Do we have a Right to Service?

Maintenance is not considered a responsibility by most governmental institutions…Be it in the case of road construction, rail services, low-income housing and much more, says well-known quality consultant Suresh Lulla, founder and mentor, Qimpro Consultants

Suresh LullaThe icon for world-class quality is the craftsman.

Think of the craftsmen who built the Taj Mahal, Madurai Temple, Pyramids, Buckingham Palace and more. These craftsmen had the relevant skills and pride in their work. Their excellent work has stood the test of time.

In modern India, we take great pride in showcasing the Taj Mahal Hotel, Delhi Metro, the Mumbai Sea Link, Hyderabad Airport and more. They are well maintained.

Unfortunately, maintenance is not considered a responsibility by most governmental institutions…Be it in the case of road construction, rail services, low-income housing and much more.

How to destroy?
To elaborate the point further I refer to the quality of roads in Mumbai city. The only consistent feature across all roads is potholes. This is a chronic problem.

Ideally, these roads should have been built to world-class quality standards. Ideally, the municipal corporation should have designed a preventive maintenance plan and executed the same. Their performance measure should have been Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF). It should have conformed to world class standards. Be the maximum possible.

Consequently, in the same context, breakdown maintenance for potholes, if required, should have been negligible. The performance measure for breakdown maintenance should have been Mean Time To Repair (MTTR). The minimum possible.

Unfortunately, for potholes on Mumbai roads, the MTBF is minimum and the MTTR maximum. That is the annoying problem confronting citizens of Mumbai.

COPQ of Potholes

Compounding the situation, the road repair workers lack pride in their work because they are constantly blamed. Do the workers have the skills required for their work?

Also, for lack of effective maintenance processes and systems, that should have been designed and executed by management, why should workers be blamed? Potholes in Mumbai are management controllable not worker controllable. Stop blaming the worker!

The accountability is clearly that of the municipal corporation. The responsibility of the concerned department.

Finally, has anyone assessed the cost of poor quality (COPQ) associated with potholes in Mumbai? I would like to hazard a guess: The potholes COPQ for the Roads Management Department is approximately 20% of their budget!

Add the above to societal costs associated with delays in reaching your workplace and excess consumption of petrol and diesel.

RIP our sanity. Do we have a right to service? Of course we do. It is time we started to demand it.

Coutesy: Qimpro Consultants