Strategy evaluation and control practices at Kenya Bureau of Standards
The growing need to continuously improve efficacy in Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) is driven by the fact that customers expect the organization to provide quality preparation of standards relating to conformity assessment activities namely; products, measurements, materials, processes, etc. and their promotion at national, regional and international levels; certification of industrial products; assistance in the production of quality goods; quality inspection of imports at ports of entry; improvement of measurement accuracies and dissemination of information relating to standards. Evaluation and control is a powerful management tool that can be used to improve the way KEBS and in particular public organisations achieve results. Just as institutions need financial, human resources and accountability systems, public organisations also need good performance feedback systems. Evaluation and control is a systematic effort to set performance standards with planning objectives, design information feedback systems, compare actual performance with these predetermined standards, determine whether there are any deviations, measure their significance and to take corrective measures required to ensure that all corporate resources are used in the most effective and efficient manner. KEBS was established in 1974 through an Act of Performance parliament Cap 496 of the Laws of Kenya. This study sought to investigate the strategy evaluation and control practices at the Kenya Bureau of standards (KEBS). A case study approach was used in order to get and in-depth insight of the adopted strategy evaluation and control practices. Primary data and secondary data were used. Informants drawn mainly from the top management in the Human resource & administration, finance and Information communication technology (ICT), Testing, Metrology, Standards development, Certification, Quality assurance, Inspection and national quality institute provided the required data collected through a prepared interview guide comprising of open ended questions. Secondary data was sourced mainly from annual financial reports, seminal presentations and KEBS Strategic Plan 2012-2017. Content analysis was used to analyze the data which confirmed practices used by KEBS in strategy evaluation and control as benchmarking, Certification, Accreditation, information communication technology, strategic audit, strategy monitoring, performance appraisal and customer surveys. The research findings indicate that KEBS had a well thought out strategic plan that included all aspects of formulation, implementation, performance indicators, evaluation and control. A number of staff from key departments was involved in the formulation of the strategic plan. An independent unit for monitoring, evaluation and control however needs to be set up which assists the organization on undertaking evaluation and control. Finally, recommendations made in the study on improvement of the strategy evaluation and control framework will be valuable to KEBS, scholars, academicians and any other organization or individual who may want to use the study. The limitations of the study included difficulty in accessing the informants as most were busy with work commitments, the research was based on subjective responses of interviewees thus can be biased and lastly strategy evaluation is a wide area thus not all the areas could be covered.