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About the Baldrige Excellence Framework

(Includes the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence)

The Baldrige Excellence Framework empowers your organization to reach its goals, improve results, and become more competitive.

Purchase the Baldrige Excellence Framework booklet.

Choose the Baldrige Excellence Framework product that is right for you.


A Systems Perspective

The Baldrige framework helps you manage all the components of your organization as a unified whole, so that your plans, processes, measures, and actions are consistent. The system’s building blocks are the Criteria for Performance Excellence, the core values and concepts, and the scoring guidelines.

A Focus on Improvement

The purpose of the Baldrige framework is to help your organization improve and achieve excellence. The questions in the Criteria help you explore how you are accomplishing your organization’s mission and key objectives in seven critical areas:
  1. Leadership
  2. Strategy
  3. Customers
  4. Measurement, analysis, and knowledge management
  5. Workforce
  6. Operations
  7. Results
The Baldrige framework is based on core values and concepts that represent beliefs and behaviors found in high-performing organizations:
  • Systems perspective
  • Visionary leadership
  • Customer-focused excellence
  • Valuing people
  • Organizational learning and agility
  • Focus on success
  • Managing for innovation
  • Management by fact
  • Societal responsibility
  • Ethics and transparency
  • Delivering value and results
With the Baldrige framework, you evaluate and improve your processes along four dimensions:
  • Approach: How systematic are your key processes?
  • Deployment: How consistently are your key processes used throughout your organization?
  • Learning: Have you evaluated and improved your key processes? Have improvements been shared within your organization?
  • Integration: How do your processes address your current and future organizational needs?
You evaluate your results along four dimensions:
  • Levels: What is your current performance?
  • Trends: Are the results improving, staying the same, or getting worse?
  • Comparisons: How does your performance compare with that of other organizations or with benchmarks?
  • Integration: Are you tracking results that are important to your organization? Are you using the results in organizational decision making?
As you answer the Criteria questions and assess your responses, you will identify strengths and gaps—first within the Criteria categories and then among them. As you continue, you will begin to define the best ways to build on your strengths, close gaps, and innovate.

The free Self-Analysis Worksheet can help you leverage your strengths and prioritize your opportunities.


Adaptable to Your Organization

The Baldrige framework and Criteria for Performance Excellence do not prescribe how you should structure your organization or its operations. In the Baldrige Organizational Profile, you describe what is important to your organization.

The Criteria encourage you to use creative, adaptive, and flexible approaches. You choose the improvement tools that are most effective for your organization, assess your progress, and adapt accordingly.

National and Global Impact

Within the United States, state, regional, sector-specific, and organization-specific performance or business excellence programs use the Baldrige framework and Criteria to help organizations improve their competitiveness and results. Many accreditation systems and certifications are also based on the Criteria.

Globally, about 100 performance or business excellence programs exist; most use the Baldrige framework or a derivative as their organizational excellence model.


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