The case for using Assessments
Why consider a Baldrige assessment?
Properly conducted, a Baldrige assessment is one of the most powerful methods available for planning for improvement. Why is this? For the following reasons.
The criteria are comprehensive
The criteria used are comprehensive – they cover all of the major components of an effective management system. This 'big picture' perspective also helps identify the high-leverage issues and to separate these from the mass of narrower issues that are symptoms, not causes.
The criteria reveal opportunities
Unlike a compliance audit, the evaluation process is designed, not to examine conformance with a standard, but to reveal strengths and opportunities. These opportunities provide the basis for developing an improvement plan.
The Process Builds Consensus
By establishing a shared view of the current reality, the assessment process also creates a consensus regarding what needs to be done to improve. Once the findings have been accepted, it is usually a simple matter to agree on the 'vital few' areas for improvement, that will have the most impact on performance. In this way the assessment process leads to a sharply-focused plan for improvement.
Studies Demonstrate Improved Business Results
The most comprehensive study of the winners of Baldrige and other similar awards was conducted during the 1990's by two business school professors – Dr. Kevin B. Hendrick and Dr. Vinod R. Singhal – and published in 1999. This study examined the performance of more than 600 award winning companies over a period of 10 years. Their findings provide compelling evidence that developing an effective management system, as measured by the Baldrige criteria, leads to improved business results.
To download an article summarizing this study, click here…