ASQ - Government Division
ASQ Government Division
In this Issue:
April 2008

Chair's Corner
Editorial Commentary
Featured Articles
New Information and Events


Chair's Corner
by Guy Gordon

Quality Takes Root in Government

Having spent approximately a decade assisting departments and agencies to design and implement service delivery improvements I have begun to notice that the concepts and tools of quality originally introduced in the 1990s are beginning to take root and grow. While clearly this is still the exception rather than the rule (as pointed out in Professor John Maleyeff‘s article “Process Improvement in the Public Sector“), there is evidence that an increasing number of government organizations and agencies are becoming much more sophisticated and mature in their application of tools and practices derived through quality. Driving this forward, quite simply, are results. Ambitious and/or dedicated political and administrative leaders including mayors, governors, premiers, and ministers are recognizing that can they deliver to voters concrete service improvements attuned to political goals while achieving a significant return on investment. Click here to read the rest.

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Editorial Commentary
by Howard Schussler

Once again we’ve pulled together a newsletter for our Government Division members. We have some interesting articles for your information and enjoyment, some announcements, and a recommended reading list from one of our longtime members. The Government Division is sponsoring another in our popular Leadership Dialogue series. This year the event is: Improving Service Delivery in Government: How to Make Lean Six Sigma Happen in Your Organization, which will follow the World Conference for Quality and Improvement on May 8 in Houston, TX.

In keeping with that theme, one of our feature articles this month is on Six Sigma, and the author, Dr. Shere, has provided a good working description. He says “Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is a combination of historical methods for process improvement that focuses on the bottom-line and critical-to-customer requirements. This method differs from previous process improvement approaches because it uses established engineering principles and is based on institutionalization of the approach and independent validation of claims of success.”

The division would also like to congratulate the nonprofit Baldrige Award winners for 2007, the City of Coral Springs, FL, and U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Picatinny Arsenal, NJ. Enjoy the newsletter, and we look forward to seeing you at the World Conference and Leadership Dialogue in Houston.

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Featured Articles

This issue’s feature articles and many others can be found in the Government Division Forum Library. Click on the links below, or go to The Forum Library button is found along the left column.

Reserve Unit Improves Requisition Process
For Lt. Col. Henry Yates and his deployment advisor, Capt. George Harris, Lean Six Sigma is having a big impact on the way daily work gets done. This article is filed under the heading Lean

Lean Six Sigma: How Does It Affect the Government?
LSS has been highly successful in industry, but the government has largely ignored it. This article provides an introduction to LSS and describes how the government can benefit from using "LSS thinking" in system acquisition. This article is filed under the heading Lean.

Process Improvement in the Public Sector: Success Factors
This article is based on research that investigated factors found in successful process improvement efforts in the public sector. The research methodology included field research on a representative set of public sector services. Many challenges were identified that could exist in any service organization but appear to exist in greater frequency in the public sector. This article is filed under Process Management.

Public Sector Baldrige Award Winners: The New Frontier for Performance Excellence
The city of Coral Springs is one of the first Baldrige winners in the new not-for-profit category. This article features six takeaways from Coral Springs that can help any organization improve. This article is filed under the heading Baldrige National Quality Program

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New Information and Events

Improving Service Delivery in Government: How to Make Lean Six Sigma Happen in Your Organization May 8, 2008 in Houston, TX
This unique learning event focuses on the use of Lean Six Sigma in Government. The program is specifically targeted at senior governmental officials and focuses on how city, county, state and federal and agencies can achieve concrete dollar savings and breakthrough improvements in service delivery.

ASQ’s World Conference for Quality and Improvement: Quality Evolves With Each Generation
May 5-7, George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX
Enhance your conference experience by attending the Government Division planning meeting on Sunday, May 4 from 1-4, meet fellow Government Division members and leaders.

Call for Papers: International Journal of Public Sector Performance Management

Government Division Leadership Book Club List
This issue’s list is from Nathan Strong.
My Top 10 From the Last 20 or so years, (In no particular order)

“All people touched by the institution are to be served and not used or exploited. While being served, they grow as persons; they become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to be servants.”
—Robert Greenleaf

  1.  Bringing Out the Best in People by Aubrey Daniels   (Best book on using positive reinforcement I've ever found!)

  2. Improving Performance: How to Manage the White Space on the Organization Chart by Geary Rummler and Alan Brache (Best book I have ever read on organizational design and performance management systems)

  3. Why Employees Don't Do What They Are Supposed to Do and What to Do About It by Ferdinand Fournies (Mindblowingly  simple approach to diagnosis of individual performance problems...and IT WORKS!)

  4. First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman (Great data that skewer a lot of conventional management "wisdom”)

  5. We Don't Make Widgets by Ken Miller (Practical and usable...'nuf said)

  6. Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner (Oldie but a goody on what leadership really looks like)

  7. Good to Great and the Social Sectors (A monograph to Accompany Good to Great) by Jim Collins (great companion to the Ken Miller book)

  8. The Performance Consultant’s Fieldbook by Judith Hale (Good advice, job aids, and easy to follow)

  9. Fundamentals of Performance Technology: A Guide to Improving People, Process, and Performance by Darlene Van Tiem, James Moseley, Joan Conway Dessinger

  10. Performance Improvement Interventions: Enhancing People, Processes, and Organizations Through Performance Technology by Darlene Van Tiem, James Moseley, Joan Conway Dessinger

The last two are pure gold…the only place I have seen some of the best concepts in human development, quality improvement, and organizational development all tied together.

Bonus Book, not work-related:

  1. A Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Lessons on real leadership from Lincoln through analysis of his cabinet and his approach to governance…sadly we’ll likely never see this again)

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MAIL: American Society for Quality
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