1. Singapore Business Excellence Awards 2011

    October 24, 2011 by

    Nine organisations have won the prestigious business excellence awards by Spring Singapore during the 3rd Business Excellence Global Conference.

    This year, the Singapore Quality Award (SQA) with Special Commendation was given to the Institute of Technical Education and Subordinate Courts of Singapore, both previous SQA winners.

    The SQA with Special Commendation is presented to past SQA winners who have done better since winning the award at least five years ago.

    With 9 winners of 2011 awards this year is largest number of winners since the award was presented in 1995.

    The 2011 winners are:

    Singapore Quality Award with Special Commendation:

    • Institute of Technical Education
    • Subordinate Courts of Singapore

    Singapore Quality Award:

    • Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
    • Nanyang Polytechnic
    • National Library Board
    • Raffles Institution
    • Teckwah Industrial Corporation Ltd
    • Yokogawa Electric Asia Pte Ltd

    People Excellence Award

    • Maybank Singapore

    Click here to read the media press release

    Ahmed Abbas

  2. Project management – a necessity for business excellence

    October 18, 2011 by

    Projects are a way of transforming strategies into actions and objectives into reality. For this reason project management is an essential tool needed in all organisations. The right balance between project management elements can enable organisations to complete projects on time, on budget, and with high quality results. 

    According to Gartner Group projects worldwide cost their owners many millions of dollars more than were budget for, and surprisingly almost half don't meet their clients' expectations!

    The article below by Dr. James Harrington , one of the world’s leading thinkers on quality and business management, describes the elements of a successful project.


    By: H. James Harrington

    This post is the second in an ongoing series about organizational excellence, which consists of five elements. The first two are process management and project management.

    Processes define how organizations function, and projects are the means by which organizations improve those processes. We define a project as a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service. For project management, we apply knowledge, skills, tools and technology to activities to meet or exceed stakeholders’ needs and project expectations.

    Although this seems straightforward enough, it can’t be so simple, or we’d see better results from the projects we fund. The Standish Group International reports that “corporate America spends more than $275 billion a year on application software development projects, many of which will fail due to lack of skilled project management.”

    “The average cycle time for IT projects is 27 weeks,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “The ones that are cancelled are cancelled after 14 weeks; at that point, they’re 52-percent complete. Many of the project teams know that the project is likely to fail six weeks before it’s cancelled.”

    Similarly, the Gartner Group reports that “in a four-year period, an application development organization of 100 developers can expect to spend more than $10 million on cancelled contracts.”

    Most organizations’ projects are mission-critical activities, and delivering quality products on time is nonnegotiable. Even with IT projects, things have changed. The old paradigm was, “Get it out fast and fix the bugs as the customer finds them,” (i.e., the Microsoft approach). The new paradigm is, “Get them out at Web speed and error-free.” Benchmark organizations complete 90 percent of their projects within 10 percent of budget and on schedule. Information systems organizations that establish standards for project management, including a project office, cut their major project cost overruns, delays and cancellations by 50 percent.

    Let’s look at why projects fail. First, they fail to adhere to committed schedules due to variances, exceptions, poor planning, delays and scope creep. Projects also fail from poor resource utilization, including lack of proper skills, poor time utilization and misalignment of skills and assignments. Often, an organization’s portfolio of projects isn’t managed correctly because the wrong projects are selected, high-risk projects aren’t identified or the interdependencies between projects are poorly controlled. Finally, projects fail due to a loss of intellectual and/or knowledge capital, including lack of means to transfer knowledge, and people leaving the organization.

    Poor project management is one of the biggest problems facing organizations today. It’s therefore surprising that quality professionals haven’t addressed improvements in the project management process. Even ISO 9001 ignores this critical issue. Yet, in our knowledge-driven economy, an organization’s success depends upon the quality of its project management process.

    Our general attitude toward project management is similar to quality management: Everyone thinks he or she knows what quality is and therefore assumes that anyone can manage it. But just as quality managers are special professionals with very specific skills and training, so are project managers. They require skill, training and effective leadership specifically related to project management.

    The ability to manage one project is no longer sufficient; organizations need managers who can handle a portfolio of projects, selecting those that will succeed and bring the biggest return on investments. This requires an effective online reporting system that summarizes a project’s status at least once a week, if not daily. The executive team must also have access to project archives in order to compare proposed project estimates against actual costs and cycle-time data from completed projects. Management wouldn’t approve one-third of the projects proposed if it knew how long they’d take or cost. As John Carrow, CEO of Unisys Corp., says, “The best time to stop a project that you don’t know is going to be successful is when you start it.”

    Far too often a quality department will undertake a major project such as Six Sigma, TQM or reengineering without the necessary project management skills. Basic tools such as work breakdown structure aren’t used. Neither is risk analysis, let alone reasonable mitigation plans. Is it any wonder that the failure rate in quality programs is so high?

    The project management body of knowledge defines 69 tools a project manager must master. Few of the project managers with whom I’ve come in contact have mastered all of them, and only a few project managers are certified by their peers as having done so.

    As you start your next project, my suggestion is: Don’t start it without a certified project manager.

  3. Global Performance Excellence Award

    August 6, 2011 by

    Asia Pacific Quality Organization (APQO) recently announced The World Class Winners of the Global Performance Excellence Award (GPEA).

    In its eleventh year, The Global Performance Excellence Award honour organisations for outstanding performance and leadership in business excellence. The award winners will receive their award at the Business Excellence Global Conference, 17-20 October, Singapore, http://www.begcapqc.com. The Singapore Productivity Association (SPA) and SPRING Singapore in collaboration with Asia Pacific Quality Organization (APQO) and Asian Productivity Organization (APO) is organizing the 3rd Business Excellence Global Conference & 17th Asia Pacific Quality Conference, with the theme 'Productivity – Enabling Business Excellence.

    The Award demonstrates the APQO commitment to business excellence and continual improvement through promoting quality initiatives to organisations of Asia and the Pacific region and helping them to be a global benchmark of business excellence.

    Dr Robin Mann, Chairman of the Global Benchmarking Network and Founder of BPIR.com Limited, will be congratulating all the award winners. To help them maintain their exemplar status and inspire others each winner will be allocated free passwords to the BPIR.com – a leading benchmarking, best practice and business excellence resource.

    Below is the press release.

    Ahmed Abbas

    Chicago, Illinois, USA June 30, 2011- Asia Pacific Quality Organization (APQO) today announced The World Class Winners of the Global Performance Excellence Awards.

    “We are pleased to announce that six organizations from six Asian and Pacific Rim Countries are being recognized as exemplary companies of world class quality performance. They have achieved the Global Performance Excellence Award modeled after the U.S. Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence Award” said Charles Aubrey, Chairman of APQO and the Global Performance Excellence Award Executive Committee.

    The following organizations have won the World Class Award (Highest):

    Large Manufacturing:
    Goodbaby International Holdings Limited, Jiangsu Province, China; Mr. Zhenghuan
    Song, CEO.

    Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd, StarHub Centre, Singapore; Mr. Tan Pheng
    Hock, President & CEO.

    Shanghai No.7 Construction Co., Ltd. Shanghai, PRC; Mr. LianYun Wang, Chairman of
    the Board.

    Global Indian International School Singapore, (representing India), Mr. Atul Temurnikar, Chairman.

    Not for Profit:
    PUB, Singapore National Water Agency, Singapore; Mr. Khoo Teng Chye, Chief
    Housing & Development Board, Singapore; Dr. Cheong Koon Hean, Chief Executive

    The following seven organizations won the Best in Class Award (Second Highest):

    Large Manufacturing:
    Lanxess India Private, Birlagram, Nagda, India; Mr. Neelanjan Banerjee, Senior
    Executive Director.

    Maliban Biscuit Manufactories (PVT) LTD. Sri Lanka; Mr. D. L. Weerashooriya, Chief
    Executive Officer.

    Large Service:
    Information Systems Resource Centre, Pvt. Ltd., Otis Elevator company, Samrat Ashok
    Path, Mr. Ramaswamy Narayanan, Director.

    Urban Power Supply Company, Shanghai Municipal Electric Power Corporation,
    Shanghai, PRC; Mr. Wei Zhang, General Manager.

    Small Service:
    Qian Hu Corporation Limited, Singapore; Dr. Kenny Yap, Executive Chairman &
    Managing Director.

    Global Indian International School, Singapore, East Coast Campus, Singapore;
    (representing India), Mr. Atul Temurnikar, Chairman.

    Not For Profit:
    Laboratorio De Pruebas De Equipos Y Materiales (Lapem) Comisión Federal De
    Electricidad México, Irapuato, Gto. México; Mr. Luis Javier Freyre Rizo, Gerente del Lapem.

    Finally, the following five organizations won the Quest for Excellence Award (Third Highest):

    Large Manufacturing:
    Minh Long I Company, Ltd. Vietnam; Mr. Minh Ly Ngoc, Chairman.

    Small Manufacturing:
    CIC Agri Business (Pvt) Ltd. Sri Lanka; Mr. Keerthi B. Kotagama, Managing

    Hemas Manufacturing (Pvt) Limited, Sri Lanka; Mr. Imal Fonseka, Managing Director.

    Robot Investment Corporation, Vietnam; Mr. Nguyen Phuong Nam, President – General

    Global Indian International School Singapore, Balestier Campus, Singapore;
    (representing India), Mr. Atul Temurnikar, Chairman.

    The awards will be presented at the 17th APQO/International Conference on Quality in
    Singapore on October 17-19, 2011. For more information please visit: www.apqo.org or

    This is the eleventh year of the International Asia Pacific Quality Awards Process.

    About the Global Performance Excellence Award (GPEA)

    The GPEA is the only formal international recognition of performance/business excellence. Since 2000, 91 organizations have received the various categories of this award. In 2010, the name of the award was changed from GPEA to reflect the evolution in the field of quality from a focus on product and services to a strategic focus encompassing overall organizational performance termed performance / organizational / business excellence.

    GPEA is a strategic enabling tool for global performance excellence. It helps to strengthen the strategies and performance of organizations to succeed in the fast evolving global market place. The GPEA process promotes awareness in performance excellence as an increasingly important tool in competitiveness towards global business success and sustainability. For more information about GEPA visit www.apqo.org. <www.apqo.org>

    About the Asia Pacific Quality Organization (APQO)
    The APQO was founded and organized by National Quality Organizations in Asian and Pacific Rim countries including the American Society for Quality and was incorporated in the Philippines in 1985. It is a non-profit organization formed to be a primary mover for quality and continuous improvement for goods and services and quality of life in the Asia Pacific Region. APQO has several hundred National Quality Organizations (Core members), Corporate members, and Individual members. For more information about APQO visit www.apqo.org.

  4. Singapore Business Excellence Award Winners 2010

    November 19, 2010 by

    Four organisations have won top honours for their success in the pursuit of business excellence. The four winners of 2010 Singapore Business Excellence Awards include a school and three public sector organisations.

    2010 Singapore Quality Award Winner:

    • Singapore Civil Defence Force: The first SQA winner is the Singapore Civil Defence Force, which is a second time SQA winner, having first won this award in 2005.

    • Hwa Chong Institution: the second school to win the SQA, after Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) won last year. HCI has built a global partnership network in over 14 countries across 4 continents, and is well on track towards becoming a Global Academy.

    • Ministry of Manpower: MOM is the first ministry in the history of the business excellence awards to win the SQA. MOM has been continually improving and improvising its manpower policies and programmes to support Singapore’s strategic push for sustainable and inclusive growth.

    People Excellence Award Winner:

    • National Library Board: The winner of the niche award for People Excellence goes to the National Library Board (NLB). which has effectively adopted human resource strategies to manage its transformation from a custodian of printed materials to a gateway of knowledge. NLB was awarded the SQA in 2004 and the Service Excellence Award in 2009. In its pursuit of organisational excellence, NLB continues to make continuous improvements area by area.

    For the full statement by Mr Freddy Soon, Chairman, Singapore Quality Award Management Committee at the Business Excellence Awards 2010 Media Briefing click here 

  5. The COER Perspective

    October 21, 2010 by

    This October, the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER) has issued its periodical newsletter to inform readers of its research findings and initiatives in organisational excellence, benchmarking, and performance improvement.

    The first section includes research being undertaken to develop a “guide model” to help professionals select the right performance improvement programme, through the use of a simple step-by-step procedure.

    Whether you are looking to know the latest research in the field or you would like to know what are the latest must attend event or even book suggestions and reviews plus much more you will find it in COER newsletter

    The contents for the newsletter are listed below:

    1. A GUIDE Model for Selecting Improvement Initiatives to Achieve Organisational Excellence.
    2. The Role of Organisational and National Culture in Business Improvement Initiatives.
    3. What Are the Triggers for Business Excellence?
    4. PhD Opportunities in Best Practice and Business Excellence Research.
    5. Eighty-Six Countries with National Quality/Business Excellence Awards.
    6. The Impact of Business Excellence/Quality Awards: An International Study.
    7. Business Excellence Tools for Self-Assessment.
    8. Professionalising the Application of Benchmarking.
    9. What Will Benchmarking Be Like in 2030? The GBN Wants to Know Your Views.
    10. Finding Best Practices Faster…
    11. Read the Latest News.
    12. Customer Complaints Resolution, Succession Planning and Business Outsourcing.
    13. Benchmarking Support in the Middle East.
    14. BPIR.com Limited’s Growth Plans – Partner Search.
    15. “Must Attend” Events.
    16. Forthcoming Events.
    17. Past Conferences/Events
    18. Book Reviews
    19. Subscribe to COER News.

    You can download the newsletter from here