Cost and Optimization in Government

By Aman Khan | Go to book overview

Chapter 11
Quality Control

Quality control deals with various methods, tools, and approaches for diagnosing the lack of quality (defined as nonconformity of standards) in materials, machines, and processes. In government, as in the private sector, quality control remains a major concern. In the last few years, there has been a renewed interest in quality control in government resulting from two interrelated developments: (1) the public demand for a more lean and efficient government, and (2) an increase in public expectations that the goods and services they receive from government in return for their tax dollars must be of the highest quality. Quality control can assure both, in particular the latter, by maintaining quality specifications throughout the process, from the purchasing of materials to the final delivery of services.

This chapter focuses on one particular aspect of quality control that lies at the heart of all control activities, called process control. 1 In particular, it looks at the causes of variation in a process and discusses the methods commonly used to explain these variations. For the most part, the methods used in quality control are based on simple graphs, charts, and diagrams. As such, they require very little analytical skill to construct, although the concepts underlying them are fairly rigorous.


VARIATIONS IN QUALITY

The primary objective of any organization is to ensure that the goods and services it provides are of the highest quality and that they conform to specifications (standards). To make sure that quality is maintained throughout the process, one needs to understand the factors that affect quality and take appropriate measures to control them. This is generally known as process control.

For any organization, process is the most important element that determines how successful an organization is in carrying out its activities. Everything revolves around process. If the process is inoperative or not managed efficiently, it will produce ineffective results. A process is simply a series of activities that transform inputs into

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Cost and Optimization in Government
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xii
  • Chapter 1 Basic Cost Concepts 1
  • Chapter 2 Cost Behavior 23
  • Notes 59
  • Chapter 3 Cost Analysis 60
  • Notes 105
  • Chapter 4 Cost Accounting 106
  • Notes 146
  • Chapter 5 Classical Optimization 148
  • Chapter 5 Classical Optimization 148
  • Notes 190
  • Chapter 6 Network Analysis 191
  • Notes 213
  • Chapter 7 Mathematical Programming 215
  • Notes 251
  • Chapter 8 - Games and Decisions 253
  • Notes 279
  • Chapter 9 Multicriteria Analysis 281
  • Chapter 9 Multicriteria Analysis 281
  • Notes 305
  • Chapter 10 Productivity Measurement 346
  • Chapter 11 Quality Control 348
  • Notes 373
  • Chapter 12 Besides Cost and Optimization 375
  • Notes 381
  • Bibliography 383
  • Index 389
  • About the Author 395
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