CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

A Model for Applying Total Quality Management in Computer Information Systems Management

Date of Award

1998

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

John A. Scigliano

Committee Member

Jacques Levin

Committee Member

Michael Moody

Abstract

Total Quality Management addressed the importance of an organization listening to its customers and taking a structured, strategic approach to providing improved products and services. Problems were no stranger to most information systems departments. Software quality problems, work backlogs, negative user perceptions of IS; all pointed to a need for total quality management concepts and techniques to be applied in the processes and to the products of an IS department. TQM provided the tools and techniques necessary to bring continuous quality improvements in IS.

In this study, the researcher conducted literature searches on Total Quality Management, its history and development, leading proponents, quality basics, and quality awards. TQM's use of baselines and benchmarking was presented. The appropriate use of each of TQM's seven problem-solving tools, quality function deployment, and the seven management and planning tools was explained. Future trends in TQM were also documented.

A TQM literature search on customer identification, including employees and vendors was reviewed. Literature research on determining customer needs and prioritizing those needs was presented. Extensive research on the need for customer surveys, the development of accurate survey instruments, and validating and testing a survey was covered. TQM's emphasis on customer service and employee involvement was applied toward creating a model for implementing TQM in the IS department of an organization. A search of the literature for applications and case studies on additional IS management issues, the use of TQM in academia, and relevant TQM studies provided additional problem-solving information.

Through incorporating TQM principles into IS management practices, a new strategic TQMIS (Total Quality Management Information Systems) conceptual framework was developed, based on further literature searches on model creation and validation. A customer survey was designed and piloted to provide example baseline and benchmarking information. The customer surveys provided totals for both customer perceptions of the service levels they received and the customer-defined relative importance of these items. An IS problem list was created from the survey data, demonstrating that process. In this study, the researcher accomplished her aims of creating the TQMIS conceptual framework and a pilot survey example for beginning a TQMIS effort.

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