Where does Government start with the "Quality of service" Program ?
It should start with people. Not hardware nor software but "humanware".
Again let me quote a French anthropologist named Levi-Strauss :
" In order to produce better systems, a society should be less concerned with producing material goods in increasing quantities than with producing people of a better quality--in other words, (human) beings capable of producing these systems."
In short, as Masaaki Imai said, an organization that is able to build quality into its people is already halfway toward producing quality products or services".
A few other important quality principles should be included in the education and training (aside from the Fourteen Points) of people in government.Before they even start improving systems or processes, they should know these vital principles which they should come equipped to use in their jobs :
1. 85-15 Rule or the Pareto Principle.
2. Know Thy Customer
3. The PDCA Cycle ( Plan, Do, Check, Act)
4. In God we trust ; All others must use DATA. Do it with data.
5. Decisions must be based on facts. Speak with data.
6. The people who know the work best are the ones who perform it.
7. Groups of people working in teams can have more success than individuals working alone. Teams need to be trained in a structured problem-solving process.
8. Know the use of the 7 Statistical Tools of Quality.
It is said that to solve a huge problem, one should break it down into small components and start solving the tiny manageable components first. The steps for Process Improvement or problem- solving are outlined below (source : Deming Management at Work - M. Walton) :
select a process to improve
Organize a team that knows the process
Clarify current knowledge of the process
Understand causes of Process Variation
Select the Process Improvement
Plan the Improvement and continue data collection
Do the improvement, data collection and analysis
Check the results and lessons learned from the team effort
Act to hold the gain and to continue to improve the process.
There is always the danger that managers, department heads or cabinet secretaries for that matter will delegate these important tasks to their quality professionals or departments and go on with business as usual or "ningas cogon" treatment. This is a BIG COP-OUT and if these guys should get caught giving important responsibilities mere lip service, they should be sanctioned or even replaced with the more deeply committed and serious professionals or public servants.
It will probably take 10 years of iron discipline to get the Philippine government bureaucracy to adopt the Quality culture. But we have to start now.