Quality in Government

Case Studies

To view the latest case studies published on ASQ.org, please visit the Case Studies Landing Page.

Some real-world examples of government agencies that are using quality tools and processes to improve their performance.

A Uniform Approach to Inspection Standards
Equipment used by U.S. Army soldiers must be ready at all times. Army mechanics and U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) contractors must maintain the Army’s automotive equipment to ensure it is “mission capable” when needed. The Army has a standard of maintenance for every vehicle in its inventory. The standard left just enough wiggle room for each individual inspector to interpret the requirements in a manner that fits their concept of maintenance. This caused great diversity in actual maintenance standards. One quality management team at Fort Campbell, an Army base in Kentucky near the Tennessee border, sought to measure the cost of these varying interpretations and bring clarity to the application of the Army’s standard.
June 2014

Lean Project Helps Colorado DOT Provide Disaster Response Following Historical Flood
When flood waters ravaged portions of Colorado in September 2013, countless federal, state, and municipal government workers sprang into action helping citizens. A months-long repair project for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and its state highway system would have likely taken longer had it not been for the performance of one Lean improvement project team. See an executive summary of the case study, or download Lean Project Helps Colorado DOT Provide Disaster Response Following Historical Flood (PDF).
March 2014

20 Years of Quality Milestones Mark United Arab Emirates' Journey to Excellence
To enhance the competitiveness of organizations and the nation as a whole, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the 1990s instituted numerous strategic quality and excellence initiatives to improve quality and customer service. The adoption of quality frameworks and standards has led to significant improvements in quality, productivity, customer experience, and improving UAE’s global competitive ranking. See an executive summary of the case study, or download 20 Years of Quality Milestones Mark United Arab Emirates' Journey to Excellence (PDF).
February 2014

It’s a Matter of Time: Ship Servicers Use Quick Kaizen to Shorten Long Turnaround (PDF, 236 KB)
A team at the Yokosuka Calibration Laboratory, U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center, used a series of kaizen events to shorten service lead time by 68 percent. The team qualified as a finalist in ASQ’s 2008 International Team Excellence Award process.
November 2009.

Piecing Things Together: Better Materials Organization Improves Ship Repair Service (PDF, 276 KB)
Employees at the Sasebo production shop of the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center used a lean 5S approach to establish a new way of managing their materials inventory. The team reduced time spent looking for parts by 80 percent and qualified as finalists in ASQ’s 2008 International Team Excellence Award process.
November 2009.

Singapore Housing and Development Board Teams Use Quality Tools to Provide Award-Winning Customer Service
June 2009

Three improvement teams from the Singapore Housing and Development Board (HDB) qualified as finalists in ASQ’s 2008 International Team Excellence Award process. Read about their projects.

Agency Files Away Inefficiency, Saves Taxpayers a Bundle (PDF, 228 KB)
One of the three silver medal winners in the 2007 International Team Excellence Competition created a solution that has the potential to save Florida taxpayers more than $18 million over time.
October 2007.

Quality in the Military – Army Aviation Depot Does an About-Face (PDF, 187 KB)
The Corpus Christi Army Depot uses lean Six Sigma to significantly reduce turnaround times on maintenance, repair and overhaul support on the Air Force H-60 Pave Hawk.

U.S. Air Force Earns High-Flying Results with Quality Management Specifications for Suppliers (PDF, 181 KB)
Adopting ISO 9001 compliance as a sourcing criterion in its supplier selection process and requiring suppliers' quality management representatives to become ASQ Certified Quality Auditors have saved the Air Force millions of dollars and nearly eliminated critical defects in supplier products and services.
November 2006.

Better Processes = Better E-Commerce (PDF, 119 KB)
A local government evaluated its online building license application using 13 best practices for e-services business process redesign.
Quality Progress magazine, March 2005.

Improving Agency Performance and Service Delivery (PDF, 90 KB)
A state's governor is its CEO, and with that role comes the opportunity to ensure that agencies perform effectively and efficiently. This article shows the steps that the state of Washington used to make dramatic improvements in agency management.
Journal for Quality and Participation, December 2004.

ISO 9001 Takes on a New Role—Crime Fighter (PDF, 433 KB)
In July 2003 the Records and Identification Bureau of the Phoenix Police Department became the first law enforcement organization in the United States to achieve ISO 9001 registration, improving its credibility as a reliable information provider.
Quality Progress magazine, May 2004.

The Real Story Behind the Commandant's Performance Challenge (PDF, 112 KB)
A case study shows how a Baldrige-based self-assessment process helps the United States Coast Guard exceed expectations that they will keep citizens safe from terrorist attacks, as well as protect property and preserve freedoms.
Journal for Quality and Participation, June 2003.

The Role of Quality Tools in Improving Satisfaction with Government (PDF, 187 KB)
A study in a city in the western United States shows that leadership is critical to the development of quality tools knowledge, but teamwork is the vehicle through which this knowledge is translated into application.
Quality Management Journal, July 2002.

Striving for Continuous Improvement: The Experience of U.K. Local Government Services (PDF, 232 KB)
Local government service providers in Scotland have integrated quality standards into the framework of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Business Excellence Model so that their quality improvement efforts can be measured and compared year-on-year to demonstrate continuous improvement.
Annual Quality Congress proceedings, May 1999.

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