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Harrogate Borough Council's approach to quality management

Question
Read Case Study 6 on pages 396-407 of textbook:
1. Evaluate Harrogate Borough Council's approach to quality management with particular reference to the system used for performance measurement.
2. What lessons, if any, can be learned from this UK public sector case study that could be usefully applied in your industry or country.
3. Give reasons for your answers.

Reference
Oakland, J. S. (2003) TQM: text with cases. 3rd ed. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Requirement:
1. The number of words more than 600 (the more the better)
2. Conclusion or summary
3. Deep analysis with viewpoints / limited citation from the passage
4. Real world examples if possible (or even a short one is fine)
5. Academic reference or journal article citation with list
6. Supplementary information is preferable

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Conclusion

Harrogate Borough Council's performance management culture seems to be very structured and one of delegation and accountability. The checks and balances, along with delegation and incentives, encourage effective management of the business units. The Handbook is comprehensive and covers all aspects, thus giving a detailed guideline for handling of all aspects of the service. The approach is 'hands-on', providing an open environment where successes and failings are reported regularly. The council is found to have a well developed corporate, service and financial planning process.
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1. Evaluate Harrogate Borough Council's approach to quality management with particular reference to the system used for performance measurement.

The system used by the council, for performance management is very detailed and comprehensive. It has a system that takes inputs from the external as well as the internal environment. The Performance plan looks both backward and forward, by reviewing the previous year's performance and looking at what can be done in the next year, to meet the needs of the people.

That the council is heading in the right direction is established by its performance in the national top 11 indicators for district councils. This shows that the council does not act in a vacuum, but works in tandem with the broader priorities as envisioned by the Government.

Also, it is found that the council is proactive in its actions, by not waiting for any government directives, but instead self assessing its shortcomings and taking action to address the issues.

By issuing a document on 'Best Practice Guidance for staff working with performance indicators' the Council's approach was very structured and systematic. While organizations can have lofty ideologies, translating them to the grass root level requires a well thought out implementation plan. The document not only helped the staff to become aware of the concept of PIs, but also taught them how they can develop new ones and also actually how they should go about calculating and documenting them. Thus the staff could effectively measure their progress, compare their performance with other benchmarks. This made the staff accountable for their performance. The staff also could now look at ways to improve their services, as the measurement would have indicated the areas where they fall short.

The council also took pains to adopt the guidelines of the Audit Commission of UK, on the various aspects of the services rendered which should be measured. By ensuring that all aspects ...

Solution Summary

Harrogate Borough Council's performance management culture seems to be very structured and one of delegation and accountability. The checks and balances, along with delegation and incentives, encourage effective management of the business units. The Handbook is comprehensive and covers all aspects, thus giving a detailed guideline for handling of all aspects of the service. The approach is 'hands-on', providing an open environment where successes and failings are reported regularly. The council is found to have a well developed corporate, service and financial planning process.

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