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The Official Baldrige Blog

State Senator Says Organizations Already Hold the Key to Long-Term Improvement



A long-term quality management system is the key for organizations to improve and be accountable, believes State Senator Mark Miloscia, who represents Washington state’s 30th legislative district and who is also a current Baldrige examiner and former state examiner for the Washington State Quality Award.

Miloscia, who is chair of the Washington state Senate Accountability and Reform Committee and vice-chair of the Senate Human Services, Mental Health, and Housing Committee, says he has used one approach his whole legislative and professional career: “Ensure all organizations have a sound and professional quality management system in place that’s valid, reliable, and focuses on continued improvement. . . . I use the Baldrige Excellence Criteria as the tool to evaluate performance. Many in health care know that a number of hospitals and other organizations across the nation use the Baldrige Criteria as their path to make sure they meet [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] CMS standards.”

He adds, “My goal is to make sure Washington state government and local government is considered world class in performance and the best run in the nation. That has always been my goal and I continue to try and work and be a spokesman on these issues. [I] . . . feel that state governments properly run and managed can be run as well and efficient as the best in the private sector.”

The spring issue of ASQ’s Government Division featured an article by Miloscia, “Efforts to Systematize Quality in Washington State Government,” in which he wrote, “There is nothing structural or even political that would prevent any state government, school, or local government from matching the best that the private sector has to offer.” In the article, he lists the five elements that he believes can help entities be successful:

  1. Require Baldrige assessments every two or three years for all agencies and implement some kind of auditable process management standard in every office and branch (e.g., Lean and/or Plan-Do-Check-Act).
  2. Gain the support of all key political stakeholders to champion and sustain the performance efforts for the long term.
  3. Set as a long-term goal that all agencies, programs, and vendors will reach world-class performance in six to 10 years for all key measures to include achieving a 60 percent score on a national Baldrige assessment.
  4. Coach and train everyone—including elected officials, senior leaders, front-line employees, and vendors—in quality or performance management, and promote and manage the workforce and vendors accordingly. True transformation only occurs when every employee is engaged and empowered.
  5. Ensure that leaders will put long-term results over politics and the inevitable short-term crisis. Embrace a long-term improvement plan.

Miloscia said he laments that only a few government entities, to date, have been recognized with the Baldrige Award—the city of Irving, TX; the city of Coral Springs, FL; the Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program; and the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center.

In addition, in a recent interview by the health care initiative State of Reform, Miloscia heralded “one of this nation’s best-kept secrets,” a sentiment he repeated for this interview: “the many Baldrige examiners who, in anonymity, volunteer their time at the local, state, and national levels. There is a whole group of people across this nation who are excited about making organizations more effective, efficient, and ethical, and do it for free.” Miloscia added, “These volunteers are one of our nation’s great strategic advantages!”

About the author

Dawn Bailey

Dawn Bailey is a writer/editor for the Baldrige Program and involved in all aspects of communications, from leading the Baldrige Executive Fellows program to managing the direction of case studies, social media efforts, and assessment teams. She has more than 25 years of experience, 18 years at the Baldrige Program. Her background is in English and journalism, with degrees from the University of Connecticut and an advanced degree from George Mason University.

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A brilliant article sharing quotes and direction by Senator Mark Miloscia aimed at helping organizations improve their performance. Successfully implementing an excellence model (e.g. Baldrige, EFQM etc) should be a strategic imperative for all organizations. Of course, the quality community can assist in this most important quest. However to be successful, we must find a way to communicate with one voice and reduce the current level of fragmentation that exists and limits our potential progress.
Implementing a systematic approach based on the five elements shared by Senator Miloscia to improving organizations will have a positive outcome for any organization's culture. Thank you Senator Miloscia for your long time commitment. Great to see your leadership in action and glad to see your in a position where you are leading by example.

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