By Leon Alexander
As the corporate world downsizes and refocuses its bottom line on improving the quality of products and customer services, INSCOM is leading the Army in the management philosophy which blends quality and excellence and a total commitment through all levels of its command.
Total Quality Management, known as TQM, is a philosophy and set of guiding principles that represent the foundation of a continuously improving organization.
The future, with respect to TQM in INSCOM, is bright. INSCOM is conducting a self-assessment to ensure focus on the mission, vision, values, goals and objectives. The self-assessment tool will be used to compete for this years Presidents Quality Award, given annually to federal organizations demonstrating a commitment to quality.
Total Army Quality blends quality and excellence into the Army management philosophy. Quality teams focus on customer satisfaction while studying innovative ways to provide faster service with a lot less hassle.
At INSCOM, the journey toward implementation of Total Army Quality presents challenges and opportunities.
In Oct. 1991, INSCOM representatives attended an HQDA workshop focused on the revision of AR 5-1 to incorporate the Total Quality Management philosophy as Armys philosophy (AR 5-1 updated June 12, 1992). From April through July 1992, Total Army Quality Implementation Strategy was introduced to the headquarters. In June 1992, the INSCOM commander approved the commands strategy to implement Total Army Quality at its headquarters and train its personnel.
Major subordinate commands were encouraged to implement the program and obtain training from local sources as much as possible. These commands received introductory briefings and information about the quality program. Additionally, INSCOM Regulation 5-7, Total Quality Management, was published to provide initial guidance.
Between March and August of 1993, the Army Management Engineering College trained INSCOM executive steering committee members to become certified trainers and facilitators.
During late 1993 and into 1994, 24 process action teams were chartered in headquarters to address a number of issues raised during the Affirmative Employment Symposia conducted between May and August 1993. In addition to the Affirmative Employment process action team members, the INSCOM G6 chartered four teams to focus on specific information management issues; the assistant chief of staff, resource management, chartered two teams to address resource management issues.
During this period, the G6 and assistant chief of staff, resource management, also conducted a series of training sessions. In the sessions, the Army Management Engineering College total quality management for process action teams course was presented to about 75 headquarters staff members and major subordinate command members within the commuting area.
In March 1996, efforts were made to institutionalize total quality management through a series of command reengineering initiatives, the revision of the command mission and the development of command values, goals, and objectives. The revised command mission, vision, set of values, goals, and objectives were developed during the Executive Reengineering Workshops and published in May 1996.
Since the first quarter of FY97, the mission, vision, values, goals, and objectives have been incorporated into the Quarterly Performance Review (the Quarterly Performance Review replaced the INSCOM Review and Analysis Program). QPR implements a performance measurement system focused on achieving specific goals and objectives necessary to accomplish the mission and move toward the vision.
INSCOMs quality focus is toward customer satisfaction. Since May 1996, four process action teams have been reviewing a variety of processes and are developing recommendations for improvement. One team has been working the equipment configuration process, recommending ways to reduce the cycle time and simplify the coordination necessary to gain approval to make changes within the headquarters. Two teams are reviewing civilian personnel hiring actions and training issues. Another recently developed team is reviewing staffing processes within the counterintelligence function.
Preliminary discussions are taking place to charter a process action team with the potential of expanding beyond INSCOM to include the National Security Agency and U.S. Army Forces Command. This team will review the processes necessary to coordinate and obtain support from Army reservists.
As the implementation of Total Army Quality continues, visits to subordinate units to share the successes of the headquarters and provide assistance, is anticipated. Several units (National Ground Intelligence Center and the 713th, 718th and 902d MI Groups) have implemented or have requested assistance to implement Total Army Quality.
Leon Alexander is assigned to the office of the assistant chief of staff, resource management, headquarters, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command. He can be reached by telephone at commercial (703) 706-2989 or DSN 235-2989; or through e-mail (lealexa@ vulcan.belvoir.army.mil).
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Last Updated: July 02, 1997