Last Updated 20 Apr 2022

Tqm-an Approach Toward Good Governance

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The federal government of Pakistan (GOP) is presently organized into 48 divisions, 173 attached departments and 203 autonomous/semi-autonomous bodies (including public corporations, public sector banks and other public sector organizations). In addition to this, it also employs a military force of 0. 65 million.

It spends billion of rupees, and directly or indirectly, accounts for major part of our national economy. The GOP executes its non-defense related constitutional responsibilities through some 450,000 civil servants. These are further spread through 17,700 civil servants organized in federal secretariat, 113,000 civil servants in federal attached departments and subordinate offices, 122,500 employees of Pakistan Railway and 196,800 employees in the autonomous bodies, public corporations and financial institutions. Our public sector departments have created enormous financial burden on our limited national exchequer.

They still adhere to obsolete management practices which have been abandoned by most of the civilized countries. Leaving side a few organizations, our public sector is not thinking to improve the quality of services, whereas the crushing national debt calls for urgent cuts in cost of public functionaries. Poor management in federal government has serious consequences. Money is wasted, programs do not work, and Projects do not start or remain uncompleted for many years. That is why Pakistani customers see and observe but cannot complain. All the complaints remain unnoticed; all suggestions for improvement never get any response.

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Inside the government as well bad management stifles the morale of internal customer and system over there is designed to kill the initiative. The administrative management of our Government needs overhauling. The time has come to radically change the way, government operates.

Total Quality in Government

By Total Quality in government we mean lean, decentralized and innovative government where people are flexible, adaptive, and quick to learn new ways when conditions change. They use customer choice and competition to get things done as creatively and effectively as possible.

So when we talk about quality management in Federal Government, we too must rely on market based incentives with less focus on conventional new programs. The concept of Total Quality Government goes beyond cost cutting in government. It is adopted to apply the principles and tools of TQM. Many organizations have been successful with their TQM initiatives and derived such benefits as reducing costs, increasing productivity and customer satisfaction. TQM Application By adopting TQM we will be able to provide the philosophy, mindset, tools and methodologies to “Transform” effectively.

The use of TQM which refers to:

  • Performance measurement of organizations
  • Customer management
  • Process control
  • Continuous improvement programs
  • Best management practices

This has proved to be an effective strategy for improving the performance of not only Government organizations but also public administrations. TQM is seen as the most comprehensive approach to Quality thinkable for an enterprise. The pillars of Total Quality Management are T Q M:  T stands for Total. It is the Integration of the Staff, Suppliers, Customers and other Stakeholders.

Away from Party-specific Thinking to a more holistic approach.  Q stands for Quality. It is the Quality of the work and the process of the Enterprise leading to Quality of Products.  M for Management. It stresses the leadership task "Quality" and the Quality of leadership. From the enterprises point of view TQM can be seen as a Leadership Model. There is no single theoretical formalization of total quality, but philosophers provide the core assumptions, as: "Discipline and philosophy of management which institutionalizes planned and continuous improvement .

It assumes that quality is the outcome of all activities that take place within an organization; that all functions and all employees have to participate in the improvement process; that organizations need both quality systems and a quality culture. "

Magement Systems and Tools

Systems and tools systematically inculcate and reinforce the TQ culture within an organization. QM starts with philosophical base-systems and tools are relevant after the philosophy is established. Most of the TQM efforts fail because organizations try to implement TQM techniques (Tools and Systems) without adopting the TQM philosophy.

They start the journey from the wrong point. Instead of starting with the philosophy they try to first use the tools and the systems without ensuring that at the very minimum, the philosophy is absorbed by the top management.  The Concept of Continuous Improvement by TQM TQM is mainly concerned with continuous improvement in all work, from high level strategic planning and decision-making, to detailed execution of work elements on the shop floor. It stems from the belief that mistakes can be avoided and defects can be prevented.

It leads to continuously improving results, in all aspects of work, as a result of continuously improving capabilities, people, processes, and technology and machine capabilities.  Experience of Other countries Under the cover of TQM, US business and political leaders turned to quality to stay competitive on world market or to reclaim their host markets. Meanwhile like many other agencies, the US defense organizations faced, budget cutbacks and reduced staff. Using Quality management, however these organizations streamlined producers in man areas, increasing morale and saved an impressive amount of money. The Government of Pakistan should try to adopt the process of Total Quality management as the core of its management style to solve its problem and re-structure. Such a strategy is being used in the entire European Union, USA, Japan and other developed countries for sustaining their economic growth.  Problems for Quality Initiative in Federal Government Improving service quality without increasing costs is more difficult to achieve in the public sector than it is in the private sector because elected officials must attempt continuously to balance the multiple conflicting goals of diverse interest groups.

Over a decade ago Peter Drucker identified six barriers to productivity improvement. These are:

  • Lack of clear performance targets
  • Trying to do too many things at once
  • Solving problems by throwing people at them
  • Lack of experimental attitude
  • Lack of elevation so nothing is learned from it
  • Reluctance to abandon programs

If two or more sins are committed simultaneously, then they may lead to program failure. In short the quality approaches requires fundamental changes in traditional management role. Most individuals and organizations in the public sector will find these changes very difficult to implement.

Our Public sector organizations are facing more monumental hurdles because:

  • The discipline of a competitive global market place that provides incentive for radical changes to business, industry and other managers is missing in our government
  • In many instances, our government prefers to act as protector for enforcement of policies based on political and social grounds. This leads to treat efficiency as secondary.
  • The major barrier to accelerating quality management in government is the lack of strong consensus for change among top officials.

There is false impression in the public sector about what is meant by ‘efficient and customer focused institutions’. Total Quality Management or TQM refers to various approaches for improving the performance of organizations. Improvements and objectives for implementation of TQM principles in Government of Pakistan (GOP) organizations are as follows: Provide Platform for launching ‘Good Governance’ Program: In Pakistan due to the lack of any organized models, process, leadership and legal frameworks; this aim could not be achieved. Measuring, controlling and mproving performance is specialized function to be addressed on professional basis rather than political grounds. In our country most of problems arise due to the political involvement of individuals. All developed countries tackle good governance through an organizational structure with the aid of professional and legal models.  Citizen satisfaction Index: The citizens Satisfaction Index of Public assessing the government organizations and offices must be raised continuously. Presently there is no formal method to measure Citizen Satisfaction Index i-e performance of the government.

For example, the US government in early 90’s started an organized campaign. They set the target to raise the CSI from 67% to 80% in subsequent time of 4 years. They launched a program called “Reinventing the government” and were successful in raising the CSI close to their target. The GOP needs to establish a framework for good governance and lay the foundation for improving the quality and productivity of public sector. This includes measuring, controlling and improving the performance of government that shall lead to overall increase in Citizen Satisfaction[8] Raising the Quality and Productivity Levels of GOP: With the changing global scenario, the rapidly developing countries in ASEAN, are giving high priority to improving the quality and productivity levels of Governments. GOP has still not laid any professional foundation for improving its quality and productivity. The Government should join hands with nations with highly efficient and effective government offices. For this purpose training of the Heads of Departments, Promotional Campaigns and performance based rewards, (according to TQM) should be launched. Linking between Federal and Provincial Governments: The link of quality and productivity must be established between the federal Government and all the four provinces of Pakistan. This means continuity of performance goals for the higher authority.

Requirements of TQM in Government Top Management Commitment

Commitment from top management may be the most critical factor in the success of any programs. In any government organization the senior management’s commitment is essential and stimulates the implementation of a TQM program.

Often, the first step is to convince senior managers of the financial and wider benefits and overcome any barriers that they may have. One of the best ways to do this is to identify obvious areas of cost reduction and environmental improvement and where to make immediate savings through no-cost or low-cost measures. This core element in Total Quality Management system model addresses management commitment. Top management must not only give a lead to the rest of the organization but also ensure that the necessary decisions and actions are taken. Only top management has the motivation and the power to effect changes.

Employee Involvement

The government should try to introduce new course of action in which the communication between the top management and employees increases. They should talk to as many employees as possible about their opinions relating to TQ implementation. Through this act top management will be able to assess their knowledge level and what bugs them about the initiatives they have seen in the past. Employees should be asked to give suggestions so that they would be more involved and supportive new programs. TQM process covers the whole organization so all people will feel their ownership in this case.

Cultural Transformation

The full potential of TQM requires a fundamental cultural change. An organization’s culture is the way organization behaves. It is the way everybody walks, talks, thinks and acts in everyday life. The culture of quality organization supports and nourishes the improvement efforts of every group and individual in the organization. The cultural change of an agency to TQM requires the courage and commitment of leadership in order to implement a vision of values, ideas, goals and processes. Total Quality Government encourages the manager who innovates and motivates the workers who are free to improve and make decisions.

  • But changing the culture is a lot harder than changing the rules and regulations. This is possible by:
  • Creating new incentives to accomplish more, through competition and customer choice
  • Shifting focus of control that is empowering employees to use their judgment, supporting them with the tools they need

Liberating agencies from burden of over regulations and control Building Awareness TQM generates a whole new corporate culture with an emphasis on customer satisfaction, a goal of continual improvement, and commitment to team-building and employee participation at all levels.

In a quality organization, the vision, values and systems must be consistent with, and complementary to each other. Empowerment Decentralizing the power to make decisions will energize our government to do everything smart, better, faster and cheaper. GOP policy makers should follow this decentralized approach. This style may reduce or eliminate employee frustration, increase sense of belonging and enhance morale and productivity of an entire organization.

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