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Review Sought for a Proposed ANSI Quality of Government Standard

ASPA members and supporters are being invited to assist in the professional review and testing of new quality standards being advanced by the American Society for Quality (ASQ), Government Division. The proposed new standards are now open for review and comment and are planned to be submitted to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) this fall, as a new professional standard for the Quality of Government Operations and Services. The ASQ Government Division is seeing nominations of experienced and proven quality team facilitators and government agency leaders who may wish to assist in the review and testing of these standards.

The standards package includes a Process Maturity Model and a System Maturity Model that can be used to assess the use of best practice operations within the span of control of every manager and supervisor in any government agency.  Each of the two models includes a maturity scoring matrix, so that uniform, objective measures of the use of acknowledged management practices are possible.

The application of these standards across an entire organization is also possible. Such an application begins with the definition of an organizational purpose, and with linking and supporting purpose statements and output measures for each subordinate executive office, program office, and front-line delivery unit reflected in the organizational network. For frontline services each supervisor will likely identify a key process, while each executive office or program office will likely identify a system.  

Once an organization-wide list of these processes and systems is developed, the entity can use the models to evaluate each and to incorporate its scoring in a visible management system. The maturity models are based on proven quality practices, including standardizing a best known delivery practice, defining success requirements, measuring delivery against requirements, and identifying sources of error, waste, rework and delay.

The maturity scores can be integrated into the performance feedback system for each manager and supervisor, and the evaluations within each work unit should be repeated at least annually, so that consistent operational practice is maintained.  The new standard is consistent with and supportive of an ISO 9001 or a Baldrige Quality Framework, or any other Quality Management System.

“We believe this proposed ANSI Standard has the ability to re-invent the application of quality in government, by clearly showing which units in any agency, program, or office are actively using established quality principles,” said Government Division Chair Marc Berson. “The use of its process maturity model in combination with its system maturity model has the potential to apply a uniform and objective quality standard to any government operation, and to provide a visible scorecard that shows support of quality practice agency-wide.”

The Division is looking for several categories of reviewers with government quality background, including the following:

  • Experienced quality team facilitators and leaders for the review of the process maturity model;
  • Practitioners more experienced in the application of systems models, including Baldrige Examiners, to review the system maturity model;
  • Government program and agency heads who would have an interest in testing the use of these models as a framework for their sustainable quality efforts.

Those who wish to nominate a person or agency, should include a one-page bio or background statement of interest, and should forward that to Richard Mallory at the email addresses provided in this article.

Richard Mallory, who chairs the Government Division Center for Quality Standards in Government, thinks the proposed ANSI Standards will re-invent the foundation of quality practice in government, by challenging all agencies to create and document best practice operational plans. “The genius of the new system is that it will require every manager and supervisor in covered agencies to document the efficiency and effectiveness of work flows though identified key processes and systems.”

The proposed ANSI Standard as well as the process and system maturity models are available on the Government Division web page, at the following address: https://my.asq.org/communities/files/folder/155/389

Those interested in further information, or with an interest in participation in this effort should contact:

  • Richard Mallory, Chair of the Center for Quality Standards in Government

[email protected]

  • Marc Berson, Chair of Government Division Leadership Council

marc[email protected]

The Division plans to submit the proposed ANSI Standard to the ASQ Standards Committee for approval to submit to the ANSI organization near the end of this year. ANSI is a private non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States. The organization also coordinates U.S. standards with international standards so that American products can be used worldwide.

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The American Society for Public Administration is the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration. It is dedicated to advancing the art, science, teaching and practice of public and non-profit administration.

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