This study investigates the critical success factors of TQM project implementation in the Nigerian banking industry as a strategy for improving the quality of service delivery to customers. In carrying out the study primary data were used and a combination of Factor and regression analytical tools was used in the analysis. The Objective Evaluation Questionnaire (OEQ) was the principal instrument used for data collection. Given the nature of the problem under study, one branch each of the twenty- four (24) bank licensed to operate in Nigeria at the time of the study were surveyed. The opinion of one (1) staff and one (1) customer in each instant were sought. To this end, a total of twenty-four (24) customers and twenty-four (24) staff formed our respondents. This therefore constituted the sample size for analysis. The results of the analysis among others shows that a four phased logically integrated approach made up of Design, Implementation, Enforcement and Sustainability can be adopted in the implementation of TQM projects by banks. The critical success factors of TQM Project design includes development of standard methods for quantifying customer satisfaction level; simplification of service process to reduce service time and formal documentation of top management policy on customer satisfaction. On the other hand the critical success factor of the implementation includes: continuous human capital training and development; commitment to reduction in Cost of service charged customers and promotion of the philosophy of team work among staff. As it relates to TQM policy enforcement, the critical factors includes: setting up of system for clear communication of rules, regulations and directives on standards; setting of system for customer involvement in product design and development and establishment of operational guidelines. A sustainability framework for TQM implementation for enhanced quality product/service delivery must ensure the setting up of mechanism for feedback from customers; setting up of a system for continuous monitoring and evaluation of levels of customer satisfaction and an effective system for staff motivation. The conclusion of the study therefore is that in the light of challenges of ever changing technology, economic and environmental issues, adopting the project management methodology in the implementation of TQM as found in this study by banks in Nigeria has the potential of leading to significant positive improvement in the quality of service delivered to customers.
Key words: Design, policy, implementation, enforcement, Quality, satisfaction, sustainability.