The Panel of Judges for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest recognition for organizational performance excellence, has selected 15 organizations for the final review stage for the 2009 Award. Starting this month, teams of business, education, health care and nonprofit experts will make site visits to two organizations in the manufacturing category, two in small business, one in education, eight in health care and two nonprofits. There were no organizations chosen for site visits in the service category.
The Baldrige Program received 70 applications in 2009 (two manufacturers, four service companies, five small businesses, nine educational organizations, 42 health care organizations and eight nonprofit/governmental organizations). The applicants were evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; process management; and results. Examiners will provide each applicant receiving a site visit, 300 to 1,000 hours of review, and all applicants will receive a detailed report on the organization's strengths and opportunities for improvement.
The 2009 Baldrige Award recipients are expected to be announced in late November.
Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987. The award—managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in collaboration with the private sector—promotes excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. The award is not given for specific products or services. Since 1988, 75 organizations have received Baldrige Awards.
The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence have played a valuable role in helping organizations of all types improve their operations. The Criteria are designed to help organizations improve their performance by focusing on three goals: delivering ever-improving value to customers and stakeholders, improving the organization's overall effectiveness, and organizational and personal learning. The Criteria have been widely distributed since 1988, and this past year, they were downloaded more than 1.8 million times from the Baldrige Web site.
For more information on the Baldrige National Quality Program, see www.nist.gov/baldrige.