Early in the last decade of the twentieth century, total quality management (TQM) washed like a tsunami over U.S. companies. Drenched also, law departments started quality circles, read Deming, prepared fishbone analyses, struggled to apply defect and variance control, prepared histograms, and otherwise drank the TQM Kool-Aid.
Today, many of the sound practices of TQM have been absorbed, silently and without attribution, and are little noted. Six Sigma, as many have pointed out, can trace its ancestry to the TQM movement (See my posts of March 9, 2006 and March 15, 21006 on Six Sigma projects at NCR and International Truck.).