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Business Excellence in the Public Sector

Excellence in business is a term that has been confined to the corporate world so far. Manufacturing sector has been traditionally linked with business improvement because of a tangible end product. What is to be realized is that the public sector must equally excel in whatever endeavor it undertakes. Public sector, technically, has a greater reach than the private sector and hence excellence in performance is doubly important over here.

Principles of business excellence are salient even for the public sector because:

• Work of every kind is a process.
• Understanding the needs of the customer and delivering is the key to all work.
• The fundamental message in any sector is “Get it right first time, every time!”
• Prevention and not detection is the objective.
• Value adding and not cost adding is the focus.

SIPOC (Suppliers-Inputs-Process-Output-Customers) is the generic model for a process in the public sector.

                                                                  Standards Procedures

                                        Suppliers ->  Inputs ->  Process ->  Output -> Customers


                                                                  Equipment Knowledge

Value in a process is added when waste is reduced. There are various sources of waste such as waiting for a document or a decision to arrive, transporting those documents from one place to another, overproduction of reports that are never really read, inappropriate processing of reports that delay the service, and improper usage of resources. Recognition of sources of wastage is only next to identifying who the customers are. These two steps are inter-related because the problems need to be seen from the perspective of the customer. For example, what is important for the customer in a bank could be error-free processing of documents, ready availability of cash, and quick handling of transactions.

Who is to ensure that business excellence is achieved? There are two constituents of business excellence, teams and leaders. There are countless departments in a public sector undertaking. All these teams have to be unified so that they can function in harmony with each other. This kind of unification can occur only in the hands of an able leadership. A good leader would induce a sense of ownership in the team members while involving as many people as required in the process. Such involvement aids in making the department more transparent and people more accountable in their acts.

Six Sigma is being applied to achieve business excellence in the public sector. The following facets blend in well with business excellence:

• Leveraging existing tools
• Integration with other related processes
• Adapting to changing business conditions
• Operational movement of activities is more streamlined
• Reduction in variability
• Establishment of work standards

The following diagram well illustrates the implications Six Sigma has for the public sector:

Opportunity Identification  - Innovate

                                                 - Improve

                                                 - Implement

Innovation is the key to success in any organization, private or public. Team members must come together to brainstorm and figure out different ways to improve the business process. Best practices must be identified and implemented to improve the business further. Each of the steps involves measurement of the processes, exploration of alternatives, development of selected ideas, implementation of those ideas and control of those ideas. Following up on the implemented processes is also very important for improving the business transactions. An expertise center must be created to monitor each of the steps in the process.

With such an integration of the ideas and practices in the corporate world can ensure that there is success even in the public sector.

Comments Listing
Posted: 11/03/2011 02:09:52

Hi i am a mechanical graduate from a private college under the accrediation of anna university passed out in may 2010. I joined as a graduate engineer trainee in business excellence department in a private organisation. I just want to know whether there is a scope for this department in future. Please reply me. I am in a great confusion. My e-mail id is

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