In a routine TQM quality improvement process, the ESC is first made aware of a problem by input from employees or customers. It considers the problem, and if it deems the problem worthy of further study, it charters a QMB to analyze the problem in detail. Many times more information is required on the problem than the QMB may collect on its own, so it may charter a PAT to collect the data. The QMB analyzes the data received from the PAT, and any other information the board has collected, and makes recommendations to the ESC on possible solutions to the problem. The ESC considers the recommendations and then either rejects them, forwards them "as is" to the head administrator, makes modifications and forwards them, or returns them to the QMB for more study.
Other types of TQM committees may be used to accomplish specific tasks, such the quality circle, process involvement team, and the self-managed team. A quality circle is usually composed of persons within the same department who try to solve minor problems with minimal management direction. A process involvement team is composed of members from the same department, or from other departments, who work on specific problems in a work process. A self-managed team is a cross-functional, interdepartmental task force with no manager or supervisor that is formed to attack an immediate problem that needs a quick solution.
All these committees must constantly collect and analyze data. Total Quality Management requires extensive statistical analysis to study processes and improve quality.