Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Definitions

Glossary terms, history, people and definitions about Lean and Six Sigma

Total Quality Control (TQC)

TQC involves all employees in an organization in the continuous improvement of processes, products and services. This is achieved through a combination of process control, statistical analysis, process mapping, root cause analysis, and employee involvement and empowerment.

“Total quality control is an effective system for integrating the quality development, quality maintenance, and quality improvement efforts of the various groups in an organization so as to enable production and service at the most economical levels which allow full customer satisfaction.”

The system evolved from both Western and Eastern ideas, beginning with the concept of quality circles, in which groups of 10–20 workers were given responsibility and time after hours to work in improving the quality of the products they produced. They were trained in quality improvement methods, such as the seven quality tools. In addition, involvement of departments outside of the manufacturing process (e.g., accounting, design, finance, human resources, marketing, purchasing, sales) was essential to addressing systemic issues outside the control of the team.

TQC was also the basis for the more formalized approach of Total Quality Management (TQM), as well as the Toyota Production System (TPS).


  • Armand Feigenbaum




lean six sigma certification and training