Quality Management Framework for Educational Institutions

Introduction

Management is the ability to create, organize and utilize resources, economically, efficiently & effectively. Management is essential aspect of human life, both personal as well as collective. Personal management shapes effective individuals, while collective management is required for well-performing institutions. Management is either good or poor. Poor management plays a decisive role in institutional failure or ineffectiveness. Educational institutions provide knowledge, build character and enhance wisdom level of students. They prepare students for practical life. An inefficient-ineffective educational institution will produce harmful individuals for society. There are multiple reasons of inefficiency or ineffectiveness of an educational institution such as mediocrity of teachers, irrelevancy of syllabus, ineffective headship and poor management system. However, poor management is decisive drawback of non-performing educational institutions. Poor management means – traditional management techniques by educational entrepreneurs, imitative leadership approach by academicians, micro management style by head teacher/principal, investor mindset by owners, and dictatorial approach of classroom management by teachers.

There are three major areas of Quality Learning Process – Key Activities Area, Performance Area, and Relations Area. Firstly, the key activities revolve around knowledge absorption / knowledge dissemination. Generally, the key activities include learning goals, course planning, learning schedule, teaching methods, and classroom management. Secondly, the performance area concentrates on learning outcomes. It studies learning performance of students, teaching performance of subject teachers, and managing performance of class teacher/principal. Thirdly, the relations analysis addresses multiple relations among students, teachers, parents, and educational managers. Dominantly, it deals with effective management of all learning events. The ultimate target of relation analysis is to realize synergistic outcomes from learning process.

Quality Management Vs Micro Management

Governance is inevitable aspect of collective life. It may adopt two courses – good & bad. Good governance is based on Quality Management while bad governance is outcome of Micro Management. Primarily, Quality Management is a system that pursues relentlessly excellence towards improvement of services offered, while Micro Management adopts cosmetic approach towards improvement. Quality management differs with micro management on countless dimensions however the prominent differences are:

Quality management is modern management, while micro management is traditional management. Traditional management is very hierarchical, organized, and disciplined. It is the military style of management, so that it only works in the military or in a micro set up. On the other hand, quality management is democratic management; it is against dominating tactics of individuals. A quality manager derives its powers from the principles she/he follows while the micro manager derives its power from the position she/he enjoys.

Quality Management utilizes talent of people at all levels (learning, teaching and management) optimally, while Micro Management concentrates on talents of leader only, it is forgetful towards talents of everyone or collective talent based on healthy competition or cooperation. At institutional level, an achievement or failure is dominantly team phenomenon. The phenomenon of individualism means massive flattery of leaders / seniors. In nutshell, quality management means meritorious interaction, while micro management means massive institutional politics.

Quality Management is based on humanistic philosophy. It begins with the belief that all people can be trained for the betterment of system. People want to do a good job and expect respect. The philosophy behind the approach values the self-esteem of those who teach and learn. It is Micro Management that deals with teachers/students, wrongly. The situation nurtures apathetic mindset among students/teachers. On the other hand, quality management develops empathetic mindset among students/teachers.

Quality Management postulates that the system of an institution is vital for staff performance. At the time of crises, the quality framework advises a system approach, it is the system that overwhelmingly is the main source of problem. The quality framework gives special attention to the processes that produce substandard services. It is a comprehensive and cooperative management so that it is against managing each component as though it were separate from the others and warns steps that pit the person against the system and against other persons. In micro-management processes are ignored and persons get undue importance. A micro-leader adopts generally the policy of ‘divide & rule’, so that workers are derisive towards each other.

Quality Management believes in personal responsibility, but goes beyond that concept to consider the especial responsibilities of those who manage for optimum system performance. A proactive concern for how people respond to managerial actions is crucial to the success of quality management, which is why the theory emphasis the need for managers to understand elementary principles of psychology, statistics and decision analysis to analyze the ground realities during some decision-making/interactive process. In micro management, there is gulf between thoughts, words & deeds of leader. A micro-manager manipulates persons/situations for optimum performance, so that performance is unstable and volatile. A consistent performance of students/teachers is inevitable requirement of educational institutions, so that micro-management means failure.

Law of Causation is universal phenomenon of life. The law categorically states that an outcome is inevitably based on some antecedent, that is, there is mean-end duality. Means are antecedents; they are necessary precondition for ends. An end can be materialized through right or wrong mean. Human life repeatedly faces the dilemma of right mean vs. wrong mean. Sometime, an end become unachievable, seemingly or really, through right means consequently means are generally comprised by effort-makers. For example, profit is an essential end for institutional viability; it can be achieved through wrong means such as rent-seeking, kick-backs, manipulation of teachers and manipulation of students. Quality management proposes wise mean-end framework for goal materialization. In micro-management means are not decisive during goals realization process so that means are compromised now and then. Micro Management is derisive towards law of causation so that it breeds mistrust among stakeholders and fails ultimately.

It is generally said, justice delayed is justice denied / justice hurried is justice buried. At institutional level procrastination or haste are two great menaces that disturb institutional performance, now and again. Micro Management is unable to tackle these issues due to non-system thinking. The solution lies in systematic thinking towards time efficiency / information efficiency, these factors are vital tools of quality management against haste or procrastination.

The end-user of a service is always decisive for the survival of institution. Parents are decisive for the continual existence of educational institution. Quality Management gives due importance to the requirements of all parents especially responsible parents. On the other hand, Micro Management gives importance only to reactive and affluent parents. The situation is not tenable, so that institution fails eventually.

Elements of Quality Framework

An institution is contractual arrangement of interdependent individuals to realize some goals and objectives; it works under the direction of some leader. Institutions are multiple, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and multilateral, both operationally and structurally. The orientation of an institution determines its course of action. For example, a specific group of some individuals assimilated to provide knowledge and to shape behavior-pattern of children give shape to schools, school is a social institution. Similarly, we can observe countless social, economic, and political institutions working in a modern society. A well-performing institution needs some success factors/performance indicators. An effective educational institution generally practices ten elements for quality management. Each variable has a functional significance that cannot be ignored. The elements are:

MISSION, VALUES, VISION, STRATEGY, SKILLS, RESOURCES, ORGANIZATION, EVALUATION, REWARD STRUCTURE AND ADJUSTMENTS

The efficacy of each element is tested on three grounds – foundational, structural, and operational. The first three elements – mission, values, and vision – have foundational significance. The next four elements – strategy, skills, resources, and organization – erect stable institutional structure. The last three elements – evaluation, rewards, and adjustment – have operational significance. The foundational, structural and operational aspects jointly shape a well-performing educational institution.

Elements of Quality Leadership

Leadership is essential pillar of well-performing institution. Leader is either effective or ineffective. An effective leader realizes institutional targets, optimally. Generally, an effective leader manifests seven characteristics. Each element has a practical significance for institutional development. The elements are:

Quality Management Framework for Educational Institutions

Introduction

Management is the ability to create, organize and utilize resources, economically, efficiently & effectively. Management is essential aspect of human life, both personal as well as collective. Personal management shapes effective individuals, while collective management is required for well-performing institutions. Management is either good or poor. Poor management plays a decisive role in institutional failure or ineffectiveness. Educational institutions provide knowledge, build character and enhance wisdom level of students. They prepare students for practical life. An inefficient-ineffective educational institution will produce harmful individuals for society. There are multiple reasons of inefficiency or ineffectiveness of an educational institution such as mediocrity of teachers, irrelevancy of syllabus, ineffective headship and poor management system. However, poor management is decisive drawback of non-performing educational institutions. Poor management means – traditional management techniques by educational entrepreneurs, imitative leadership approach by academicians, micro management style by head teacher/principal, investor mindset by owners, and dictatorial approach of classroom management by teachers.

There are three major areas of Quality Learning Process – Key Activities Area, Performance Area, and Relations Area. Firstly, the key activities revolve around knowledge absorption / knowledge dissemination. Generally, the key activities include learning goals, course planning, learning schedule, teaching methods, and classroom management. Secondly, the performance area concentrates on learning outcomes. It studies learning performance of students, teaching performance of subject teachers, and managing performance of class teacher/principal. Thirdly, the relations analysis addresses multiple relations among students, teachers, parents, and educational managers. Dominantly, it deals with effective management of all learning events. The ultimate target of relation analysis is to realize synergistic outcomes from learning process.

Quality Management Vs Micro Management

Governance is inevitable aspect of collective life. It may adopt two courses – good & bad. Good governance is based on Quality Management while bad governance is outcome of Micro Management. Primarily, Quality Management is a system that pursues relentlessly excellence towards improvement of services offered, while Micro Management adopts cosmetic approach towards improvement. Quality management differs with micro management on countless dimensions however the prominent differences are:

Quality management is modern management, while micro management is traditional management. Traditional management is very hierarchical, organized, and disciplined. It is the military style of management, so that it only works in the military or in a micro set up. On the other hand, quality management is democratic management; it is against dominating tactics of individuals. A quality manager derives its powers from the principles she/he follows while the micro manager derives its power from the position she/he enjoys.

Quality Management utilizes talent of people at all levels (learning, teaching and management) optimally, while Micro Management concentrates on talents of leader only, it is forgetful towards talents of everyone or collective talent based on healthy competition or cooperation. At institutional level, an achievement or failure is dominantly team phenomenon. The phenomenon of individualism means massive flattery of leaders / seniors. In nutshell, quality management means meritorious interaction, while micro management means massive institutional politics.

Quality Management is based on humanistic philosophy. It begins with the belief that all people can be trained for the betterment of system. People want to do a good job and expect respect. The philosophy behind the approach values the self-esteem of those who teach and learn. It is Micro Management that deals with teachers/students, wrongly. The situation nurtures apathetic mindset among students/teachers. On the other hand, quality management develops empathetic mindset among students/teachers.

Quality Management postulates that the system of an institution is vital for staff performance. At the time of crises, the quality framework advises a system approach, it is the system that overwhelmingly is the main source of problem. The quality framework gives special attention to the processes that produce substandard services. It is a comprehensive and cooperative management so that it is against managing each component as though it were separate from the others and warns steps that pit the person against the system and against other persons. In micro-management processes are ignored and persons get undue importance. A micro-leader adopts generally the policy of ‘divide & rule’, so that workers are derisive towards each other.

Quality Management believes in personal responsibility, but goes beyond that concept to consider the especial responsibilities of those who manage for optimum system performance. A proactive concern for how people respond to managerial actions is crucial to the success of quality management, which is why the theory emphasis the need for managers to understand elementary principles of psychology, statistics and decision analysis to analyze the ground realities during some decision-making/interactive process. In micro management, there is gulf between thoughts, words & deeds of leader. A micro-manager manipulates persons/situations for optimum performance, so that performance is unstable and volatile. A consistent performance of students/teachers is inevitable requirement of educational institutions, so that micro-management means failure.

Law of Causation is universal phenomenon of life. The law categorically states that an outcome is inevitably based on some antecedent, that is, there is mean-end duality. Means are antecedents; they are necessary precondition for ends. An end can be materialized through right or wrong mean. Human life repeatedly faces the dilemma of right mean vs. wrong mean. Sometime, an end become unachievable, seemingly or really, through right means consequently means are generally comprised by effort-makers. For example, profit is an essential end for institutional viability; it can be achieved through wrong means such as rent-seeking, kick-backs, manipulation of teachers and manipulation of students. Quality management proposes wise mean-end framework for goal materialization. In micro-management means are not decisive during goals realization process so that means are compromised now and then. Micro Management is derisive towards law of causation so that it breeds mistrust among stakeholders and fails ultimately.

It is generally said, justice delayed is justice denied / justice hurried is justice buried. At institutional level procrastination or haste are two great menaces that disturb institutional performance, now and again. Micro Management is unable to tackle these issues due to non-system thinking. The solution lies in systematic thinking towards time efficiency / information efficiency, these factors are vital tools of quality management against haste or procrastination.

The end-user of a service is always decisive for the survival of institution. Parents are decisive for the continual existence of educational institution. Quality Management gives due importance to the requirements of all parents especially responsible parents. On the other hand, Micro Management gives importance only to reactive and affluent parents. The situation is not tenable, so that institution fails eventually.

Elements of Quality Framework

An institution is contractual arrangement of interdependent individuals to realize some goals and objectives; it works under the direction of some leader. Institutions are multiple, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and multilateral, both operationally and structurally. The orientation of an institution determines its course of action. For example, a specific group of some individuals assimilated to provide knowledge and to shape behavior-pattern of children give shape to schools, school is a social institution. Similarly, we can observe countless social, economic, and political institutions working in a modern society. A well-performing institution needs some success factors/performance indicators. An effective educational institution generally practices ten elements for quality management. Each variable has a functional significance that cannot be ignored. The elements are:

MISSION, VALUES, VISION, STRATEGY, SKILLS, RESOURCES, ORGANIZATION, EVALUATION, REWARD STRUCTURE AND ADJUSTMENTS

The efficacy of each element is tested on three grounds – foundational, structural, and operational. The first three elements – mission, values, and vision – have foundational significance. The next four elements – strategy, skills, resources, and organization – erect stable institutional structure. The last three elements – evaluation, rewards, and adjustment – have operational significance. The foundational, structural and operational aspects jointly shape a well-performing educational institution.

Educate Managers on Time Sheet Red Flags

One of the critical responsibilities of a company manager is the ability to manage the schedules worked by his or her employees and to prevent time clock abuse. It is not uncommon in the workforce today for employees to cover for their co-workers by punching them in or out fraudulently, or for employees to simply lie or exaggerate on their time sheets. This abuse can cost a company thousands of dollars and can embroil them in wage investigations from the U.S. Department of Labor. A skilled manager acts as the first line of defense against this kind of time sheet abuse.

According to Todd Wozniak, an attorney with Greenberg Traurig, “Most of the issues that come up about time sheets deal with employees reporting the same start and stop time each day as opposed to actual start and stop times. Those issues usually have to be addressed through training and disciplinary action. It is also important for managers to actually review time sheets, ensure employees appear to be filling them out correctly, and require employees to sign their time sheets to acknowledge accurate reporting.”

Over reporting and underreporting work hours is also a major area of time sheet abuse. A manager needs to stress the importance of accurately reporting the time, not just reporting less time which can result in erroneous hours actually worked by an employee. The last issue a company wants to get entangled in is a labor dispute with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) over erroneous time sheet reporting which could lead to claims for unpaid wages, including overtime violations, plus DOL fines and penalties.

All employees should receive fair and accurate compensation for their work efforts. As a result, employing a sophisticated time clock system can work well to prevent numerous time management mistakes which could really hurt a company. To prevent abuse of any type of electronic timekeeping system, a number of factors may be used to help make the system exploit-proof. For example, a time management device used to clock-in and clock-out could be secured with restricted individual ID badges, PIN numbers or even better, a biometric device reading of an employee’s finger or hand.

There are options for companies on a budget to pursue. A web-based time-keeping software system is one such option. All you need is a computer with internet access. With a reliable timekeeping system in place, the possibility of an employee misrepresenting their hours diminishes if managed electronically. A time clock management system is a necessity for a business to run effectively. It lowers the room for abuse and error and ultimately helps an employer to successfully control their largest operating expense – Employee Payroll.

Educating Managers About Training – How to Help Managers Select the Best Training Approach

I blame it on the approach that many college professors still model. If lecture is good enough for higher education, then many business owners and managers assume that lecture is good enough for their employee training. But as we know, “good enough” is not necessarily the most cost-effective use of training dollars, because there is a lot of learning slippage that occurs.

When a company is interested in training on any topic, I like to meet with the owners or managers to discuss their desired results. When their employees walk out of the training, what does management want them to think or do differently? Sometimes the desired results are attitudinal changes and at other times the focus is on specific skill building. Regardless of the desired end result, I have found that introducing two concepts into the discussion makes all the difference in the ultimate training that is approved.

First, I walk them through the building blocks of learning (Bloom’s Taxonomy of Behavioral Learning Objectives), drawing each step as I go. I ask them if they will be satisfied if their employees leave the training knowing something but not understanding it, the way I can tell them that E= MC2 without knowing what I really mean. Understandably, knowledge alone is usually not the level of learning that appeals to them.

So I ask them if they want the employees to understand what they have learned, which typically garners nods of agreement. So we know that we need to at least get to comprehension. And if attitudinal change is desired, that is where we will stop.

However, if skills are involved, I ask them if it will be all right if the employees know and understand the new skill or technique, but don’t use it. If it is not all right (and we can count on that response!), then I explain that application is the next required level of learning.

Once we have determined that either comprehension or application is appropriate, I ask them what level of learning lecture alone can accomplish. I may need to coach them with the answer, by discussing what many of us were taught years ago regarding lecture: “Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you’ve told them.” I point out that with lecture, we only know that the lecturer knows the information to the third power. We have no idea if the participants know or understand the content of the lecture until they have some opportunity to interact with the information.

This neatly brings us to the need for more participant-centered learning activities, such as large and small group discussions, pop ups, question and answer sessions, questionnaires, worksheets, case studies, and games. It is a short step from this to the next point, that in order to achieve application as a learning level, the participants need to be able to practice what they have learned in the classroom. At this point, we can introduce hands on, simulation, and role-playing exercises.

To cement the idea that lecture alone is probably insufficient for their desired training results, I pull out a copy of Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience and Learning. This reinforces our previous discussion of learning levels and interactive learning activities by showing the correlation between our level of involvement and how much we tend to remember. Even lecture with visual support garners only 50% retention. The minute we add an opportunity to discuss the content, that increases to 70%- and if we can both say and do it, retention is increased to 90%.

If they want effective and lasting learning, which is the most cost-effective use of their training dollars, then participant-centered learning activities are the logical and only solution. Few reasonable people will argue with that conclusion!!

Deborah Spring Laurel has been a trainer and a consultant in the areas of workplace learning and performance improvement for over thirty years. She has twenty years of experience as the President of Laurel and Associates, Ltd,, an international human resource development training and consulting firm that specializes in enhancing interpersonal dynamics within organizations. She has designed and delivered hundreds of different skill-building participant-based and accelerated learning workshops on various topics, all of which have been tailored to meet her clients’ needs.

Deborah taught management and supervisory topics for the Executive Management Institute and the Small Business Development Center in the School of Business at the University of Wisconsin- Madison for over thirty years.

Career in Corporate Training and Education Management Program

The business world has become more competitive. With the advancement of technologies new tools have emerged. Consequently in order to survive in the market employees must be well trained to work on these tools. Today, every organization is making sure that all its employees perform well to the best of their abilities. Many organizations whether big or small have started focusing on corporate training programs. In fact, the need for corporate training is increasing at most companies due to the fast pace of business today.

Importance of Corporate Training

A well-conceived training program can actually help business succeed. Any corporate training program structured with the company’s strategy and objectives in mind has a high prospect of improving productivity. An effective corporate training is very essential as it often help employees learn how to deliver a sales pitch and know more about the inner workings of the company. In recent times few researches have also shown that firms that have seriously planned their corporate training process are more successful than those that do not.

However, deciding the kind of training that can benefit to an organization is far from a simple process. It is not always easy to decide the training process, because of financial and time constraints. The need or type of training must be a considered keeping the current and the future needs of the company in mind. Many business owners want to be successful, but because they are not well trained to provide training generally do not engage in training designs which may help them improve their business. Addressing to meet this requirement a career in corporate training has gained immense popularity in recent years.

Why to choose?

Working as a corporate trainer for a company can help you boost your career. Many big companies having new information or technology want their employees to learn about the new technology. Thus many of them hire corporate trainers to make sure that the proper flow of information and education takes place. If you are a corporate trainer for a company, it means that your job will be to go to each of the branches of the company and be an educator.

As a corporate trainer for a company, there are many things you might be teaching to employees. There can be a situation where you may be holding new employee seminars to teach the new employees the way that the company operates. Moreover, you may even provide management training. In addition, this career also offer you an opportunity to train employees on new policies regarding actions they might take in the work place, or on new situations that they might encounter.

Apart from this, there are many career options in the field of corporate training and education management programs. You can play the role of corporate facilitator, the person who spends time with the students. They are the one delivering the lectures everyday. Then you can also be a freelance developer who is in-charge of developing the complete course module relating to a specific topic.

Selecting Online Corporate Education Schools

Definitely choosing a career in corporate training can be lucrative a lucrative option, but it also depends upon your corporate education and school you choose to obtain a corporate training degree. Today there are many online corporate education schools that offer distance learning program in corporate training. However, be sure to attain a degree from those colleges that ensure to provide you experienced faculty, quality programs and unparalleled resources working together to meet critical business challenges. Look for a university that can assign you personal advisor(s) who will be there to answer your questions and take care of administrative details from enrollment through graduation.

Nevertheless, the biggest area of corporate education must help you enhance your skill and be a successful corporate trainer. You want to be sure that when you train people or employees they listen to you, they understand what you are saying, and ultimately benefit from your discussion.