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

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


Chair’s Corner
by Dale Weeks

Extending and Expanding Our Division Over The Next Several Years

I’d like to begin by telling you why I have chosen to be the chairperson of our division this year. For the greater part of the last 30 years, I have been intimately engaged in the process of managing large institutions across this country and beyond, in both the public and private sectors, from a focused performance excellence perspective. This has included large Fortune 500 companies (Xerox, General Mills), Department of Defense agencies (Army, Navy), as well as the public sector at the state level (agencies in both Minnesota and Florida), with a most recent focus on global business process management benchmarking with Baldrige winners, from a distinct, external customer-driven or market-driven viewpoint. Click here to read the rest.

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Editorial Commentary
by Howard Schussler

Another U.S. Presidential Election Has Passed

Well, another U.S. presidential election has passed, and this time it seems U.S. government agencies and voters improved on the quality of the voting system. Around 62 percent of registered voters cast ballots and had their votes counted. This is an increase since the disputed 2000 election and the 2004 presidential election. If knowing the will of the people is the purpose of an election, then this is one step in the right direction. Click here to read the rest.

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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.

ComNET: Repairing Neighborhoods and Building Relationships in Durham, NC
Research has revealed that people often judge government performance by an array of observable street level conditions such as the presence of abandoned vehicles, litter, illegal dumping, weedy lots, graffiti, potholes, and other conditions that are of common concern to any neighborhood. By training volunteers to record and report these conditions using a handheld computer and ensuring city staff respond to the neighborhood priorities, the City of Durham, NC, has not only improved the appearance of our neighborhoods, but also enhanced our residents’ relationship with their city.

The Government Manager’s Role in Achieving Results
It’s pretty clear from daily news reports that our current economic downturn is going to be a big one, and that it is already having a significant impact on public sector operations. Very likely, that impact will grow. Given all the bad news it may be tempting for public sector managers to want to call their friends to share thoughts about “how tough it is,” or to bury themselves in the work at hand and wait for the other shoe to fall. But here’s a different idea: Maybe it’ time to exercise your leadership skills so that you can make a difference in what finally comes about.

Two English, One Welsh: A Few Words About the Work of Process Improvement
By the time you read this, I will have worked for SAMHSA for a bit more than six months. That’s not very long, but it is long enough to have met hundreds of incredible, dedicated SAMHSA employees and talk to many people about process improvement. Senior leadership at SAMHSA is committed to the idea that every one of us can make a difference and can help make SAMHSA better. The path to more productive and satisfying work life is through process improvement.

Florida Department of Revenue Case Study
Floridians demand that state government continually cut costs, increase productivity, and improve services. Across state government, managers and employees have risen to this challenge through extraordinary personal leadership. The more difficult question is: How can leaders in public agencies move beyond an occasional leadership success story to a structured, comprehensive system able to deliver continually rising results?

Benchmarking Performance Excellence on a Global Scale: The Public vs. The Private Sector – Who Wins?
Abstract: Can government compete directly with any world-class organization, public or private? Yes—this interactive session and related paper will demonstrate that a true public sector transformation is actually under way yielding startling business results. It will highlight the enterprise-wide, Baldrige adventure of the Florida Department of Revenue, with 5,300 employees and revenue collections of $40 billion per year, and will compare its performance to other global role model agencies, in Canada, Australia, and beyond, where superior business results are being achieved today that consistently exceed “normal” private sector performance expectations.

The discussion concludes with a global-based business case proposal for strengthening our strategic level state-by-state or country-by-country performance management benchmarking thinking. The business case will focus on how to move beyond mediocrity toward a stretch goal of building a systematic benchmarking process for truly reaching the top 5 or 10 percent in performance across “all” sectors—public, private, or nonprofit. Results matter today to our global minded citizens—sector differences do not— “It is a flat world!” Come listen to where this reality is happening now!

Key words: performance excellence, global benchmarking, performance measurement, public vs. private sector management

Borrowing from Business: Bringing Baldrige to Government
The Ontario Public Service: Government from the Outside-In
A Global Benchmarking Proposal

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New Information and Events

The Twelve Voices of the Customer Webinar
January 22, 2009

The Second Annual Public Performance Conference
January 23–24, 2009

ASQ World Conference for Quality and Improvement
May 18–20, 2009

Top 10 Recent Must Read Articles/Sites

  1. ASQ Knowledge Center
  2. Online Services
  3. Integrated Service Delivery — Just-released report on Integrated Service Delivery in the Canadian and international contexts, sponsored by the IBM Center for the Business of Government
  4. Performance Measurement — Grading the states
  5. Lean State Government — Iowa Office of Lean Enterprise
  6. Lean U.S. Navy — Quality Progress Feb. 2008
  7. Lean Government — Introduction to Lean Government
  8. Human Sigma
  9. Service Transformation Manitoba
  10. Employee Engagement – ROI

Provided by
Guy Gordon
Executive Director
Service Transformation Manitoba
Science, Technology, Energy, and Mines
Province of Manitoba

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