Original Date: 08/08/1994
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Total Army Quality Initiatives and Structure
CSTA's Total Quality journey began in the mid-1980s by working in partnership with employee unions and management to implement quality circles and employee involvement programs. These TQM initiatives have come to be known in the Army as Total Army Quality (TAQ). In the late 1980s, a Total Quality Steering Committee was formed which led to the development of the activity's vision, quality policy, and goals. Training in all aspects of Total Quality was undertaken for management, employees, facilitators, and Process Action Teams.
By the early 1990s, these efforts were yielding results. A strong customer focus and emphasis on marketing was developing, improvements such as project management automation were implemented, and successful employee recognition programs were in place. The success of TAQ efforts was demonstrated by CSTA's receiving the 1990 Senate Productivity Award for Maryland. The command applied for other awards such as the Federal Quality Institute's Quality Improvement Prototype Award in order to recognize the workforce and as a self analysis and feedback tool. Recent efforts have included the development of a Strategic Quality Plan which establishes annual objectives. Biennial customer conferences have been set up that are involving CSTA's customers, providing feedback for continuous improvement, and contributing to marketing and business development efforts.
CSTA's vision is to be recognized by its customers as a provider of world class, environmentally compatible technical test services. This is being realized by putting the customer first with teamwork. CSTA's quality policy demands high quality test products delivered on schedule at the agreed-to price. It is implemented by focusing on customer satisfaction, employee involvement, and continuous improvement, and it is producing results in its reputation as a "can do" unit, high workforce pride, awards and recognition outside the Department of the Army, and reliance on CSTA as the center for testing land tactical vehicles.
The CSTA quality structure is led by a TAQ Steering Committee composed of senior executives and managers. It owns the TAQ process and oversees major decisions, training, and recognition. Under the Steering Committee, cross functional management teams are responsible for improving customer and supplier relations and for chartering and managing PATs. CSTA PATs are ad hoc employee teams tasked to review a specific process and provide recommendations for improvement.
Leadership, teamwork, and customer focus are the key ingredients to CSTA's approach to Total Quality. Evolving over the past decade, this approach has produced a business oriented culture that values its employees, satisfies it customers, and is continuously improving.
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