USING THE BALDRIGE AWARD CRITERIA TO ASSESS YOUR SYSTEM
A board of examiners presided; the requirement that those business units were required to submit full-blown applications; the evaluation and judging process was at least as stringent as the Baldrige judging process; and there were several ways of sharing best practices.
Two types of assessments:
Kodak offers two types of assessment to its business units:
- A self-assessment using the Kodak Quality System Review.
- An assessment by an examination team.
The application process:
- Involves and motivates people. To accurately assess the quality of your system, you need to explore every nook and cranny of every process, work unit, team, department, and so on. You need people to do the research and people to provide the answers.
- Provides a proven quality system. A system assessment is only as good as the assessment tool, which is why so many companies are using the Baldrige criteria.
- Focuses on the customer, The goal of each company—of every company's business system—is to satisfy its customers. An assessment using the Baldrige criteria shows how satisfying customers must be the focus of the entire system.
- Demands data. Without a formal system assessment, few people are able to describe with any accuracy the quality of their system or the elements in it. Instead, they offer a nice story or a good hunch or a best guess. A system assessment using the Baldrige criteria quickly dismisses such soft estimations by providing hard data.
- Provides feedback. Any company that has performed a system assessment using the Baldrige criteria will tell you that the real value of the process is the feedback it provides. Graniterock's feedback reports, on its first two Baldrige applications, listed 110 areas for improvement. The company used the list to drive its quality improvement efforts.
- Encourages sharing. The Baldrige criteria's common system and language promote sharing. AT&T has created a Pockets of Excellence report and sponsors sharing rallies to encourage internal sharing of best practices.
- Stimulates change. Kodak, AT&T, Graniterock, and hundreds of other companies that are using the Baldrige criteria to assess their systems understand that the goal of the assessment process is improvement. AT&T started its Baldrige assessment process to accelerate progress toward its goals. At the 1993 Quest for Excellence conference, in Washington, DC, all five 1992 Baldrige Award winners stated that applying for the Baldrige Avvard speeded up their pace of improvement.
- Builds financial success. Continuous assessment and improvement in quality must lead to the improvement of the system's products and services. Quality improvements are directly linked to increases in customer satisfaction and shareholder value. When you improve the system, the products of that system must also improve, and this improvement results in a growing market share and improved profitability.