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Experiences in Initiating Baldridge-Based Quality in a NIST Technical Division



Dennis A. Swyt


Within the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which administers the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA), a NIST technical division has initiated a Baldrige-based effort to increase the effectiveness of its research and services, the first unit at NIST to do so.  The Precision Engineering Division is responsible for providing U.S. industry with practical access to the international and national standards in length and for conducting a diverse program of R&D and services in measurements and standards.  These measurements and standards relate to industrial control of dimensional tolerances on features of manufactured goods from aircraft airframes, through automobile engines, to the smallest integrated-circuit microelectronics.  The start-up of this Baldrige effort has involved the following:  introductory training of all staff on the basic concepts of the MBNQA and team processes; training on leading and facilitating teams; site visits to other agencies and industry organizations carrying out TQM-type programs; conduct of a self-assessment of the Division against the Baldrige criteria; initiation of process-improvement and measurement-service quality-management teams; and achievement of a variety of initial results.  This paper reports on employee-identified successes and failures, managerial lessons learned, and some potential next steps in the start-up effort's further development.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6201
Report Number


Government Performance Review Act (GPRA), Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, measurement services, metrology, National Performance Review (NPR), quality management, research and development (R&D), total quality management, TQM


Swyt, D. (1998), Experiences in Initiating Baldridge-Based Quality in a NIST Technical Division, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed July 24, 2024)


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Created January 1, 1998, Updated February 19, 2017