1. South African Quality Institutes Quality Education News

    August 4, 2020 by BPIR.com Limited

    South African Quality Institute (SAQI) http://www.saqi.co.za is the national body that co-ordinates the Quality effort in South Africa. Quality Education News is a quarterly publication issued by the South African Qulaity Institute (SAQI) in the intrest of promoting educational excellence, SAQI publications are excellent source of information to keep up with the latest quality issues in South Africa.

    • During pandemics should there be marks and grades? by Richard Hayward
    • The KISS principle
    • How do we reduce their anxiety, fear and panic?
    • Upsides during lockdowns

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  2. Kudos to My Kolleagues

    by BPIR.com Limited

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Harry Hertz

    OK, I took a little poetic license with the second “K” in the title; it looked nice! I can brag about the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP) staff (including its leadership) because I am not part of the survey group below; I retired from Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP) employment in 2013.

    Employee Engagement
    The federal government conducts an annual survey of all federal employees. The results are in for 2019 and BPEP might well have set the benchmark for the government. I have to apologize because I cannot say that with certainty; all the comparative data I have are averages. (I feel the pain of all Baldrige Excellence Framework users who seek top quartile and top decile comparisons.) The survey had 71 questions. Results are reported by indices that aggregate by topic across survey categories, by overall category responses, and by individual engagement drivers.

    Let me share some results:


    Does it make sense to internalize the Baldrige Excellence Framework and make it the way you work? I would have to reply with a resounding “yes.” The most striking difference among the three groups is that BPEP uses the Baldrige Excellence Framework to guide its operations and decision making. While I can’t speak to the whole federal government, I do know that both NIST and BPEP strive to select the right people with the traits and baseline skills needed to fill their jobs. That might be part of the explanation why both NIST and BPEP exceed government-wide performance.

    Customer Engagement
    There are many studies that demonstrate a correlation between employee engagement and customer engagement. Let me share some customer results for BPEP’s customer engagement. I will first share some recent Net Promoter Scores (for comparison the NPS for Tesla is 97, Starbucks is 77, and USAA is 65):

    • Baldrige Executive Fellows Program 100
      Likelihood to recommend the Baldrige Excellence Framework 86
    • Baldrige Quest for Excellence Conference 59 (93% rated it valuable/very valuable)

    And here are some data from the survey of Baldrige Award applicants (over the life of the Program) on per cent of applicants who agreed that the use of Baldrige improved their:
    outcomes/results 100

    • revenue/market growth 96
    • customer satisfaction/engagement 100
    • workforce satisfaction/engagement/retention 100
    • community support/relationships 91

    Building Employee Engagement
    While there are detailed questions in the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, let me share some basic workforce engagement questions from the Baldrige Excellence Builder, an introductory set of criteria questions. Considering these questions could help your organization achieve results like my colleagues (no k this time) have achieved:

    • How do you recruit, hire, and onboard new workforce members?
    • How do you organize and manage your workforce?
    • How do you determine the key drivers of workforce engagement?
    • How do you foster an organizational culture that is characterized by open communication, high performance, and an engaged workforce?
    • How do you manage career development for your workforce and your future leaders?

    And it all starts with the leadership:

    • How do senior leaders’ personal actions demonstrate their commitment to legal and ethical behavior?
    • How do senior leaders communicate with and engage the entire workforce, key partners, and key customers?
    • How do senior leaders create an environment for success now and in the future?
    • How do senior leaders create a focus on action that will achieve the organization’s mission?

    Finally, let me take the discussion to a “higher plane” and relate the challenges of workforce engagement to some of the Baldrige Core Values:

    Visionary Leadership
    Your organization’s senior leaders should set a vision for the organization, create a customer focus, demonstrate clear and visible organizational values and ethics, and set high expectations for the workforce

    Valuing People
    A successful organization values its workforce members and the other people who have a stake in the organization.

    Societal Contributions
    Your organization’s leaders should stress contributions to the public and the consideration of societal well-being and benefit.

    Ethics and Transparency
    Your organization should stress ethical behavior by all workforce members in all stakeholder transactions and interactions. Senior leaders should be role models of ethical behavior, including transparency.

    Obviously, no organization is perfect in all these considerations, including BPEP. However, honestly addressing them may be your next step toward higher performance. Again, my congrats to the wonderful Baldrige team!


  3. True Objective: To Drive Performance in Everything

    July 25, 2020 by BPIR.com Limited

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Bailey

    What does the continued success of a 150-year-old, multisector, multinational organization headquartered in India have to do with the Baldrige Excellence Framework?

    In the early 1990s, the then-chairman of the Tata Group, Ratan Tata, created the Tata Business Excellence Model (TBEM). TBEM is based on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence (part of the Baldrige Excellence Framework), and since 1995, the holding group has conducted internal assessments, like the Baldrige Award process, for its more than 100 companies operating in ten industries: information technology, steel, automotive, consumer and retail, infrastructure, financial services, aerospace and defense, tourism and travel, telecom and media, and trading and investments.

    According to Ratan Tata, “The true objective of setting these criteria, however, was never meant to be merely to use them as an assessment for an award but, more importantly, to utilize them for an institutionalized approach to drive performance and attain higher levels of efficiency in everything that a corporate entity does.”

    Blogrige authors have written about Tata’s success with TBEM before in “’Making an Elephant Dance’: How the Baldrige Criteria Helped Transform a Global Conglomerate,” “Rediscover an Organization’s Potential with the ‘Baldrige Criteria’s Power,’” and “Tata’s Baldrige Advantage: A Multinational’s Model for Performance Excellence.

    This success and the company’s use of TBEM continues today.

    S. Padmanabhan Shares Some Insights on Using the TBEM

    According to S. Padmanabhan (Paddy), who runs the Tata Business Excellence Program, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) recently was awarded “Iconic Company of the Decade” by India Business Leader Awards, named number one for customer satisfaction by its United Kingdom clients, and named number-one top employer by USA 2020.

    Within the Tata group, TCS has been a benchmark leader using TBEM, surpassing a 750-point (combined process and results scoring bands) milestone in its Baldrige-based 2019 assessments. As a comparison, see the 2019–2020 Scoring Band Descriptors (Word) that are part of the Baldrige Excellence Framework.

    I touched base with Paddy to see how the TBEM assessment process is working today and how this Baldrige-based model has brought value to the Tata companies.

    What is the purpose of TBEM?

    The purpose of the model was to have a consistent way “to face up to the significant economic changes being experienced in India specifically and the strong need to compete and excel among the world players,” according to a company presentation. “An institutionalized approach was the need of the hour to bring the hundred+ Tata entities together and become a globally recognized brand through world-class products and services.”

    How does the TBEM Baldrige-based assessment work?

    For the Baldrige-based, TBEM assessment, every Tata company that is a signatory to a brand agreement has to comply with achieving a total score in process and results items of 500 points within four years of signing the agreement.

    According to a company presentation, “Achieving 500 points was [once] considered a difficult task. . . . Within a few years of this being institutionalized, many companies started achieving this milestone.”

    Companies that score more than 650 come for assessments once every three years, companies with a score of 500 to 650 once every two years, and those below 500 every year. Tata companies are considered industry leaders with scores of 651 to 750, benchmark leaders with scores of 751 to 850, and world-class leaders with scores over 851, said Paddy.

    He added, “This serves the purpose for companies to continue to strive for excellence, as it is a never-ending journey, and even for achievers in the 650+ band, it is important to sustain their performance at high levels.”

    Paddy shared a quote from the chief executive officer of a Tata 650+ company,

    Some of the key benefits that our company has derived from using TBEM are focus on continuous improvement, process orientation, informed decision making, total picture, and measured risk taking. . . . Benefits have all paid dividends by changing the overall culture of the company. It has changed the organization from being merely impulsive and intuitive to being more informed and process oriented.

    According to a company presentation, for the mature Tata companies, “the assessment is a mirror. It gives them an opportunity to benchmark their processes and results and finally recognition and awards at a group level. . . . For newer companies, TBEM is a platform to learn from other Tata companies and improve processes and outcomes.”

    Said Paddy, all the five companies in the 650+ band have achieved significant success in their respective industries. “In many ways, the excellence has become a way of life and that is the biggest outcome and embodies the original philosophy of the then-group chairman in introducing TBEM for all Tata companies.”

    The TBEM assessment process is entirely conducted by Tata employees, and many companies encourage employees to conduct assessments as a part of their professional development, said Paddy.

    “For our employees, it is an aspirational leadership development platform. They get exposure to different industries and companies and an opportunity to interact with the leadership of companies. It is also a great networking opportunity,” he added.

    How have you shared learning/best practices across the company?

    Paddy said that Tata conducts learning missions to companies within the group and outside the group. Such learning is added to a knowledge portal that has more than 650+ practices covering all areas to address of the TBEM criteria from 50+ Tata companies, and it is available to all companies. In addition, every Wednesday, a webinar by a subject-matter expert is used to share expertise and knowledge; on May 13, 2020, Tata conducted its 250th webinar. Once every two months, a chief executive officer or a C-level executive of a Tata company conducts the webinar.

    Paddy said Tata also signed up for enterprise membership with APQC and organizational membership with ASQ for sharing and learning best practices and benchmarking global companies.

    What results have Tata companies achieved using the TBEM (Baldrige-based framework) as the basis for excellence efforts?

    According to Paddy, Tata companies have progressed despite the changing nature of business, the environment, and the market. He said, based on TBEM assessment scores, the group now has one Tata company as a benchmark leader, four as industry leaders, and twenty-four as emerging industry leaders.

    Group revenue was at $113 billion in FY2019, up from $110 billion in FY2018.

    “Our companies are becoming mature and striving to benchmark with the world’s best and aim for world-class performance in the chosen metrics,” he said. “This gives us an inspiration to go beyond what we can think of achieving now. . . . The journey is our destination.”

    Next steps for the TBEM assessments, according to a company presentation, are to customize engagements with Tata companies to suit an individual company’s context; to ensure data maturity in terms of availability, integrity, reliability, and accessibility; and to continue to explore best practices in the areas of data analytics, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things.

    Why do you think excellence matters in today’s economy?

    “Excellence as we understand it is not a destination at a point in time but a never-ending journey,” said Paddy. “An excellence framework like TBEM helps companies continuously introspect and hence increase the pace of change internally.”

    He added that the excellence framework helps companies focus on all key stakeholders and not just shareholders. “The emphasis on customers, workforce, society, and suppliers—apart from the shareholders—ensures balanced strategy, which does not get skewed by short-term focus on quarterly performances and enables companies to think long-term. In today’s times, this focus on the long-term and a balanced stakeholder focus are very crucial for the long-term success of companies.”


  4. Watch Dr Robin Mann’s Webinar on COER’s Research and Projects on Business Excellence and Benchmarking

    June 29, 2020 by BPIR.com Limited
    On 28th May 2020, the New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation (NZBEF) hosted a webinar with Dr Robin Mann, Head of the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, Founder of TRADE and the BPIR.com, Chairman Global Benchmarking Network, and also NZBEF Board Member. In this one-hour webinar, Dr Robin covered different topics related to Business Excellence and Benchmarking in New Zealand and worldwide.

    Webinar topics:

    • 00:00 NZBEF introduction
    • 3:53 Excellence Without Boarders: Exploring how business excellence frameworks are promoted and used globally
    • 13:54 An Exploration of the organisational excellence architecture required to support an award-winning business excellence journey
    • 16:00 How to build a positive workplace culture in economies recovering from COVID-19
    • 18:20 Sharing best practices – BPIR.com
    • 21:09 International Best Practice Competition
    • 22:12 Business Excellence / Productivity frameworks are the ultimate productivity tool
    • 29:10 TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking Methodology
    • 23:27 Dubai We Learn – Excellence Makers initiative
    • 39:04 Dubai We Learn – Managing and Recovering from the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • 46:48 Example of a 7 Star Best Practice Benchmarking project
    • 52:19 Q & A

    You can also listen to the audio-only version of the webinar from here

    Further information:
    If you would like to study for a PhD at COER click here

    For information on the international best practice competition click here – dates for the next competition will be provided soon…

    To read our latest Dubai We Learn book of benchmarking success stories click here

    To read Dubai We Learn’s report on Managing and Recovering from the COVID-19 Pandemic click here

    To read a BPIR.com Best Practice Report click here

    To support COER/BPIR’s research please consider becoming a BPIR member, join here

    If interested in TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking or Training or for further information about COER contact Dr Robin Mann at r.s.mann@massey.ac.nz


  5. An Example of Customizing the Criteria by Industry

    June 26, 2020 by BPIR.com Limited

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Bailey

    When the concept of performance excellence was first introduced, it was widely perceived as prescriptive by the American Contractors Insurance Group (ACIG), a group-captive insurance company that is owned by the policyholders it insures. “The executive team at ACIG were skeptical that performance excellence—and the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence in which it was defined—could be meaningfully translated into construction-industry terminology,” said Larry Owen, Quality Division manager at ACIG.

    Then, a small group of employees began breaking down concepts from the Baldrige Criteria and turning them into questions related to construction, and a new, beneficial understanding emerged.

    “Once we established the [Baldrige Criteria’s] applicability to our industry, the benefits became apparent,” said Owen. “We began to see buy-in on the concepts of business improvement, sustainability, and succession planning of current and future leaders.”

    Performance Excellence Journeys Begin
    Owen said that because ACIG’s mission includes reducing the overall cost of risk for its Members, the company created a Quality Management Department focusing on the narrow discipline of quality in construction. Now, however, those quality-specific initiatives sit within the overall context of performance excellence. According to Owen, the refreshed focus of the Quality Department includes each aspect of the performance excellence business model while continuing to provide management guidance on basic quality controls, quality assurance, quality risk management, and proactive construction-defect mitigation. This strategy more clearly aligns the business results of ACIG and its Members, said Owen.

    “The more our Members improve their risk mitigation/prevention, the better our underwriting results,” said Owen. “Members have an incentive to continuously improve as it relates to risk reduction.” He added that ACIG individually supports each Member in its performance excellence journey.

    The Performance Excellence Peer Group (PEPG)

    ACIG’s Performance Excellence Peer Group listens to BMWC’s CEO Brian Acton as he describes the company’s Strategic Planning & Development Process prior to the group’s round-table breakout and report-out sessions on the subject.
    Owen said that some Members had initial challenges with their performance excellence strategies due to the lack of dedicated internal resources to capture best practices. In response to this challenge, ACIG established the Performance Excellence Peer Group (PEPG).

    “Initially, we convinced a few Members to take the [Baldrige Criteria] self-assessment written by Ph.D. Denis Leonard, which helped as a catalyst,” said Owen.

    The PEPG shares specific best-in-class practices guided by the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence categories: 1. Leadership; 2. Strategic Planning; 3. Customers; 4. Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management; 5. Workforce; 6. Operations; and 7. Results. ACIG Members also discuss best practices related to change-culture management and exchange ideas on how to manage continuous improvement initiatives.

    “We believe that our Members who continuously improve in these principles will improve the value to their customers and ultimately reduce the overall cost of risk with their operations,” Owen said.

    Currently, ACIG conducts a half-day, semi-annual PEPG meeting in conjunction with its semi-annual shareholders’ meeting. PEPG, which started in 2017 with the involvement of two company presidents, now has achieved a 73% participation rate among its Members. Typical attendees include principals, chief executive officers, chief operation officers, chief financial officers, executive vice presidents, senior vice presidents, and vice presidents of construction companies.

    Prior to each meeting, the 54 participating executives answer 15–20 adapted, Criteria questions developed by the ACIG staff. Each participant is required to complete the assignment before the meeting. The ACIG staff, which consists of one national Baldrige examiner and two state examiners, analyzes the responses and identifies gaps. New questions are then generated and discussed during break-out sessions and report-outs during the half-day meeting.

    “The ensuing discussions, interactions, and exchange of ideas are energizing, and everyone leaves with a sense of accomplishment and yearning to do more,” said Owen. “Our ultimate goal is to promote business improvement, continuity, sustainability, and a robust self-sustaining culture of continued learning and improvement. Achieving these goals helps to reduce the overall cost of risk for each Member. As they become more aware of the advantages, members may also consider engaging their state Alliance for Performance Excellence program.”

    To date, five companies (including ACIG) have begun Baldrige Criteria performance excellence assessments by writing Organizational Profiles, and the company encourages all group Members to write profiles within the first year of joining the peer group. Four companies have sent employees to Baldrige-based training at an Alliance state program.

    Industry Benefits

    “I think any industry would find value in the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence,” said Owen. “If you lead with industry-specific knowledge, you are able to develop your own vocabulary.”

    He added that the Criteria can help industries and organizations focus on four things:

    1. Listening to the voice of the customer,
    2. Replying with the customer’s voice,
    3. Developing and sharing comparative data, and
    4. Improving your competitive advantage.

    ACIG provides insurance and related services to Members of the construction industry. Its major insurance offerings include workers’ compensation, general liability, automobile liability, subcontractor default insurance, and contractor-controlled insurance programs. Its services include underwriting, claims management, policy issuance and compliance, safety, quality assurance and quality control, performance excellence, and risk management services. The company is charged with providing a long-term stable insurance market to its Members who desire very broad coverage and specialized services for the construction industry.