1. Look Who’s Using Baldrige: A Focus on Southeast Asia

    July 3, 2013 by BPIR.com Limited

    According to research conducted by the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research at least 8 countries follow an exact copy of the Baldrige Criteria and 9 countries follow a tailored version of the Baldrige Criteria.

    One of the countries that follow an exact copy of Baldrige framework is Thailand. Since TQA’s inception in 1996, only four organisations have scored above 650 points to qualify for the Thailand Quality Award (TQA), out of hundreds of applicants. However, more than 50 organizations have achieved the Thailand Quality Class (TQC) status by scoring more than 350 points.

    Below is an interview with TQA lead assessor Bill Voravuth Chengsupanimit by Blogrige writer Dawn Bailey

    Recently, I had the pleasure of a virtual conversation with the lead assessor of the Thailand Quality Award (TQA) program. Within Thailand, Bill Voravuth Chengsupanimit has also served as a Public Management Quality Award (PMQA) and a State Enterprise Performance Appraisal (SEPA) assessor. What’s common about all of these programs, as well as the award programs in Singapore and Vietnam? They are all Baldrige-based.

    When did Baldrige start in this region, how?

    The Singapore Quality Award (SQA) was launched in 1994 and is based on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and the EFQM Excellence Model. The SQA is controlled by the government’s Standards, Productivity, and Innovation Board. More than 50 organizations have won the SQA since 1995.

    In Thailand, upon signing an agreement between the Foundation of Thailand Productivity Institute and the National Science and Technology Development Agency, on September 5, 1996, the Thailand Quality Award (TQA) was initiated. The resulting TQA technical and decision-making processes are identical to the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

    Since TQA’s inception, only four organizations have scored above 650 points to qualify for the TQA, out of hundreds of applicants. However, more than 50 organizations have achieved the Thailand Quality Class status by scoring more than 350 points.

    Do you have evidence that Thai organizations have implemented Baldrige?

    We have testimonials from leading conglomerates and industry leaders in the country praising how the Baldrige framework transformed their organizations. We see results therefore we believe in Baldrige!

    We have over 150 government agencies, including all armed forces; 50+ state enterprises in the energy, banking, communication, transportation, aviation, and utility sector; and countless business enterprises adopting the Baldrige framework, with all speaking ADLI (approach-deployment-learning-integration). How is that for deployment?

    What made Thailand choose the Baldrige Criteria?

    It is our government’s wish to jumpstart and pursue performance excellence to enhance sustainability in all sectors through a common excellence framework with unified values. In Thailand, all government agencies must pass the fundamental level of the PMQA program by 2014. (The PMQA is the 2006 version of the Baldrige Criteria). Fundamental level is equivalent to about 250-350 points and is compulsory.

    How does the assessment work? What has been the result?

    All state enterprises are assessed through the SEPA program each year. (SEPA is the 2008 version of the Baldrige Criteria.) Thai International, our national airline, and PTT, our national energy company who made the Fortune 100 list last year, report their annual performances through the SEPA/Baldrige Criteria started two years ago. PTT claims that its success is due to enrollment in Baldrige-based programs. Two of their divisions won the prestigious TQA.

    What about in the education and health care sectors?

    Although enrolling in the PMQA is voluntarily for state universities, six Thai state universities passed the fundamental level of the PMQA last year and ten more are ready for certification this year. A program for certifying state secondary schools based on Baldrige will be implemented next year. Also, our Ministry of Education just implemented the EdPEX criteria, also 99% Baldrige-based, as a platform to assess performance of all tertiary education institutions in the Kingdom. All government fundings to them will be based on maturity level accomplished.

    All hospitals in Thailand must be certified under the Health Accreditation (HA) program, which is also Baldrige-based with industry-specific processes.

    What about other countries in the region?

    The TQA is closely associated with our Singapore counterpart. Although not compulsory, the Singapore government encourages all of its agencies to apply to the SQA program. As of this year, Singapore’s Customs, Inland Revenue, Land Transport, Urban Redevelopment, and Water Authority, as well as their Police, Prison, Court, and Civil Defense Force, have all been SQA winners.

    Their results are even more profound than in Thailand as they started their program more than 15 years ago. Just look at their country competitiveness ranking in IMD and the World Economic Forum (WEF), as well as their education ranking in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). YES, it is world-class indeed! I rest my case for Baldrige.

    In addition, the Vietnam Quality Award’s official site shows that its award is Baldrige-based, with exactly the same six process categories and one result category. They have had thousands if not tens of thousands of applications over the years, as they have around 100 winners each year in the different categories. (See Harry Hertz’s blog on the Vietnamese National Quality Award.)

    You have said, “We are forever indebted to the Baldrige Program,” why?

    As they say, “No one could be a prophet in his own country.” Dejavù Dr. Deming and Dr. Shewhart. Despite the OFIs that a number of gurus have pointed out, the Baldrige Program is simply the best, as it has a universal appeal. Tell me something that a capitalist, a socialist, and a communist can agree on. It’s Baldrige! For us here in Thailand, we truly believe Baldrige can align and integrate us all!

    To learn more about how the Baldrige Criteria framework has been implemented in other countries, consider the international plenary at this year’s 25th Annual Quest for Excellence Conference. And/or share your stories here of how Baldrige has been implemented around the world.

  2. Singapore Healthcare System achieves extraordinary results

    June 21, 2013 by BPIR.com Limited

    The Singapore healthcare system has managed to achieve extraordinary results both in terms of quality and in terms of controlling costs. Healthcare expenditures in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are the lowest of all high income countries in the world!

    What’s the secret? It is apparent that it is more than just the process of putting the right components together. It is also related to the spirit and philosophy of Singapore itself including the way it is governed and how it relates to the world at large.

    Noted Harvard professor, biotech entrepreneur, and AIDS researcher William Haseltine in his study of Singapore found that the following three compelling qualities were woven into the fabric of the country:

    • Long-term political unity,
    • An ability to recognize and establish national priorities, and
    • A consistent desire for the collective well-being and social harmony of Singapore.

    Haseltine describes the Singapore healthcare results as “Affordable Excellence”.

    This is outlined in detail in his latest book Affordable Excellence; The Singapore Health Care Story: How to Create and Manage Sustainable Health Care Systems (Brookings, 2013). Download a free PDF copy or an e-Book

    In the following video Haseltine highlights the lessons he learned and shows where they could be applied to the U.S. health care system.

  3. Sustaining Excellence: Coral Springs Keeps Shining as a Role Model

    June 17, 2013 by BPIR.com Limited


    The City of Coral Springs is a planned community of about 123,000 residents in South Florida. The city was one of the first local governments to implement the Baldrige performance excellence model. The city’s first implementation of Baldrige criteria was through a state-level program called “Florida Sterling”.

    The successful application of Baldrige has made the city one of the best public sector organisations in the world.

    Below is an interview with Susan Grant, deputy city manager of Coral Springs sharing the city’s Baldrige journey.

    When Coral Springs, Florida, won the Baldrige Award in 2007, it became the first city in the nation-and one of the first two nonprofit organizations-to receive the U.S. Presidential honor for performance excellence.

    That year, Coral Springs boasted results such as a triple-“A” bond rating from all three of the largest U.S. bond-rating agencies for seven years in a row; a crime rate per 100,000 people that decreased by nearly half over ten years (to become the lowest in Florida and the fourth-lowest nationwide for cities of similar size); and high levels of satisfaction among residents, businesses, and city employees. As the Baldrige Program’s 25th anniversary celebration is fast approaching, I recently asked Susan Grant, deputy city manager of Coral Springs, to share an update on her city’s Baldrige journey today. Following are her responses:

    How has your organization been sustaining excellence since winning the Baldrige Award? Any recent results you wish to share?

    Maintenance of customer satisfaction (both resident and businesses) during the recession as well as maintenance of the city’s “AAA” bond rating are a few of the results that demonstrate our sustained excellence since winning the Baldrige Award. Other important results that we’ve maintained include the city’s low crime rate and short emergency response times. While employee satisfaction has dipped slightly, it is still above 90% and compares favorably to results of other cities. In 2013, the City of Coral Springs had more “A” rated schools than any other city in Broward County—a critical measure, since quality of education is the number-one reason cited for why residents move to Coral Springs.

    Have you used Baldrige feedback reports to improve?

    Yes, we have absolutely used our Baldrige feedback reports (and, before that, our Florida Sterling feedback reports) to improve our organization. Some examples include the more systematic selection of comparison data—which has ultimately resulted in better performance in the areas being compared. In addition, system improvements for part-time employees and volunteers and a more robust succession planning system have led to improvements in employee engagement for these groups of employees.

    How do you see the value of the Baldrige Criteria?

    The Baldrige (and Florida Sterling) Criteria provided a solid framework for the city to begin our improvement efforts 20 years ago. The Criteria proved to be comprehensive and integrated—so every area of our organization was addressed.

    Any advice for other organizations trying to improve their performance?

    Yes: View the implementation of any efforts to improve performance as a journey, rather than as a destination. Our efforts to improve as an organization started with research and garnering buy-in from multiple stakeholder groups. One of the great things about the Baldrige Criteria is that they are not “one size fits all” or prescriptive in any way—so you are able to adapt the Criteria to fit your organization.

  4. COER News – Benchmarking and Business Excellence, May-2013

    May 15, 2013 by BPIR.com Limited


    This May, the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER) has issued its latest newsletter.

    The first section includes important news about the upcoming 2nd International Best Practice Competition and 2nd Global Benchmarking Award – closing date for entries 22 July.

    Whether you are looking to know the latest COER publications in the field or you would like to know what are the latest must attend events you will find it in COER’s newsletter.

    The contents for the newsletter are listed below:

    • Best new song on Quality and Business Excellence
    • Upcoming workshops
    • Upcoming conferences
    • Recent publications
    • PhD Research opportunities
    • BPIR.com.. Looking to make a bigger impact

    You can download the newsletter from the COER website here

  5. Tata’s Baldrige Advantage: A Multinational’s Model for Performance Excellence

    April 14, 2013 by BPIR.com Limited

    The Baldrige framework for Business Excellence has been used as an award framework in many countries around the world for more than two decades. However, it has been shown that organisations get the most benefit if they embed the business excellence concepts into their systems and processes and undertaken annual self-assessments against the framework.

    One organisation that has truly embraced business excellence is the Tata Group. Tata group comprises over 100 operating companies in seven business sectors: communications and information technology (Tata Consultancy Services were a runner up in the overseas category for the NZ Best Practice Competition 2012), engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals. The group has operations in more than 80 countries across six continents, and its companies export products and services to 85 countries.

    The group started to implement the framework in late 90’s and called it Tata Business Excellence Model (TBEM) which is ‘customised-to-Tata’ adaptation of the Malcolm Baldrige model.

    Performance is measured in absolute points; companies have to achieve a minimum of 500 points (out of 1,000) within four years of signing the Brand Equity and Business Promotion (BEBP) Programme agreement.

    Below is a blog post from Blogrige (the official Baldrige blog) on Tata’s Business Excellence journey


    If you live in North America, you’re probably familiar with Tetley, Good Earth, and Eight O’Clock coffee. These brands are among many owned by some of the more than 100 Tata companies, spanning six continents, whose combined revenue was $83.3 billion in 2010-2011 and whose combined global workforce is over 425,000. Based in India, the multinational conglomerate known as the Tata Group operates in more than 80 countries and exports products and services to 85 countries.

    What you might not realize is that Tata companies have been using the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence for more than 15 years. While each Tata company or enterprise operates independently, all Tata-branded companies use the Baldrige systems framework. That’s because all Tata companies benefit from using the Tata Business Excellence Model (TBEM). The TBEM is based on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and maintains the seven categories of the Criteria framework by name. To license the Tata brand, each Tata company must sign a legal agreement with the Tata Group holding company, Tata Sons, that ensures that it will follow Tata’s code of conduct and the TBEM.

    According to Tata Quality Management Services’s Sunil Sinha, Tata companies began using the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence in the early 1990s. Based on their success, the Tata Group formally adopted the Baldrige Criteria and introduced the TBEM in 1994. Since then, the conglomerate has continually adapted its use of the Criteria to its strategic situation, bolstering self-assessment questions to strengthen each Tata company’s strategy. Tata also has added emphasis on systematically focusing on innovation as it uses the Criteria in its internal performance assessments.

    As Sinha affirmed in a recent phone interview, the Tata Group maintains a reputation for strong corporate governance values and practices that reflect a responsibility to society and the environment. “We realized that a group that has global aspirations needed to be strong in [Baldrige Criteria item] 1.2,” he says. So, among other adaptations of the Baldrige Criteria scoring system, Tata companies receive separate scores on their safety processes and safety results in TBEM assessments, and if they score relatively low in safety results, points are deducted from their score on leadership processes.

    Sinha presides over the Tata Group’s TBEM assessment process in his role as chief executive officer of Tata Quality Management Services (TQMS), a Tata division that helps other companies in the conglomerate improve their performance. TQMS conducts three kinds of assessments: (1) Basic: a high-level, fundamental assessment tailored for companies at relatively lower levels of maturity that quickly identifies key opportunities for improvement; (2) Standard: a fuller Criteria-based assessment like those of the Baldrige Program’s annual award process; and (3) Intensive: a detailed examination of the Tata company’s strategy and processes, which considers the robustness of its improvement strategies. This is done for the more mature companies and typically is more prescriptive.

    For the past 18 years, each Tata company receiving a TQMS assessment has received a site visit as part of the process. “Every company, whether low-scoring or high-scoring, gets a site visit because we want to give them an opportunity for learning,” says Sinha. During a site visit, a company receives a set of Criteria category scores and category-by-category presentations on its performance; later, it also receives a detailed feedback report. In each case, a TQMS consultant supports the assessment team in ensuring a high-quality assessment. The assessment system also helps each company create action plans based on the feedback, with a TQMS account manager assigned responsibility for helping the company improve. This account manager works jointly with the TQMS consultant who assisted the assessment team in interpreting the feedback for the assessed Tata company. To prepare internal assessors for this process, the TQMS division trains about 3,000 managers every year from across the Tata Group companies. “This allows for cross-pollination and builds managerial capability across our companies,” says Sinha.

    As a result of the use of the TBEM and assessment process, Sinha has witnessed significant benefits to Tata companies around the world. “We have seen a lot of companies becoming more competitive, customer-oriented, and process-focused,” he says. At the same time, he stresses, “The program is an improvement process, not an award process.” According to Sinha, the key insight that the assessment process must be part of a company’s ongoing performance excellence journey, and not a short-term focus on winning an award, led Tata to rename the model TBEM from an award program originally named for the Tata Group’s former chairman, JRD Tata. “If [the TBEM] is treated purely as award criteria, there could be some resistance to embark on the journey,” says Sinha, adding that this risk is particularly strong where a company’s market is very demanding. However, he says, if use of the business excellence model “becomes part of a focus on continuous improvement, more companies will benefit from it.”

    In one of Tata’s Leadership Thoughts videos, Sinha explains more about Tata’s use of the Baldrige-based TBEM program. Another video tracing the evolution of the use of the Baldrige Criteria through Tata’s Business Excellence Model may be found here.

    Clearly, Tata’s internal Baldrige-based business excellence model and assessment process have created a unified system to promote performance excellence in its companies around the world. Is it time for your company to start reaping similar benefits from a Baldrige improvement journey? Get started here. Or, if your organization is already using the Criteria to great benefit, please share your story!