TQM: Piccadilly Line

TQM: Piccadilly Line


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Quality is an integral element in organisation’s quest to achieve long-term sustainability. According to Wan and Zeng (2013), quality entails ‘the degree to which a series of inherent characteristics meet the requirements (p. 153). Quality does not only relate to a specific product but also its performance hence increasing the level of customer satisfaction. Thus, in the implementation of projects, quality should be a key element. The significance of quality in promoting organisational sustainability has led to the formulation of the concept of Total Quality Management (TQM), which entails a structured approach adopted by the organisation’s management team that is responsible for enhancing the quality of the various products and services (Kaynak & Rogers 2013). Total Quality Management is a continuous and long-term organisational management aspect.

The significance of continuous implementation of TQM arises from the fact that quality failures might occur, which means that the organisations management teams have to undertake the relevant changes in order to deliver quality sustainably. One of the notable cases of quality failures is evidenced by the Piccadilly Line in London, which has in the recent past been characterised by recurrent delays hence causing dissatisfaction among commuters who use the line (Transport for London 2017). The delays arose from the fact that some trains operating within the Line experienced problems with wheels as a result of some areas of the track being slippery because of wet weather and an increase in quantities of leaf fall. This paper evaluates the remedies towards quality failures and TQM violations to Piccadilly Line.


Continuous quality management

To improve the efficacy with which operators within Piccadilly Line provide customers with quality commuter services, it is imperative for the operators to focus on improving the train’s operational efficiency. This outcome can be achieved by ensuring that the concept of Total Quality Management is effectively implemented. One of the problems that have contributed to increasing cases of delays entails problems with the trains’ wheel due to wet weather and lea fall. In the quest to deal with wet weather and leaf fall, the operators have over the past undertaken clearance of leaves and vegetation surrounding the rail track. In spite of these efforts, the persistent delays as a result of the wheel problem underline the fact that the problem has not been fully eliminated. This indicates poor planning in the development of the Piccadilly line and it is in fact one of the major factors in the implementation of TQM (Ford, Stuman & Heaton 2012; Mukherjee 2006). In planning the implementation of the project, the operators of Piccadilly Line should have developed foresight on the impact of wet weather and leaf fall on the line’s operation. To succeed in eliminating the wheel problem arising from leaf fall and wet weather, Piccadilly Line operators should consider undertaking subcontracting the function of vegetation management and leaf clearance. The operators should ensure that the subcontractors selected are experienced in undertaking the task assigned. Moreover, the operators should set service standards that the subcontracted firms should adhere to.  For example, the operators should assign the subcontracted firm the role of undertaking continuous monitoring of the rail track, which is a fundamental component of an organisation’s quality policy. Oakland (2014) accentuates that continuous monitoring minimises the occurrence of errors and enhances service delivery.  Through this move, Piccadilly Line operators will succeed in increasing the customers’’ level of satisfaction. This arises from the fact that the subcontractor will progressively undertake the management of leaf-fall along the Piccadilly line hence reducing and subsequently eliminating the occurrence of wheel problems. Thus, the operators will incrementally change with reference to managing leaf fall.  Thus, the firm will succeed in enhancing the level of customer satisfaction. Thus, the operators will succeed in offering clients quality services.

Internal communication

The decline in the level of customer satisfaction encountered at Piccadilly Line is also increased by the occurrence of labour strikes, which is necessitated by the top management’s ignorance of suggestions by lower-level employees on safety. This underlines the existence of a communication gap between employees at different levels of management at Piccadilly Line.  Communication is a fundamental element in organisation’s quest to offer customers quality products and services. The significance of communication is underlined by the fact that it improves the efficacy with which different departments in an organisation collaborate in undertaking their functions hence improving the effectiveness with which customers are served. Thus, effective communication enhances organisational synergy. Oakland (2014) emphasises that effective communication is critical in delivering quality.  York (2009) asserts that employees constitute the moving target of quality.  employees should be considered as one of the fundamental elements in improving the delivery of quality.  The firm’s top management team should provide all employees an opportunity to share ideas and opinions on organisation’s operation. This arises from the fact that they contribute to the improvement of work processes hence contributing to the achievement of the intended mission.


Piccadilly Line operators can overcome the quality challenges encountered by entrenching effective TQM practices. One of the practices that the operators should consider entails continuous improvement, which can be actualised by subcontracting the role of managing leaf fall to a well-experienced firm. Alternatively, the firm should develop an effective internal organisational environment by eliminating internal communication barriers such as bureaucracy in the communication firm’s communication processes. Through these approaches, the firm will enhance its effectiveness in offering customers quality services.



Ford, R, Sturman & Heaton, C 2012, Managing quality services in hospitality; how organisations achieve excellence in the quest experience, Cengage Learning, New York.

Mukherjee, P 2006, Total quality management, PHI Learning Pvt. Limited, New Delhi.

Kaynak, E & Rogers, R 2013, Implementation of total quality management: A comprehensive training program, Routledge, New York.

Oakland, J 2014, Total quality management and operational excellence; text with cases, Routledge, New York.

Transport for London: Piccadilly line disruption 2017. [Online].

Wan, J & Zeng, M 2013, ‘Case study on improving quality management of W company’s new product development project’, Technology and Investment, vol. 4, pp. 153-163.

York, K 2009, Applied human resource management; strategic issues and experiential exercises, Sage, London.

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