As Zuma Dogg is out on the streets, pounding pavement (I have holes in my shoes), talking to people as I gather signatures, one message that convinces people to sign my petition quickly is when I talk about the "Deming 14 Points" stuff.
Now, I don't harp too much on the fact that my plan to reduce bureaucracy inside City Hall through the implementation of Deming's 14 Points...however, I just break it down for them in actual specifics they can understand.
For example, they like, "The job of mayor is to help City workers do their best job by breaking down barriers between departments and reduce the bureaucracy. When you call 3-1-1, they keep you on hold WAY too long, then they bounce you to some email, or the wrong person, and you have to start all over again. THEN, they tell you it will take EIGHT MONTHS to send someone out to trim your tree."
My friend called 3-1-1 because tree branches were blocking the STOP sign -- at an LAUSD school crosswalk...and the constituent was told by the council office it would take EIGHT months.
Now before we talk about the EIGHT MONTHS to get your tree trimmed that is blocking a STOP sign at a school crosswalk...let's apply Deming's 14 points to 3-1-1.
Because, although it's not the most important thing...it's the first; most basic thing...cause it's many people's first experience with City Hall and the City of Los Angeles -- and you know what they say about first impressions.
So applying Deming's 14 Points to 3-1-1. Here's ZD's application:
The job of live human operators at 3-1-1 should not be to be a "robot dummy" saying, "Thank you for calling 3-1-1, how may I direct your call? THEN, to be asked for your Zip Code. The information may please the mayor, but delaying the call to ask market research questions annoys the caller; after being on hold for a while. THEN, they also ask if you would like to write down the number. So that is two un-necessary questions (that delays the process), right off the bat.
BUT, that is just a mere tangent of the issue.
THE REAL ISSUE HERE, is that the purpose of 3-1-1 operators should be to answer as much and as many questions of the constituent as possible and the goal should be to have the caller hanging up WITHOUT HAVING to be connected to anyone else.
YES PEOPLE...that is the goal of any service like 3-1-1. Not a starting place in which calls are routed and bounced all over the City, then into voice mail...but a service to try and end the call at the starting point.
It should be, "Thank you for calling 3-1-1, how may I help you?"
a) 3-1-1 operators already have the computers and LACity.org website at their disposal. Much of the information people are asking for can be found right on the City website, in the first place.
I am not suggesting you say, "That information is on the City website." But have the operators use the City website (and any additional information databases you can provide operators) to answer as many questions as possible...right off the bat -- and possibly preventing the person from having to be connected to another busy staffer.
b) If there is a question that the operator cannot answer based on the city website and additional information databases...the operator should be able to take the message for the appropriate Councilmember or City Department staffer AT THAT TIME.
c) If the constituent wants to leave more information than just name, number and brief message for someone to get back to them, if the operator could not handle the call, up front...send them straight to the Councilmember's/City Staffer's voice mail.
In other words, there is no need to;
1) call 3-1-1;
2) have the operator connect you to the Councilmember's Office;
3) only to eventually end up being sent to voice mail;
4) after having to re-tell their story to the Council staffer who picks up the phone.
So the 3-1-1 operators need to be trained and educated and empowered on how to answer any and all questions ON THE FRONT LINE/IN THE FIRST PLACE...but, if the caller needs to leave a voice mail, there is no reason to send them to a council staffer who will then only take the same message the council staffer would have taken -- or send them to voice mail, anyway.
WHY WASTE THE COUNCIL STAFFERS TIME, AND WHY IRRITATE THE CONSTITUENT/CALLER WITH ADDED LAYERS OF BUREAUCRACY???
MAYBE YOU THINK THIS IS A SMALL THING...AND IT IS...BUT IT'S A FUNDAMENTAL/BASIC THING THAT DEMONSTRATES THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN "AUTOMATIC PILOT" DUMMY BUREAUCRACY -- AND A CITY HALL OPERATING UNDER DEMING'S 14 POINTS.
And all the top experts in the City of Los Angeles already know about Deming, and they are probably thrilled at the thought of a mayor who embraces it. First thing, would be a meeting with all Department Heads and Commissioners and High Level Managers...to get everyone together and on the same page with the new way things are done under the 14 points...THEN, it would be a GIANT Citywide meeting for ALL City employees at Dodgers Stadium for the world's biggest training and empowerment seminar.
Deming's Four-Day seminar was called, "Methods for Management of Quality and Productivity."
MORE ZD ON DEMING AT LA CITY HALL:
"Interpreting Deming's 14 Points" by Zuma Dogg
- "I appreciate much the attachment ("Interpreting Deming's 14 Points") you sent. It is well done." - Dr. W. Edwards Deming.
Google Search of Zuma Dogg on Deming's 14 Points for L.A. City.
If you would like Zuma Dogg to attend your meeting for a run-down of the 14 Points, and have your questions answers on how to apply the points to YOUR business or group...email: Zuma@Mayor09.com or call 213-785-7272 and maybe I can spend a little time on the phone answering questions.