These efforts are seen by some as based on the faulty assumption that process and tasks that lead to the desired quality are already understood, but control of the production process will not help an organization meet its market goals if the customer is not satisfied with the product.
Quality improvement and quality assurance are two different entities (Schlenker). A quality assurance system is a group of activities designed to ensure the production of goods that meet pre-established requirements. It guarantees the customer a quality product by measuring conformance with process and performance specifications. Quality improvement, on the other hand, refers to all efforts directed to increasing the effectiveness and efficiency in meeting the customers expectations, and is a continuous process to achieve a better understanding of the market, to be innovative in processes used and products generated, to manage and distribute materials and products, and to provide service to customers. Quality improvement will only be successful if every member of the organization understands the needs of their customers, both internal and external. Continuing dialogue and negotiation with the customer, and measurement of products and services against customer's expectations are needed to maintain quality improvements.
Many of the early TQM concepts were developed by Dr. W. Edwards Deming, an American statistician wh