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 Self-assessment Tool to Measure Culture of Quality in 2019. It focuses on the culture of the quality, which can be defined as a set of clearly stated visions, values and unequivocal leadership. Organizations that have achieved the true culture of quality, demonstrate three common traits: leadership commitment, employee ownership, and organization-wide continuous improvement. In order to create a culture of quality, it is helpful to have a tool that guides the organization through assessment and improvement. That is why we created Self-assessment Tool that provides the organization with evaluation of its quality level as well as with the summary of its strengths, potential for improvement and suggested measures. It encourages managers to evaluate both hard and soft criteria as both of them have great impact on the functioning of the organization. The tool is created on the basis of quality management systems ISO 9000, the EFQM Excellence Model and CAF model.

Culture geared toward quality is essential to long-term success. However, identify the expectations of stakeholders and measure their level of satisfaction is likewise necessary. Achieving positive results is conditioned by the organization's ability to please all of its stakeholders, which means that systematic feedback must be provided. 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. Thus, the main goal of the methodology Gathering Feedback from Stakeholders is to acquaint the public with reasons and impacts of measuring the perception (satisfaction measurement) of selected target groups (authorities, citizens/customers, employees, etc.) and inform about the methods we use to monitor customer satisfaction. There is a range of techniques for that, for example questionnaires or structured interviews.

“Listening to citizens is the key to quality improvement.” – Vice President of the United States Al Gore at the 3rd Quality Conference for Public Administration in Rotterdam 2004