Concurrent with the creation of the Department of Environmental Quality was the adoption and implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM). DEQ contracted with Organizational Dynamics, Inc., to train management and facilitators and initiate the Total Quality Advantage program within the department. As identified by Organizational Dynamics, quality improvement would be achieved with a shared dedication to quality and by building five strong pillars of quality:
- Customer Focus
- Total Involvement
- Systematic Support
- Continuous Improvement
Applying quality management principles, planning, and processes has been inherent in the department since its inception. Executive staff became and is the Quality Council and meets weekly. Numerous "Quality Action Teams" have been chartered, completed their work, and have been replaced by new teams addressing new quality issues.
An annual planning retreat is held in which the department’s strategic goals and objectives are reviewed and reaffirmed. Annual goals and objectives are developed department-wide and by the divisions and offices. Reviews of past year’s work efforts are made by each division and office and by the department at these planning retreats as well as periodically throughout the year at the weekly Quality Council meetings. In addition, management and program assessments are held in cooperation with EPA at the annual midyear review and documented in the end-of-year report.