The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program has announced that the 2011-2012 Criteria for Performance Excellence for businesses and nonprofit organizations are now available for download. The Criteria serve both as the standard for selecting the annual recipients of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the road map for organizations worldwide seeking improved strategy and operations through pursuing performance excellence. The other two editions of the 2011-2012 Criteria—for health care and education—will be available on the Baldrige website later this month.
The Baldrige Criteria work as an integrated framework for managing an organization. They are simply a set of questions focusing on seven critical aspects of management that contribute to performance excellence: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results.
This year's revisions to the Business/Nonprofit Criteria emphasized two themes: dealing with the increasing complexity of enterprise leadership and management; and improving customer engagement. The Criteria now include the concept of "intelligent risk taking" and an improved "line of sight" set of linkages that should take an organization from the strategic environment to the execution of its operations in a logical sequence. The category on customer focus has been reorganized to improve the flow of logic and now addresses the use of social media as an important contributor to capturing the "voice of the customer."
Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987 to enhance the competitiveness and performance of U.S. businesses. The award is not given for specific products or services. Since 1988, 86 organizations have received Baldrige Awards.
The Baldrige program is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in conjunction with the private sector.
Paper copies of the Criteria will be mailed on request. E-mail baldrige [at] nist.gov or call (301) 975-2036.