducing costs and increasing profits.
  3. TQM is a broader philosophy, while Six Sigma is a more structured and systematic methodology.

TQM vs Six Sigma

The difference between TQM and Six Sigma is that Total Quality Management pays attention to maintaining the already existing standards of quality, whereas Six Sigma aims to make changes in the current techniques to upgrade the standards of the company. Six Sigma is also a newer technique, while Total Quality Management has been used for a long time.

TQM vs Six Sigma

The Total Quality Management technique of maintaining quality standards is a long-running one. It involves a quality check by almost all the members involved in making the product.

Attention is paid to improving the standard and checking the efficiency at every step. It is based basically on problem-solving and tries to maintain and improve the problems the production is facing.

Six Sigma is a relatively new quality control technique that is being used by a lot of companies already.

This technique focuses on gradually and eventually deleting all the small defects in the production techniques and aims at customer satisfaction all over. Six Sigma focuses on both short-term and long term goals.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonTQMSix Sigma
AboutIt is an approach that is product-driven within the organisation. Focuses on delivery streams of cross-functional value.
Goal termsOnly short term goals are kept in mind and emphasised.Both long term and short term goals are worked out.
EmphasisTQM emphasises mainly problem-solving.Six Sigma emphasises mainly rates of improvement that are breakthrough. 
Quality ResponsibilityQuality control department and Inspection centres are responsible.Every stakeholder and every member of the organisation is responsible.
RulesHas a broad set of rules and regulations but no suitable framework for obeying them.Has a set of rules and provide a structured framework to follow them.

What is TQM?

Total quality management is a very efficient tool used by all companies and industries worldwide for quality management.

Also Read:  Collusive vs Non-Collusive Oligopoly: Difference and Comparison

It involves efforts by all the members who are involved in the production process. The efforts might not be equal, but they need to be continuous and consistent.

It involves a closed reviewing the present schemes and problems while simultaneously developing and designing new techniques to tackle problems and increase coordination.

Total quality management mainly focuses on the standard of quality and production while simultaneously trying to improve the methodology to raise the standards of the company.

There is a separate body assigned for checking of quality and keeping an eye on the production. Total quality management focuses on short-term goals and even works only on these instead of involving long-tongued goals.

The total quality management technique has a broad set of rules and regulations that are set by the company officials to ensure the best quality of products and minimize the risk of fault.

But the problem that arises over here is that they have no suitable framework for following the rules.

What is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is a new technique in the world of quality checks and has already been adopted by a lot of companies due to its great benefits and functionality.

There isn’t any separate body for the quality check, but all the members have divided the duty of checking the product quality at every stage of production.

And this is what makes the standard of quality checks better and more efficient since instead of going through one or two quality checks by an advised committee, the product goes through numerous quality checks on every level of production.

Also Read:  Accounting vs Accountancy: Difference and Comparison

This frequent control of quality and standards makes it a better choice.

Six Sigma mainly focuses on deleting the existing faulty techniques or schemes which affect the process of quality checking for the standard of the product instead of trying to solve it.

Six Sigma comes up with new and advanced techniques that may take over or replace the already existing quality control standards.

It focuses on both short-term and long-term goals and therefore is a more reliable tool when dealing with long-term projects.

Main Differences Between TQM and Six Sigma

  1. Total Quality management is an approach that is completely product-driven within the organization, whereas Six Sigma focuses on delivery streams of cross-functional value.
  2. Only short-termed goals are emphasized in Total Quality Management, while both long and short-term goals are emphasized under Six Sigma.
  3. The main focus of Total Quality Management is on problem-solving, whereas the primary objective of Six Sigma is improving breakthrough rates.
  4. In Total Quality Management, the responsibility of quality check is on the Quality control department and Inspection centers, whereas in Six Sigma, it is the responsibility of every person in the organization and also of every stakeholder.
  5. Total Quality Management has a broad section of rules but no structured framework to follow them. On the other hand, Six Sigma has a long list of rules, too but they also provide a structuralist framework to follow them.
Difference Between TQM and Six Sigma
  1. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/09544780610660004/full/html
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14783360902719675

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

dot 1
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

6 thoughts on “TQM vs Six Sigma: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I’m surprised that not many organizations have adopted Six Sigma, considering its focus on both short-term and long-term goals.


Leave a Comment

Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!