The Baldrige criteria represent a
continuous improvement framework that is focused on the customer,
led by management, based on facts and data, and directed toward
results. The framework:
- Defines what constitutes
quality and performance excellence.
- Projects clear values.
- Measures both qualitative
and quantitative aspects of performance and quality
- Is compatible with different
approaches and systems.
- Applies to any organization
of any size and kind that provides a product or service
to a customer or user.
- Together with the scoring
guidelines, forms a diagnostic assessment system
comprising three basic elements
1) Strategy and Action Plans are the organization-level requirements,
derived from the planning process, that must be done well if the
organizations strategy is to succeed. These guide overall
resource decisions and drive the alignment of measures for all
work units to ensure customer satisfaction and market success.
2) The System
comprises the six Baldrige Categories that define the
organization, its operations, and its results. Those results are
a composite of:
- Customer satisfaction and
- Financial and marketplace
- Human resource performance
- Supplier performance and
- Product and service
- Productivity, operational
effectiveness, and responsiveness.
- Public responsibility and
The use of a composite of
indicators helps to ensure that strategies are balanced, so that
they do not require or imply inappropriate trade-offs among
important stakeholders or objectives or between short- and
3) Information and Analysis are critical to the effective management
of the organization and to a fact-based system for improving
organizational performance and market competitiveness.
Baldrige Core Values
The Baldrige criteria rest on a
foundation of core values and concepts that define how key
business requirements are integrated within a results-oriented
- Customer-driven quality.
Quality is defined and judged by the customer, and must
therefore account for all product and service features
and characteristics that contribute value to customers.
- Leadership. Senior
leaders set directions and create a customer orientation,
clear stakeholder-driven values, and high expectations.
- Continuous improvement
and learning. Performance excellence requires that
continuous improvement and learning be a regular part of
daily work, seek to eliminate problems at their source,
and be driven by opportunities to do better.
- Employee participation
and development. Companies need to invest in the
development of the work force through education,
training, and opportunities for continuing growth.
- Fast response.
Success in competitive markets requires shorter cycles
for product and service introduction and faster and more
flexible response to customers.
- Design quality and
prevention. By emphasizing design quality, companies
can prevent problems and waste by building quality into
products and services and efficiency into production and
- Long-range view of the
future. Pursuit of market leadership requires a
strong future orientation and a willingness to make
long-term commitments to key stakeholders.
- Management by fact.
Operations and decisions of the company should be based
on measurement and data-driven performance analysis.
Measures and indicators should be selected to best
represent the factors that lead to improved customer,
operational, and financial performance.
- Partnership development.
Internal and external partnerships enable companies to
accomplish their overall goals.
- Company responsibility
and citizenship. Basic expectations of the company
include business ethics, protection of public health,
safety, and the environment, and support of publicly
- Results focus. The
performance system needs to focus on results, which are
guided by and balanced by the interests of all
To learn more about the Baldrige framework and criteria, visit
the Baldrige home page.
For information on how Baldrige compares to the ISO9000 series
of standards, click here.
Need an easy-to-understand review of the
Baldrige framework and its key linkages? Contact us!
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Carlisle, Massachusetts. All Rights Reserved.