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This paper shall undertake to discuss an implementation of the eight concepts of Total Quality Management (TQM). The focus of the implementation process will be in accessing the readiness of Traffic and Patrols directorate in the Abu Dhabi Police (ADP). In essence therefore, the eight concept of TQM will be used as the parameters of analysis in critically assessing the status of the Traffic and Patrols Directorate at ADP, in regards to readiness to execute the daily operations that constitute their mandate.
To begin with, the concept of total quality management shall, for purposes of this paper, be construed to refer to the management system that helps an organisation to focus on their customers or clientele through a process of continued improvement in all aspects and levels of the organisation (Dale & Bunney 1999, pp. 101 - 213). In its simplest form, TQM and its core concepts are an integrative system that uses data, strategy and effective communication between or members and departments in an organisation in such a way that it integrates or embeds quality principles into all operations and activities, as well as culture, of an organization.
The core philosophy of TQM is an emphasis on satisfying all customer requirements/needs, standardizing specifications, and attaining quality expectations for every product or service delivered to the customer the first time round and every other time after that. This calls for an organized, specific and methodical process that creates system-wide preparation, awareness and participation in the planning and implementation stages of continuous quality improvements initiatives (Arvinder, Loomba & Spencer 1997, pp. 753 - 767). The eight core concepts of TQM are derived from this foundation.
The first core concept of TQM is managing by process. This means that organisations should strive to adopt a system approach in their management practices instead of approaching the management function haphazardly or with an 'on the heat of the moment' style (Arvinder, Loomba & Spencer 1997, pp. 753 - 767). The directorate is readily systemized in a way that can enhance quality improvement in service delivery, although the tools that can aid that system towards quality improvement (management philosophy, technology etc) have not been used (Clegg, Rees & Titchen 2010, pp. 188 - 208).
The ADP has two units under the CPS Commander namely, Security Information Unit and The Office unit. Under the Security Information Office is where the Criminal Investigations are conducted by the CID branch under the CID Manager. In the Office Unit, the overall management mandate is entrusted to the Operations Affairs Manager. The Operations Affairs Manager runs two units namely the Community Police Unit and the Operations Unit. Within the Operations Unit, we have two branches namely the Guards and Discipline Branch and The Traffic & Patrols Branch. Traffic & Patrols branch has two sub-branches namely the Traffic & Patrol Unit and the Investigations & Violations Unit.
The focus of the paper is in the Traffic & Patrol Unit, which is headed by the Director of Traffic and Patrols Directorate. Under the Director, we have five heads of departments in charge of Quality Team, Strategic Planning Branch, Security Information Branch, Security Plans and Protocols Branch and the Head of Director's Office. These five heads of departments/branches report directly to the Directors. Evidently therefore, the Traffic & Patrol Directorate is well structured in a way that allows the manpower to specialize on a particular area of their expertise and training. Each area of their duty has been provided with leadership and supervision protocols to allow the execution of their mandate towards the directorate's goals.
The problem with the Directorate is that it regards supervision with very high emphasize as the best way of ensuring that the traffic police personnel improve their service delivery. Supervision seems to constitute the entire management philosophy of the directorate in regards to service delivery quality improvement. Oakland & Morris, (1997, pp. 18) are emphatic that achieving organisational preparedness is an organisation-wide initiative and not just the creation of supervision departments or positions. By simply providing supervision in an organisation, such as by assigning some senior officers the supervision duties and hoping that service delivery by the traffic department will improve, the organisation cannot attain improved quality delivery or its potential to improve quality (Golhar, Deshpande & Ahire 1997, pp. 555 - 568).
Preparedness in organisations is defined by how apt such an organisation is set to undertake the 'core business processes that must be performed especially well if the mission and objectives are to be achieved' in such a manner that each and every stage of the process is itself quality centred (Oakland & Morris 1997, pp. 18 -19). That is why Oakland & Morris emphatically opine that 'inspection is not quality control' since, quality control 'is the employment of activities and techniques to achieve and maintain the quality of a product, process or service' (1997, pp. 18).
The fact that the department uses outdated telecommunication gadgets, have not cameras in most of the highways and employ paper based systems to process most protocols, is indicative that they have not employed technology to aid in their quality improvement goals. Consequently therefore, despite the ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate is optimally structured but not optimally provided with the tools that can allow a systemized management process. They have the structure but not the tools and philosophy that could aid in adopt a system approach in their management practices, and therefore, the management function at the ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate is haphazard in style.
The second core concept of TQM is achieving balanced results. This is referred to as elsewhere as the process approach. Process thinking is a fundamental component of TQM in that, organisations should conceive every activity, operation and engagement as contributing to their overall objective. On this count (the process approach), the ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate is almost a dysfunctional unit of the ADP Police. Most of the teams in the directorate have separate duties and protocols and they operate on their own with little or no coordination between the teams. For instance, the Capital Traffic Administration team rarely ever coordinates their operations with the Traffic Administration of External Areas team or the Road Engineering and Road Safety Administration team. Each team operates independently and within its jurisdiction since there are no horizontal communication channels between the three teams. Consequently, the different teams do not complement each other as part of a single unit or as part of the process through which the directorate delivers its mandate to the public.
Teamwork and complimenting efforts are the tenets of modern initiatives to boost productivity, whether in service or product based organizations (Hung 2007, pp. 715 - 730). According to Dale, organizations should strive to 'drive out the fear' between colleagues and ensure that 'everyone works effectively in and for the organization' (2003, pp. 54 - 55). Dale advices organizations to break down all the barriers between individuals and departments to the level where 'organisation members in research, design, production and sales can work as a team' in producing and delivering their products or services (2003, pp. 54 55). Conclusively therefore, in regards to the process approach to management, the directorate falls short in integrating their teams into a singular unit and process.
The third core concept of TQM is building partnerships. An organisation survives and blooms from relationships both from within and from without. A good example of such vital relationships that an organisations must nurture if they are to succeed is with their suppliers (Goetsch & Davis 2006, pp. 47). The ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate is in an even worse shape when it comes to building partnerships. In many instances, organisations are attracted to one-time deals that promise better returns than the deals in which they have been engaged or have potential to last long. A good example is where the police may establish long lasting relationships with their partners but be willing to constrain that relationship for a one-time engagement with new partners. According to Dale (2003, pp. 54), organisations should 'move towards a singular supplier (long-term relationship with partners) on a long-term relationship built of trust and loyalty.
The ADP has a Community Police Unit, which is charged with the responsibility of building rapport with the Abu Dhabi community and the police in the fight against crime. To ensure proper delivery of services, any police station depends on the public goodwill and support be it in fighting crime and managing law and order (Arvinder, Loomba & Spencer 1997, pp. 753 - 767). Yet in the ADP, a single department has been given that duty, meaning that the other units of the police organisation structure such as the Operations Unit under which the Traffic and Patrol Unit is found, has no business in securing and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with the public.
The ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate has only three arms/branches as noted above. The first branch is the Capital Traffic Administration, which is in charge of protocols and tasks, protocols and convoys, tasks and events, serious collisions investigation, investigation and case depositing, traffic control, violations and antecedents, impounded vehicles, and technical support. The second branch is the Traffic Administration of External Areas which is in charge of external roads traffic, traffic planning, violations and impounding vehicles, support services, and serious collisions investigation and case depositing. The last branch is the Road Engineering and Road Safety Administration, which is in charge of traffic safety department, Abu Dhabi road control and engineering, Al Ain road control and engineering, Western Region road control and engineering, statistics and studies, statistics and performance indicator measurement analysis, traffic studies, the Traffic Institute, security and discipline, administrative and staff affairs, administrative support, training affairs and finance and stores.
Two things emerge from the above analysis. First, that the three teams overlap in the execution of similar mandates such that each branch repeats what the other branches are doing (i.e. traffic control, impounding vehicles, technical support, collisions investigation and case depositing etc), instead of simply having one branch responsible for such a task and then sharing the data or information. This is further proof that the department falls short in integrating their teams into a singular unit as required by the process approach to management. Secondly, it proves that there is no section of the deportment or personnel, charged with the responsibility of cultivating and maintaining relationships with the public. This therefore means that the concept of building mutually beneficial supplier relationships is not practiced at the ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate.
The fourth core concept of TQM is adding value for customers. Successful organisations in contemporary times are customer focused, meaning, they strive to achieve and satisfy all the requirements that customers have for their product or service. According to BusinessExcellence, an organisation can initiate numerous quality improvement measures and still be unable to satisfy their customers (n.d). This is because it is only the customers who can determine the quality level of the product or service they receive. Only the customer will determine whether the quality improvement efforts and initiatives were worthwhile (BusinessExcellence, n.d). Cianfrani & West phrase this better when they say, 'organizations solely depend on their customer, and therefore, they should always strive to understand what the current and future customer requires, should always meet the customer needs, and should always strive to exceed the quality expectations of the customers' (2009, pp. 5-7).
The ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate is near excellent in regards to attaining customer focus. The three departments in the directorate are trained in specific fields to assist the public in regards to traffic control. The traffic institute heavily relies on research and statics accumulated in the field to train the personnel precisely on how to assist the public based on public requirements and needs. According to Dale, for an organisation to be considered as having or to attain customer focus status, it must 'depend on their customers', ... understand current and future customer needs, ... meet customer requirements and strive to exceed customer expectations' (2003, pp 26). The department uses the statistics and studies unit and the statistics and performance indicator measurement analysis to perceive public requirements and needs and to adjust their practices and training towards meeting these needs and requirements (Colurcio 2009, pp. 236 - 248). The fact that the ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate relies on real time research and statistics to train their personnel and to plan on traffic control measures is an indicator that they are customer focused (Cappelli et al 2010, pp. 267 - 284).
The fifth core concept of TQM is leading with vision, inspiration and integrity. The leadership component is regarded by many quality management experts and scholars as the most instrumental in all quality improvement initiatives (Cianfrani & West 2009, pp. 5-7). According to Cianfrani & West, the leaders of a particular organization are charged with the responsibility to establish the mission, vision and objectives of that organisation, so as to give all members the direction towards which all efforts must be directed (2009, pp. 5-7). This is what Cianfrani & West calls 'unity of direction and purpose' (2009, pp. 5-7). In this instance, the ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate again, performs very well. As Oakland & Morris points out, leadership plays a central role in initiating, implementing and managing change processes, especially those that seek to improve performance (1997, pp. 27).â€Ž
Most of the department leaders and the Director himself are all trained police officers who have climbed up the ladder to the help of their specific jurisdictions. These individuals have displayed good performance and vision in the performance of their duties until they have been allocated increasingly bigger responsibilities. The last ten years have seen the ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate change its approaches, restructure its organisation and adopt new processes aimed at improving service delivery.
The sixth core concept of TQM is nurturing creativity and innovation. Quality gurus are emphatic that achieving the desired quality is not the end of the quality improvement journey (Cianfrani & West 2009, pp. 5-7). Organisations that achieve their desired quality objective must then commit all their efforts and resources to maintain that quality, and to continue improving it thereafter. Unfortunately, it is rare to have individuals in the ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate accredited with their personal initiatives and achievements. Performance appraisal is usually annual and there are no benefits granted to those who perform exemplary well besides the potential for promotion.
This makes the ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate very poor in nurturing creativity and innovation for continual improvement of quality service delivery. Dale advices organisations to 'remove barriers that may rob management and engineering personnel of their right to pride of workmanship' (2003, pp. 57). What Dale advocates for is an organisation culture that allows the management and in the product or service production/delivery departments of an organisation to take pride in their innovative and creative contributions. This enhances their motivation and spurs more creativity and innovation, ultimately improving production and service delivery (Abraham, Crawford & Fisher 1999, pp. 112 - 132).
Dale is against 'annual or merit rating' and prefers where performance is rated based on the achievement of organisation objectives (2003, pp. 57). The fact that the personnel in the ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate are rarely recognized and appreciated for their efforts towards quality service delivery means that they have low levels of motivation, have no regard for exceptional values in service delivery and rarely do they engaged in personal initiatives beyond their job descriptions. The same transpires in regards to involving the personnel in initiating and maintaining most of the initiatives at the directorate.
The seventh core concept of TQM is succeeding through people. Organisations should involve people in their pursuit of quality and they must engage the efforts of everybody within that organisation, towards achieving the quality objective. Cianfrani & West (2009, pp. 5-7) post that members of an organization at all levels are its essence. The complete involvement of people enables an organisation to exploit all their abilities to its benefit (Cianfrani & West 2009, pp. 7-8). All directives regarding service delivery at the directorate are passed from the top to the juniors and rarely are the juniors involved in making quality decisions.
Dale posts that the only organisations that will attain and maintain their competitive success in current times are those that 'focus less exclusively on shareholders and on financial measures of success - and instead include all their stakeholder relationships ...' (2003, 108). According to Dale, such organisations must be prepared to, 'put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation since such a 'transformation is everybody's job" (2003, pp. 54). The top-down decision-making tradition at ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate where quality decisions are made by the leaders and then forced down on the junior personnel excludes rather than involves the participation of all the members of the directorate (Bhat 2006, pp. 685 - 690; Narendar 2006, pp. 143 - 161).
Finally, the eighth core concept of TQM is taking responsibility for a mutual sustainable future. Cianfrani & West point out that effective decisions hold the key to building the foundation upon which organisations can thrive now and in the future, and that, such decisions ought to be based on realistic information and data analysis (2009, pp. 6-9). The fact that ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate has several initiatives aimed at improving the future delivery of service to the community, is indicative of their willingness to invest and prepare for the future (Bardoel & Sohal 1999, pp. 263 - 277). Dale believes that it is time for organisations to seek mutually benefiting engagements with the society and all their publics, to guarantee goodwill and a sustainable future. He notes, it is time to 'end the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag' alone (Dale 2003, pp. 54). It is therefore commendable that through their Road Engineering and Road Safety Administration department incorporating the statistics and studies branch as well as the statistics and performance indicator measurement analysis, are researching on how best they can control traffic in future.
From the foregoing discussion, it is evident that the directorate is optimally structured but not optimally provided with the tools that can allow a systemized management process. Their process approach to management falls short in integrating teams into a singular unit and process since their teams overlap in the execution of similar mandates. Further, the directorate does not cultivate and or maintain mutually beneficial supplier relationships. The ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate is customer focused since they rely on real time research and statistics to train their personnel and to plan on traffic control.
The directorate also performs well in regards to leading with vision, inspiration and integrity, the ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate. However, the directorates personnel are rarely recognized and appreciated for their efforts towards quality service delivery and therefore, they have low levels of motivation and rarely do they engaged in personal initiatives beyond their job descriptions. The top-down decision-making tradition at ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate where quality decisions are made by the leaders and then forced down on the junior personnel excludes rather than involves the participation of all the members of the directorate. As such, the directorate scores poorly in regards to preparedness for quality improvement in their delivery s it is the conclusion of the paper that the ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate is poorly prepared to adopt the eight concepts of TQM in improving the quality of service delivered to the public.