For each of these belt levels skill sets are available that describe which of the overall Lean Six Sigma tools are expected to be part at a certain Belt level. These skill sets provide a detailed description of the learning elements that a participant will have acquired after completing a training program. The level upon which these learning elements may be applied is also described. The skill sets reflect elements from Six Sigma, Lean and other process improvement methods like the theory of constraints (TOC) total productive maintenance (TPM).
Today, as an object of consulting, TQM is dead and little more than a historical footnote. Bozdogan’s description of TQM make no reference to TQC, and in particular the Japanese version of TQC, on which it is based. By 1975, all the major manufacturing companies in Japan had received the Deming prize for implementing TQC, and all that could be gained from it was incorporated in their practices. It was a successful approach that had run its course. TQM, as a watered-down version of the Japanese TQC, became the object of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award in the US in 1988, and soon lost credibility as a result of being given to organizations that were notorious for bad quality. The spirit of TQM, however, lives on in the ISO-900x series of standards, for which certification has been a cost of doing business for many companies.