Thesis: Community Organization and Evaluate How it Leverages

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¶ … Community Organization and Evaluate How it Leverages Community Assets and Develops Partnerships

To Address A Social Problem

ORGANIZATION & MISSION

The stated 'mission' of the organization chose for evaluation in this present study is that of the City of Atlanta, Georgia. The City of Atlanta states that it is committed to developing performance measures that assist in the identification of opportunities for improvement "based on what is important to the citizens -its primary customers." (Managing Results: Initiatives in Select American Cities, 1995) Specifically stated by the City of Atlanta as its priorities and its 'Vision' is as follows: "The vision for the City of Atlanta in the years ahead is that of a city which seizes unique opportunities and shapes itself to meet the needs of the next generation. It is a vision that works to create a more humane, safe and enjoyable place to live, work, and raise children. It is a vision that raises the quality and productivity of the lives of all its citizens. It is a vision of communities that include diversity in age, race and economic status, in which people can remain throughout their lives, because these communities are flexible enough to meet the changing needs of their residents."

Stated by the City of Atlanta (2009) as a specific and significant part of the mission of the City of Atlanta is ensuring that the City if "...livable for all its citizens. The City's neighborhoods are among its most valued assets. The City is committed to protecting, maintaining and enhancing the quality of its neighborhoods, to preserving and increasing decent, secure affordable housing for all citizens, and to increasing job opportunities and improving education." (City of Atlanta, 2009)

II. ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS/PERFORMANCE MEASURES

The organization identified in this study for review is that of the City of Atlanta. A management plan has been implemented by the City of Atlanta that claims to incorporate the traditional output and outcome measures. Furthermore, the city reports having "initiated an annual citizen's survey." (Managing Results: Initiatives in Select American Cities, 1995)

Identified in the city's management plan are three priority areas which are stated to be that by which "outcome measures will be tracked" including the measures of:

(1) Safety;

(2) Quality customer service; and (3) Neighborhood vitality/economic development." (Managing Results: Initiatives

in select American Cities, 1995)

III. STATEGIC PLANNING

Strategic planning is that which determines not only where the organization will go over the next year but as well strategic planning makes the determination of 'how' the organization will indeed get there. It is not so much the plan itself but the planning process that results in successful implementation of the plans of the organization because this process of strategic planning involves the elements of cooperation, collaboration, and communication and ensures that all individuals involved in the process are on the same page so to speak.

Benefits of Strategic Planning

Benefits derived from strategic planning include but are not limited to the following benefits: (1) the clear definition of the organization's purpose and the establishment of realistic goals and objectives that are "consistent with that mission in a defined timeframe within the organization's capacity for implementation; (2)communication of those goals and objectives to the stakeholders of the organization and through a focus of resources on identified priority areas; (3) provision of a base "from which progress can be measured" and establishment of a "mechanism for informed change when needed"; (4) integration of the best efforts build value in what is a consensus on where the organization is headed; and (5) in placing a "strong financial management and control system so you can monitor your company's financial situation. (Manufacturing Extension Partnership, 2009, p.1)

IV. TOTAL QUALITY Management (TQM)

Principles of TQM

The work of Johnson-Sirleaf (2008) entitled: "Principles of Total Quality Management" states that Total Quality management (TQM) was first established by W. Edwards Deming, Joseph Juran and Kaoru Ishikawa and that TQM "gained significant acceptance in the management community." (p.1) Additionally stated is that the principles of TQM "...have become something of a social moment, spreading from its industrial origins to health care organizations, public bureaucracies, non-profit organizations and educational institutions." (Johnson-Sirleaf, 2008, p.1) Driving the practice of TQM is the "constant attainment of customer satisfaction through the continuous improvement of all organizational processes." (Johnson-Sirleaf, 2008, p.1) TQM is a management philosophy that "seeks to integrate all the organizational functions such as marketing, finance, design, engineering, production, customer service" as well as other in focusing on the customer's needs be met as well as meeting objectives of the organization. Total Quality Management is a strategy that has its roots in "four interlocked assumptions" stated to be those of: (1) quality; (2) people; (3) organizations; and (4) the role of senior management. (Johnson-Sirleaf, 2008, p.1)

Assumptions of TQM

Stated as assumptions of TQM are the following assumptions: (1) organizations that produce quality goods will eventually do better even on traditional measures such as profitability than organizations that will attempt to keep costs low by compromising quality; (2) if directed people who care about the quality of work they do and take initiatives to improve it are provided with the tools and training that are needed for quality improvement and management pays attention to their ideas, this would largely benefit the organization; and (3) organizations are systems of highly interdependent parts, and the central problems they face invariably cross traditional functional lines. To produce high-quality products efficiently, for instance, product designers must address manufacturing challenges and trade-offs as part of the design process. (Johnson-Sirleaf, 2008, p.1) It is held that "cross-functional problems must be addressed collectively by representatives of all relevant functions." (Johnson-Sirleaf, 2008, p.1)

Eight Key Elements of TQM

Rekha (2008) states that Total Quality Management (TQM) if successfully implemented in the organization will be on the basis of eight key elements which include those of: (1) ethics; (2) integrity; (3) trust; (4) training; (5) teamwork; (6) leadership; (7) recognition; and (8) communication.

Rekha (2008) additionally states that these eight elements can be divided into four groups by their specific function as follows:

(1) Foundation -- Ethics, Integrity and Trust;

(2) Building Bricks -- Training, Teamwork and Leadership;

(3) Binding Mortar -- Communication; and (4) Roof -- Recognition. (Rekha, 2008, p.1)

It is stated in regards to 'teamwork' that in order for the organization to become successful teamwork is a key element in Total Quality Management because the use of teams results in "quicker and better solutions to problems." (Rekha, 2008, p.1) as well, solutions that are developed by teams are stated to result in "more permanent improvements in processes and operations." (Rekha, 2008, p.1) This is likely to be due to the fact that people tend to feel more relaxed in discussing problems and in seeking solutions with the assistance of other team members.

Three Primary Types of Teams in TQM

Three primary types of teams that are adopted by TQM organizations are stated to be the following types of teams: (1) Quality Improvement Teams or Excellence Teams (QITS) - These are temporary teams with the purpose of dealing with specific problems that often re-occur. These teams are set up for period of three to twelve months; (2) Problem Solving Teams (PSTs) - These are temporary teams to solve certain problems and also to identify and overcome causes of problems. They generally last from one week to three months; and (3) Natural Work Teams (NWTs) - These teams consist of small groups of skilled workers who share tasks and responsibilities. These teams use concepts such as employee involvement teams, self-managing teams and quality circles. These teams generally work for one to two hours a week." (Rekha, 2008, p.1)

Three Communication Types in TQM

There are three primary types of communication in TQM organizations and those three are stated as follows: (1) Downward communication - This is the dominant form of communication in an organization. Presentations and discussions basically do it. By this the supervisors are able to make the employees clear about TQM; (2) Upward communication - By this the lower level of employees are able to provide suggestions to upper management of the affects of TQM. As employees provide insight and constructive criticism, supervisors must listen effectively to correct the situation that comes about through the use of TQM. This forms a level of trust between supervisors and employees. This is also similar to empowering communication, where supervisors keep open ears and listen to others; and (3) Sideways communication - This type of communication is important because it breaks down barriers between departments. It also allows dealing with customers and suppliers in a more professional manner." (Rekha, 2008, p.1)

V. INTERVIEW WITH M. WALDROP, DEPUTY CHIEF OPERATION OFFICER

Performance Measurement (Inputs, Outputs, Outcomes)

In an interview with Melvin Waldrop, the Deputy Chief Operating Officer of the Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia a great deal of information was acquired in regards to performance management and specific characteristics or actions defining 'performance measurement' which is stated by Waldrop to involve:… [END OF PREVIEW]

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