An assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of the strategic and operational management of the Makana Municipality, Grahamstown : a total quality management and business excellence approach.
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In South Africa, companies and organisations are now operating within the global marketplace. Various authors writing on organisational effectiveness state that, in the last decade, many organizations have come to appreciate that total quality management (TQM) principles will enable them to become and remain competitive in both home and international markets. In many of these markets, quality and its continuous improvement are now qualifying criteria. TQM not only leads to increased productivity, higher standards, improved systems and procedures, improved motivation and increased customer satisfaction, but also to lower costs and bottom-line savings. The aim of this research study was to ascertain whether the strategic and operational management of the Makana Municipality in Grahamstown was effectively and efficiently leading and managing the institution in accordance with the principles of TQM, measured according to the international benchmark of business excellence. The practical and fundamental importance of this research study, therefore, lies in its evaluation of whether the Municipality's systems, processes, policies and procedures are in alignment with the principles of customer orientation, continuous improvement, process orientation, utilisation of business process re-engineering tools, promotion of accountability and measurement of services. This is vital, if the Makana Municipality, in Grahamstown is to deliver a world-class service in an effective and efficient manner. From an empirical research investigation by way of a survey of a cross-section of municipal employees, it was found that there are indeed challenges facing the organization with respect to the principles of TQM, such as education and training, a culture of process-orientation, communication, customer satisfaction, culture and values, and performance measurement. An Integrated Model for Total Quality Management and Business Excellence for Local Government has been proposed and an Action Plan for the introduction of TQM and business excellence within the Municipality has been devised for implementation.Making quality happen requires not only commitment, but also competence in the mechanics of TQM. Crucial early stages will comprise establishment of the appropriate organisation structure, teamwork and training, including information about quality costs and quality systems. The launch of quality improvement requires a balanced, three-pronged approach, through systems, teams and tools. A strategic implementation framework will allow the integration of TQM into the strategy of the organisation through an understanding of the core business processes and involvement of people. This will lead through -process analysis, selfassessment and benchmarking to identifying opportunities for improvement, including people development. The process opportunities will be prioritised into continuous improvement, re-engineering and re-design. Performance-based measurement will determine progress, and feedback to the strategic framework.