Improved use of information technology and improved quality management capabilities are really just paths to organizational improvement. Organizational development involves working to ensure that the way we organize our human skills and potential are optimized for the benefit of both the organization itself, and the individuals that make it up. When engineered systems fail, it is usually because the organizational impact of those systems wasn't adequately included in systems planning. When quality management improvements fail, it is usually because the organizational requirements for new processes and practices haven't been adequately considered. At Data-Oriented Quality Solutions, we place organizational development at the center of systems and quality planning. Even though information technology is a technology-focused arena, success demands that people, skills, and relationships be at the forefront of systems and metrics design and implementation.
Organizational development must occur within the context of the strategic direction in which that organization must be able to move. Agreeing with Covey's principle to "begin with the end in mind," we emphasize developing an effective organizational mission that supports a clearly articulated vision. The Criteria for Performance Excellence of the Balridge National Quality Award (United States) is a centerpiece in our organizational development practice because it provides a clear model for a management system that can be used by any of our client organizations. We use the model to provide a high-level organizational assessment within which other more IT-specific models are then applied.