Total Quality Management (TQM)
The Commission, as well as most other state agencies, has been heavily involved in TQM as a tool to improve the quality and efficiency of our work. A steering committee was set up to guide the agency through the process. The "vision statement" and "guiding principles" (see page 1) were the result of the committee's work. The committee also approved and set in motion the first team project, to improve the cycle time of investigation of civil rights complaints.
Dawn Peterson was chosen as facilitator, and a project team was selected. Work began in February 1993 to more clearly define the goals of the project. A survey instrument was designed for the investigators to use in tracking time spent on each task of the investigative process, such as preparation, interviews, records analysis, and writing the summary. The survey form went into use in early June, with a projected time of at least three months to achieve a sample sufficient for making some conclusions. When the results are tabulated, the survey is expected to show which parts of the investigation are most time-consuming. Further work will be needed to look at solutions for reducing the time spent on these tasks.