Keywords: quality improvements, quality management, theory of constraints
Implementing quality improvement programs using the focusing steps of the Theory of Constraints
Having made considerable progress in quality improvement (QI) programs, Japan has now moved into other phases of competition, such as rapid design changes and lower prices. The USA, however, is faltering with QI programs. Several studies reveal that only about 20% of the QI programs implemented in the USA achieve significant results in terms of quality, or financial improvements. One reason proposed for this disappointing result is that QI programs are not implemented correctly. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how the use of the Theory of Constraints (TOC) can assist managers in implementing QI programs that yield results.