Ξ Baldrige Excellence Ξ
Has the Baldrige Award gone out of business?
For the first time in the 25 year history of the award,
in 2013 there are no Baldrige
and Criteria degradation and impracticality are looking more and more like the primary causes
To put this in perspective, not one of the 20 million for-profit businesses in the United States applied for the Baldrige Award this year.
Even worse, the number of applicants has declined 73% for Health Care and 80% for Education since 2010
Source: NIST Baldrige Website
Baldrige improvement accelerated and made practical with tools and resources from the most experienced source
|25th Baldrige Anniversary Special||Scoring Guidelines|
Questions or feedback: Email: PaulSteel@Comcast.net
Accelerating organizational improvement beyond the
capabilities of all Business Excellence
MISSION: Accelerating organizational improvement beyond the capabilities of all Business Excellence approaches combined. Paul
New 2013 Baldrige winners announced . . . link to 2013 winners
2013 - 2014 Baldrige Criteria
The Baldrige Criteria are (arguably) still a valuable tool for organizational and performance excellence assessment.
That's the good news. However, the value of using the Criteria as measured by private sector participation has been in steady decline for about 20 years to zero applicants in 2013.
You can find an ongoing analysis of all the changes including additions, deletions, and historical notes dating back to my first year as an Examiner in 1988 at: 2013 - 2014 Baldrige Criteria Changes both good and not so good. You will also find the Criteria flaws . . . past and present.
Millions of copies of the Criteria have been downloaded but no business organizations applied in 2013. The growing consensus is that Criteria issues are the cause. At a high level, key problems identified by users include:
The Criteria have become exceedingly complex and therefore not practical. This discourages their use. For example, there are 71 separate and distinct questions (requirements) that literally use the word 'engage'. There are no questions using the word 'engage' for most types of stakeholders including, suppliers, shareholders, community, or board of directors.
Confusing 'out-of-the-mainstream' terminology is used leading to resistance
The Criteria are imposed for a 2-year period without adequate user review or acceptance
Criteria errors are perpetuated until the next 2-year cycle
The Criteria are overly complex with 985 non-overlapping response requirements (distinct questions) including 135 new response requirements for 2013
Major topics including suppliers, customer relationship management, and innovation are cyclically emphasized and de-empathized . . . without any apparent reason
We can all agree or disagree with the reasons for the decline. What is clear is that the Criteria purport to offer a means to improve organizational performance excellence. And, profit organizations are desperately in need of and open to a means to improve their performance. Defiance of the basic laws of economics: There is the ideal market scenario with both inexhaustible supply and unquenchable demand . . . but, something [arguably the Criteria quality] has not only prevented growth in the number of 'for profit' applicants but caused a steady exodus for the past 20 years.
Why so many Examiners?
What follows is a summary of Criteria improvement opportunities (OFIs) identified by users including winners, Examiners, Judges, former Baldrige Foundation Chairman, national award leaders, and an advisor to two US Presidents. Everyone wants to see the Baldrige Program regain its former stature.
Please Note: This summary of the new Criteria changes is being continuously updated. It is possible that in some cases the findings presented may be incorrect. However, if the Criteria are correct and the perception is that they are not, there would appear to be an important opportunity for the Criteria to better communicate to the users.
How many words is too many? There are 5, 878 words in the 2013 Criteria and 4,595 additional words in the explanatory notes under the Criteria. Some users think this is too many. For example, there are 71 separate and distinct questions (requirements) for customers and workforce that literally use the word 'engage'. Do we really need more than a couple of well-written engagement questions?
Reinstate 'world-class': As Baldrige celebrates its 25th anniversary, it may want to consider reinstating the original 'world-class' requirement in both processes and results scoring guidelines. America ranks lower internationally in manufacturing, health care, and education than it did when the Baldrige Program began in 1988. Lowering the competiveness bar for winning to national or regional benchmark levels is not compatible with the award' original purpose and is not the best approach to improving America's competitiveness. Reinstating the original 'world-class' threshold will result in fewer winners but State and international excellence award programs have addressed this effectively by using tiered award levels.
|The Migratory Habits of 'Work
'Work Systems' have been moved from Operations Focus to Strategic Planning for 2013. During the past 20 years, Work Systems have been relocated to the Criteria requirements in 13 Criteria Items, the Organizational Profile, and six of the seven Categories. Work Systems never-ending quest for a permanent home has long confused and frustrated users. Confusion and frustration are not conducive to improvement.
Problematic: In the 2013 Criteria, the design, development, implementation, control, improvement, and sustainability of approximately 95% of the 'key processes' of a large manufacturing organization (e.g., automotive) are not included in the Criteria 'work processes' or 'work systems' requirements because they are performed by suppliers?
'Support Processes' are back after
a 6-year absence and they are now located in the Operations Focus Category
which is problematic for some who view support processes to not be
constrained to being operationally focused. Support processes (AKA, 'support
services') enjoyed their very own
Criteria Item from 1992 through 2004 before
sharing an Item with Operational Planning in 2005 and 2006.They met their Waterloo after
15 years of loyal Criteria service when the 'less than precisely defined' 'Value Creation Processes' were
introduced under the definition that 'Support processes' are not 'value creation'
processes. The protest by support process members who passionately
their processes created value for their organizations was unsuccessful. They
were never to be seen or heard from again . . . until now. Caution: If you
are optimistic that the Criteria learned from the previous issue related to
their not being Value Creation processes then by all means don't read the
notes under the new Item 6.1.
Did you know?: 'Support processes' are not part of 'work processes', 'value creation processes', or 'work systems' . . . if they are performed by members of your workforce?
Work Process Confusion Acknowledged: In late 2012, the Baldrige Program publically acknowledged after decades of feedback that the term 'work process' was confusing Criteria users. However, it appears that no improvement action has been taken. At the heart of the concern related to 'work processes' is the Criteria definition that work done by members of your organization is part of a 'work process'. If the same work is done by a supplier, it is not part of a 'work process'.
Work processes also do not appear to subscribe to Dr. Deming's "Constancy of Purpose" commandment as illustrated below:
1991 - 'work processes' added to Item 4.5
1995 - 'work processes' deleted from the Criteria
1997 - 'work processes' added to Item 5.1
1999 - 'work processes' deleted from the Criteria
2007 - 'work processes' added to Items 3.1, 6.1, 6.2, and 7.5
2009 - 'work processes' deleted from Item 3.1
2011 - 'work processes' added to Item 4.1 and deleted from Item 7.5
2013 - 'work processes' deleted from Item 4.1 and added to Item 7.1
Some users perceive that the relationships between and among 'work process' and 'work system' are convoluted or in some cases invalid. Here is an example: A 'work process' is defined as being performed internally. The same process when performed by a supplier is (as of 2013) included under 'work systems' in Strategy Development. If the same process is performed internally, it is required to be assessed for design, development, implementation, control, improvement, and sustainability. However, these requirements are not part of a Baldrige assessment if a supplier performs the work.
'Do or Source' Decision: Sourcing decision-making of 'key processes' (undefined term) is strategic in nature and has appropriately been moved from the downstream 'Operations Focus' Category upstream to the 'Strategic Planning' Category. In addition to processes, organizations do other sourcing including materials, components, and services. In the case of a manufacturing organization, this may represent more than half of their total expenditures. However, it does not appear that the Criteria include how this non-process sourcing is addressed. Selection of suppliers which is different from sourcing decision-making is addressed downstream in 'Operations Focus'. However, supplier selection is often a critical upstream function especially if it relates to innovation or new products, services or programs. For example, new product proposals need to determine if the new product can be reliably and economically made shortly after the Concept Phase.
Business Processes??? Business processes are included in the definitions for both Work Processes and Work Systems . . . but what exactly are business processes? The Criteria do not define what 'business processes' are. Using a term (e.g., business processes) that is defined differently by different people and/or organizations to define Work Systems and Work Processes can only add to the already high level of confusion concerning 'work processes'.
Taking the "Total" out of 'Total Quality': The 'Cost Control' Criteria area has been refocused from 'work systems' to operations in general . . . that is arguably an improvement. But, some may be curious as why the Process Items Criteria do not directly address cost control on a total organizational basis.
Innovation was banned from the 'excellence' Criteria: The very first Criteria featured innovation as a means to improve organizational competitiveness in the requirements in at least one Item in all Seven Categories of the original Criteria. In fact, it was literally included in the title of each of those Items and Categories. Innovation Dark Ages: During the the 1990's, the Criteria totally de-empathized innovation. Taking innovation out of the Criteria stunned the business users who refused to accept that innovation was not part of excellence. For 2013, innovation has been reinstated into at least one Item in every Criteria Category. But, the Criteria writers suffered multiple bullet wounds to their feet by incorrectly using the definition for benchmarking to define innovation. Hint: Innovation means "new" not "adopted".
The new 'Innovation Management' area in "Operations Focus" is a promising addition . . . except the 2013 Criteria deleted the most important Criteria question from the 2012 Criteria . . .
Criteria Area 2.1a(4) now addresses outsourcing of "processes". This was appropriately relocated from the Operations Focus Category because sourcing decisions are strategic. So, why not address outsourcing of products, components, materials, and/or services? For example, does a hospital outsource the 'process' of making medicines? Does a K-12 school outsource the 'process' of writing textbooks? The bigger issue here is that the Criteria again undervalue the importance of suppliers in this case by minimalizing their critical sourcing value. [Action: If the Criteria really want to provide an example of effectively outsourcing a process, they should consider outsourcing the Process of Criteria Writing . . . just kidding of course . . .]
There Would Not Have Been a Baldrige Award if it Was Not for Suppliers
There would not have been a Baldrige Award if it were not for suppliers: President Reagan was concerned that the Baldrige Award Program could fail if it did not receive wide support from the manufacturing community. He required that financial support for the award be funded 50% by manufacturing suppliers as a condition for his support. For every $300,000 asked from each major manufacturing sponsor organization, it was required that there be an additional $300,000 from their suppliers.
Most Baldrige applicants in the early years were suppliers: The chart at the top of this page paints a bleak trend for manufacturing/supplier applicants . . . from nearly 100 in the early years to only six in 2012.
stunned the business community in 2001
by deleting all Process and
Results Criteria Items, Areas, and Criteria questions dedicated to suppliers.
This led to the December 2001 Quality Digest Magazine cover titled: "Is the
Baldrige Award Still About Quality". The feature story was written by
Richard J. Schonberger a world-acclaimed author and expert in the field of Lean
- Six Sigma and World-Class Manufacturing. He cites several flaws in the
Criteria including the removal of the Items dedicated to suppliers. Dr.
Schonberger's position accurately reflected the sentiment throughout the
business community that sustained the already declining award participation rate
of the business community. Today, a consensus is growing in other sectors
including education and health care that it is important for the Criteria to
the supplier and partner organizations that
represent on the order of 50% of their total expenditures. These costs often
take the form of management, design, HR, maintenance, contract workforce, IT,
customer support, and operational functions.
Good News (sort of): For 2013, Supplier-dedicated Criteria Areas (not Items as before) have returned to the Criteria. This marks a significant first step towards restoring the importance of suppliers in achieving excellence. More pressure needs to be applied to restore the Criteria to their previous supplier recognition level in years 1988 through 2000 but even that will be insufficient.
[Action: Baldrige may want to check out the European Model to gain a better perspective of the importance of suppliers and partners to achieving organizational excellence.]
partners are not second class stakeholders. Give them equal status with other
major stakeholders (e.g., workforce, customers) by adding a dedicated
Suppliers and Partners Focus Category and a corresponding results item. Doing this
will establish applicant accountability to addressing these valuable
stakeholders. The winners’ application summaries (especially healthcare) make a
compelling argument that to win the Baldrige Award it is no longer necessary to
meaningfully address supplier and partner organizations . . . nobody wins
when the value of suppliers is minimalized.
. . nobody wins when the value of suppliers is minimalized.
Baldrige Case Study Writing Improvement
Have the Baldrige Case Study writers 'lost the plot'? Warning: The answer is graphic in nature. Viewer discretion is advised.
Baldrige Glossary Improvements
"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" . . . but, it is not 'innovation' . . . unfortunately for the Baldrige Glossary
Eliminate the words "Innovation involves the adoption of . . ." from the definition for Innovation to ensure a focus on new and not copied improvement.
Baldrige Faux Innovation
innovation comes from Latin word ‘nova’ which means new.
The Baldrige definition for innovation is based on the
action verb “adopt” which does not have the same meaning
as new. Adopting something that is not new and defining
it as innovation because it is new to the adopting
organization does not make something that is already
used . . . ‘new’. For example, one Baldrige winner
adopted a process that had been used previously for
more than fifty years and presented this in their
application and in post-award presentations as
innovation . . . not good. However, I suppose that one
could salvage some face-saving value by arguing that at
least this was an innovative application of an old
process. But, that is not simply not good enough for a
role model winner. The point is that the
organization should not be faulted . . . rather, the Baldrige
definition is the enabler of this degradation.
From another perspective, it is difficult to imagine how the 2012 ‘adopt’-based definition for ‘innovation’ differs from the Baldrige Glossary definition for ‘benchmarking’.
Further, it appears that Baldrige may have
mistaken corrective action for
innovation in the Criteria Booklet graphic to
Further, it appears that Baldrige may have mistaken corrective action for innovation in the Criteria Booklet graphic to the left.
Most importantly, allowing imitation to be credited as innovation adversely affects the competitiveness and improvement rate of organizations using the Criteria.
2013 Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Quality Awards for Practitioners Workshop with 17 Asian Nations Represented
Honored and pleased immensely to serve as APO Technical Expert to this critically important workshop (23-27 September 2013 Bangkok)
Special limited time offers:
Purchase the "Baldrige Guide to a Well-Written Application", "Baldrige Site Visit Preparation Guide", or the "Special 2-Guide Bundle" and receive the "Guide to Effective Baldrige Results Presentation" and automatic chart generation software free
His Highness Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award
Recognition (2012 Dubai)
His Highness Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award Recognition (2012 Dubai)
Download the easier to understand and
more practical MS Word
versions of the 2012 Baldrige Criteria
New: Download the easier to understand and more practical MS Word versions of the 2012 Baldrige Criteria
The 2012 Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence versions include direct links to the Core Values and Glossary Terms
10th anniversary of Thailand Quality Award seminar (2012 Bangkok)
- Thousands more people trained in Self-Assessment than the Baldrige Award Program!
- Approximately 2,000 National Award Assessors trained in several countries including US national Baldrige Examiners - learn more
2012 Indonesia Events with Paul Steel
2012 Indonesia Events with Paul Steel
PLN Seminar (April 2012) TELKOM Seminar (May 2012)
PLN Seminar (April 2012) TELKOM Seminar (May 2012)
2012 and 2013 FIJI National Evaluator Training
I am especially grateful to Fiji National University National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC) and to Public Service Commission (Office of the Prime Minister) for inviting me and appointing me as a faculty member to train the Fiji Business Excellence Award Evaluators and the government's Service Excellence Award (SEA) Evaluators during May and June of this year. This is the only government that I am aware of that is using the Baldrige Criteria to assess and improve every Ministry, Agency, and Department including the Office of the Prime Minister and the Office of the President.
2012 Fiji Business Excellence Award Evaluators 2012 Fiji Service Excellence Award Evaluators
As a consultant, it does not get any better than being selected by the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) to guide the development of the Asian Productivity Organization's Business Excellence Consulting Manual to train the Business Excellence Consultants in most Asian nations including members from Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Mongolia, Thailand, Fiji, Taiwan, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.
BALDRIGE SCORING GUIDELINES - with changes highlighted
Classic 'Quality Gurus Summit' photo (Click on photo for larger version)
The Baldrige Criteria are built upon the following set of interrelated Core Values and Concepts:
BALDRIGE CORE VALUES
Check out the Web Demo to learn why
Upgrade from 'conceptual integration' to 'functional integration' . . . because that is the Baldrige "End Game"
The Baldrige Model - from the perspective of its systems and processes
Serving as the International Assessor on Singapore Quality and Innovation Award site visit teams in 2008, 2010 and 2011 has been very enjoyable and fulfilling (2010 team shown above).
Anniversary Edition Bundle
Special Anniversary Edition Bundle
Guide to a Well-Written
and Site Visit Preparation Guide
Guide to a Well-Written Baldrige Application and Site Visit Preparation Guide
Baldrige Workshops, Presentations and Seminars
Baldrige Excellence Resources for the Government (Public Sector), Health Care, and Education Sectors
Working with NASA to improve their strategic planning was most fulfilling . . .
Strategic Action Plan Execution and Best Performance Measures Selection Project at NASA
Paul Steel chairing International Health Care Conference on stage with with national health care quality leaders from ISQua, ASQua, APHM, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, Australia, United States, and India
Adjunct Professor in Process Management at Seattle Pacific University, Singapore Ministry of Education collaborator, Fiji National University consultant and instructor, Univeriti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) seminar provider, University of Chile, Santiago guest lecturer, and member of the Global Indian International School Centre of Educational Excellence Board of Directors . . . I never imagined or targeted achieving any of these but I am guilty of aggressively sharing what I've learned from some of my best teachers and mentors including Dr. W. Edwards Deming and Dr. Armand (Val) Feigenbaum whom I worked with for seven years
Malaysian Prime Minister's Quality Award at UiTM (Universiti Teknologi Mara) in Shah Alam, Malaysia with Malaysian Ceremonial Kings Photos
As Baldrige marks its 25th anniversary, you may be interested in knowing what it was like to serve on the Board of Examiners when it all began in 1988. In fact, nobody from the current Baldrige Program was there. Here are some highlights:
Examiners received an invitation from the President of the United States to join him at the White House for the official award presentation.
Most feedback reports were written by hand . . . making it no fun trying to read and assimilate your team's individual reports
Each Examiner received several applications to assess. . . processing 6 or more applications was not uncommon
Your first training session was held in the evening . . . and, there were homework assignments for the other evenings
NIST was known as NBS (National Bureau of Standards)
Your fellow Examiners were truly a 'Who's Who' of top quality executives from many of America's largest businesses . . . not that it necessarily made them good Examiners . . .
You received personal letters thanking you for your service from some of America's best known CEOs . . . and. your name appeared in full page ads in the Wall Street Journal and similar prestigious publications.
You were given contact information for about a dozen CEOs in your region for purposes of contacting them and soliciting funds to support the Award
Unlike today's easier standard, 'world-class' processes and results were part of the requirements in the top scoring band.
You had to choose your Examiner training location from among Milwaukee, Atlanta, Gaithersburg, Los Angeles, or Houston
For more highlights including photos visit: 25 Years of Baldrige . . . one Examiner's Perspective
Baldrige International - Enjoy the photos from organizations in some of the more than 30 countries that invited contributions to their pursuit of excellence
Baldrige Excellence international - work and photo links