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Using the Baldrige Excellence Framework to improve your organization does not mean you must apply to receive the Presidential award, although that’s a nice goal. It’s about seeing more clearly where your organization is now and where you need to be to achieve long-term success. It’s about having the tools to examine and improve each dimension of your organization’s performance while keeping the whole organization in mind. It’s about an organization-wide perspective that optimizes an entire system rather than just focusing on pockets of excellence.

Baldrige offers a proven way  to achieve

  • Innovation
  • World-class results
  • Integrated processes that enhance your effectiveness and  efficiency
  • Organizational learning, with support from role-model U.S. organizations in every sector and a national network of local Baldrige-based programs
  • Long-term success

Be a part of a collective force that is improving large and small businesses in the service and manufacturing sectors alike, as well as education, health care, and public institutions.


Why Baldrige?

Any Organization Can Improve and Excel Using This Management Framework

Organizations everywhere are looking for ways to effectively and efficiently meet their missions and achieve their visions. Thousands of organizations use the Baldrige Excellence Framework and its Criteria for Performance Excellence to guide their enterprises, improve performance, and get enduring results. This proven improvement and innovation framework offers your organization an integrated approach to key management areas:

  • Leadership
  • Strategy
  • Customers
  • Measurement, analysis, and knowledge management
  • Workforce
  • Operations
  • Results

Improve Your Performance

The Baldrige Excellence Framework helps you evaluate performance, assess where improvements or innovation are most needed, and get results. By adopting the systems perspective and other concepts from the Baldrige framework to improve your organization, you become part of a national and global effort to improve the performance of organizations in every sector in order to benefit people served by businesses, health care providers, schools, and government agencies and other nonprofit organizations. You can be proud to know that your employees, customers, board members, and other stakeholders are all better off.

That’s why thousands of organizations of all sizes in every sector use Baldrige to improve and excel in their industries—and a select group applies for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award:

Start Benefiting from Baldrige Products and Services Today!

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“I see the Baldrige process as a powerful set of mechanisms for disciplined people engaged in disciplined thought and taking disciplined action to create great organizations that produce exceptional results.”

—Jim Collins, bestselling author of Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... and Others Don’t

1. It promotes organizational culture
transformation. The Baldrige framework
focuses the workforce and all
plans and objectives on the mission
and vision of the organization. The
Baldrige approach uncovers core
values, strengths and weaknesses,
and promotes learning and improvement
organizationwide through
self-assessments and external,
independent examiner feedback.1 A
holistic approach, the Baldrige model
is divided into seven categories:
workforce, customers, leadership,
strategic planning, process management,
measurement and results.
2. It complements approaches such
as lean and Six Sigma. While other
tools and approaches focus on a
single aspect, such as eliminating
waste or defects, the Baldrige criteria
address all factors that affect the
organization, its operations and its results.
The Baldrige criteria also serve
as a tool to integrate and organize
other quality approaches an organization
uses. For instance, organizations
could use the Baldrige framework
to develop an overall picture of
performance and determine areas
that need improvement, and then use
Six Sigma, lean or ISO 9001 to design
operations or improve processes.2
3. It sets the bar higher. In today’s
competitive business climate, organizations
must go beyond compliance
and conformity-based systems. The
Baldrige criteria places emphasis
on competitiveness, benchmarking,
understanding performance, results
and maintaining a future focus.3
4. It’s customizable. The Baldrige
framework is a nonprescriptive
approach for organizational management
and improvement. Organizations
of any industry and size can
benefit from the Baldrige journey.
Organizations also are encouraged
to develop creative and flexible approaches
that meet their needs.4
5. It pays. Professors from Dartmouth
College in Hanover, NH, and
the University of North Carolina
at Greensboro surveyed the 273
Malcolm Baldrige National Quality
Award applicants since 2006 about
the value of the Baldrige criteria on
three levels—cost savings, customer
satisfaction and financial gain (gains
from increased value of sales). They
estimated that the benefits of using
Baldrige outweigh the overall cost of
the Baldrige Performance Excellence
Program by a ratio of 820-1. In their
report documenting the study, the
professors explained that the figure
may be on the conservative side.
“If the social costs were compared
to the benefits for the economy as a
whole, the benefit-to-cost ratio would
be considerably higher,” they wrote.5
For individual organizational
views on the return on investment of
Baldrige, read award recipient profiles
at http://patapsco.nist.gov/award_
recipients/index.cfm. —M.S.
1. Mark Montgomery, “The Baldrige Journey-Definitions,”
Quality Texas Foundation, http://bit.ly/
2. “Baldrige, Six Sigma and ISO: Understanding Your
Options,” National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST), 2002, http://bit.ly/baldrige2.
3. “Baldrige FAQs: The Malcolm Baldrige National
Quality Award and ISO 9001,” NIST, http://bit.ly/
4. “Why Baldrige?” NIST, http://bit.ly/baldrige4.
5. Albert N. Link and John T. Scott, “Economic Evaluation
of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program,”
NIST, Dec. 16, 2011, http://bit.ly/baldrige5.

" 5 Benefits of Baldrige" (PDF) originally published in ASQ's Quality Progress


Baldrige Customer Service:
301.975.2036 Telephone
301.948.3716 Fax
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