Why is it necessary to standardize rules and adopt performance programs
To understand why there are failures of implementation (i.e. government policy program, projects), it is necessary to understand what has to happen for things to go right. Why is it necessary to standardize rules and adopt performance programs to ensure the adoption of appropriate implantation strategies. Machineries and instrumentalities?
Without standards there could be no means for determining or judging good and bad or for measuring and recognizing degrees of accuracy and excellence. Man’s accomplishments in establishing standards pale into insignificance when compared with standards in nature. When a policy failed to be implemented there must be something that went wrong.
Assuming that a government has arrived at a correct and appropriate policy objective, a “failure in implementation” might occur due to several circumstances. As a future leader in the bureaucratic office, knowing those loop holes that might drags the implementation to failure is the key to avoid it. As one adage states that “a danger half predicted is a danger half avoided,” in leading the policy the only basis for success or failure is the standard. What kind of standard that we should have, and who should set the standard?
Let me divert a little to nature, because all failures are unnatural. The constellations, the orbits of the planets, the changeless normal properties of conductivity, ductility, elasticity, hardness, permeability, refractivity, strength, or viscosity in the materials of nature, or the structure of cells, are a few examples of the astounding standardization in nature.
Only through the standardization found in nature is it possible to recognize and classify the many kinds of plants, fishes, birds or animals. Within these kinds, individuals resemble each other in minutest detail of structure, function and habits peculiar to each. If it were not for such standardization in the human body, physicians would not know whether an individual possessed certain organs, where to look for them. In fact, without nature’s standards there could be no organized society, no education and no physicians; each depends upon underlying, comparable similarities.
As far as I am concern, a standard that pattern after nature must be in excellence. Going away with it will lead to failure.
In the book edited by Talib Younis, he cited at least eight possible reasons why a policy failed to be implemented. (1) an inappropriate implementation strategy was chosen; (2) the strategy is appropriate, but the government agencies and machinery selected was inappropriate; (3) although both strategy and government machinery was appropriate, the instrumentally selected was not; (4) the programming with the bureaucracy was faulty; (5) the operationalisation of the intention was poorly executed at one or more points; (6) there were communication errors, mistakes in transmissions; (7) though all these dangers were surmounted, nevertheless something went wrong at operation level, the ‘shop floor’ of bureaucratic processes, the ‘output’ or ‘production’ stage of government action; (8) even if everything up to the output stage is perfect, the response or reactions of those affected was other than had been calculated – and this is by itself is a huge area of problem.
The problem I observed in the offices is that each individual working in the machinery are aimlessly just doing their “part” of the work. They do not have the remotest idea of what is the specific aim of their agency. Sometimes, it is true to say that Filipinos makes the great planners and policy makers but are the worst result achievers.
“Having an aim is the key to achieving your best,” said the late great Henry J. Kaiser. But how can an individual employee in the organization achieve their best if each of them has no unitary aim. In union there is strength, is the popular saying. But that is not simply true. The truth is, the strength of the union relies in the units that comprises it. Therefore, each individual in the organization must be perfectly oriented on all the objectives of their office. Individual attitudes that comprises the bureaucratic office is one of the most important factors in achieving success of implementation. It is attitude that counts most not only aptitude.
Look again at nature, we saw much stability in the natures creative works, the regular cycle of day and night, the steady downward course of the water in springs in response to the force of gravity, and countless other things that gave proof that nature is not of confusion but of order. We surely found this helpful in carrying out our assigned work and activities, being able to plan and work with confidence, free from anxious uncertainty – based on STANDARD.
In view of all of this, it should not have seemed strange to intelligent man that THE BUREAUCRATIC OFFICES should set standards governing man’s conduct and his relations with his government. Our government’s own splendid workmanship – although always failed by many corrupt politicians and top bureaucratic officers -- set the example for us in cultivating and caring for our agencies.
Especially stressed as essential for life itself was the standard of obedience to government’s instructions. Since we are perfectly aware of the policies set before us, perfect obedience was the standard set for each civil servant. It was a simple thing to obey the policies. But circumstances may differ. The complexities and confusion that have since developed due to corruption leads many to confusion. That is the reason why even until this time we are still groping on how we can implement policies with absolute success.
Simple test was emphasized by the words of Christ some 2,000 years ago: “The person faithful in what is least is faithful also in much, and the person unrighteous in what is least is unrighteous also in much.” In our bureaucratic office the failure of even the very least of the employee in the organization will make a domino effect up to the top. The key therefore is perfect control from top to bottom – and perfect monitoring from the bottom to the top. After all, the frontliners competence reflect the competence of the entire organization.
There were no need to hem the employees with a multitude of laws and regulations if only that their respect and love for the government is properly applied. After all, statistic shows, that no multitudes of regulations can control the heart. It is the heart condition by the individual in the organization the counts most.
Now, if I am to choose my employees, assuming that I am the head of a certain agency, I will base my selection on the above standards I cited. These standards are the product of cumulative learning and experiment; and until now we are yet to achieve the perfect standard set before us by many ideal types of government.
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