Quality improvement methodologies

Improving the quality of processes and increasing the level of customer satisfaction are critical factors in the success of any organization, and public sector organizations are not an expeption. Over the years there have been waves of different approaches to quality improvement resulting in different programs, methodologies and studies. Nowdays there are various worldwide used methodologies enabling the organizations to select and combine them for continuous improvement. 

The Slovak Office of Standards, Metrology and Testing (hereinafter the "Office") as the main coordinator of the national quality policy lays special emphasis on skill acquisition, knowledge sharing, the exchange of experience and dialogue on best practice. We want to stimulate the learning experience of public sector organizations by providing them with our studies and methodologies, to further enrich their knowledge. Our publications address key issues for quality management and aim to contribute to quality improvement process of the organizations.

We issued 7 methodologies and 3 studies. 

Culture of the quality can be defined as a set of clearly stated visions, values and unequivocal leadership. It also provides the organization with the loyalty of employees and their consistency in work performance, which is vital for any organization. The methodology Self-assessment Tool to Measure Culture of Quality is therefore suitable for all types of organizations as it provides the organization with evaluation of its quality level.

Feedback can be characterized as a set of information, both positive and negative, obtained about the behavior or activities of organization's individuals or groups. These informations are of great help in the process of self-improvement and develop a monitoring and evaluation system is a good place to start. Some of the methods and techniques for that are described in the methodology Gathering Feedback from Stakeholders.

Social responsibility is essentially the management of the organization's activities in three interconnected areas (pillars of social responsibility) - economic, social and environmental. Companies are going beyond legal requirements voluntarily and they act in the interests of stakeholders. The study Corporate Social Responsibility in Public Sector incorporates all pillars of CSR with focus on public sector organizations, as CSR should be an integral part of every organization.

Benchmarking has not been widely used in public sector organizations, however, this trend is starting to change in Europe. Our goal is to follow these changes also in Slovak republic, and that is why we published methodology Development of Benchmarking in the Public Sector targeted especially on public sector organizations as benchmarking has proved to be an effective tool for improving the quality of internal organizational processes.

The EASY CAF methodology and the tool is intended for any public administration organization, regardless of its type and size, which considers the CAF implementation. It is an easy-to-use tool which helps to solve the dilemma of how to approach CAF implementation, where to start and where to seek support. Organizations that carry out self-assessment using this tool will be well prepared to fully implement CAF. 

Self-assessment is the key to effective and efficient CAF implementation. The organization's employees know best the strengths as well as the weaknesses and areas for improvement in the organization, but the process of self-assessment if still quite difficult for them. The descriptions and explanations given in the CAF Manual are sometimes not clear and that is why we issued CAF Application Guide which explains the context of CAF examples. 

The implementation of quality management system, such as ISO standards, CAF and others, has a clear potential to improve results by improving the services provided by public administration. A well-understood and well-implemented management system helps the organization to manage stakeholder expectations. That is why the goal of the study Support of effective public administration using management systems standards is to measure the level of maturity of implemented quality management systems in public administration organizations and prove their contribution for the organization. 

A systematic approach to fighting corruption means that all aspects of preventing corruption and increasing transparency are implemented, maintained and improved so that none of the relevant activities of the public administration organization remains without control mechanisms. This approach is expressed by ISO 37001 anti-bribery management system, which specifies requirements that a management system for preventing and combating corruption must fulfill. Implementation of this standrad in the conditions of the Slovak Republic is described in the methodology Implementation of ISO 37001 Anti-bribery management system.  

Management systems standards represent a great added value for public administration organizations due to their structure, clear terminology, and comprehensive focus on public administration organizations. The methodology Implementation of management systems in public administration organizations aims to help to better understanding of the management systems standards and their implementation in public administration organizations. 

The CAF is an easy-to-use and free total quality management model specially developed for public organizations, taking into account their characteristics. However, for an organization that has no experience with the quality management, the CAF implementation could be very difficult. The scope of the study Application problems accompanying the CAF implementation in public administration is to point out frequently recurring application problems and recommendations for their prevention based on experience of CAF experts.

All publications are primarily made for national users and interested parties, and therefore not translated into English.