Saturday, October 17, 2009

Danger Zones: The Tougher Questions of the Baldrige Criteria

The September 2009 issue of Quality Progress (published by the American Society for Quality, ASQ) carried my artile on the tougher questions in the Baldrige Criteria.

In this article, I share 10 questions/aspects of the MBNQA criteria that are vital for an organization’s success. The rigorous Baldrige criteria force organizations to deal with difficult questions about their operations. Most organizations avoid these questions, only to struggle with their improvement efforts. Answering the questions adequately and appropriately can be the key to reaching higher levels of business excellence.

A summary of the questions I have highlighted in the article are:

1. Succession planning − "How do senior leaders personally participate in succession planning and the development of future organizational leaders?"

2. Identify customers, markets − "How do you identify customers, customer groups and market segments?"

3. Strategy development − "How do you collect and analyze relevant data and information pertaining to the following factors as part of your strategic planning process?”

4. Link objectives, challenges − "How do your strategic objectives address your strategic challenges and strategic advantages?"

5. HR plan − "What are your key HR plans to accomplish your short and longer-term strategic objectives and action plans?"

6. Review to improve, innovate − "How do you translate organizational performance review findings into priorities for continuous and breakthrough improvement and into opportunities for innovation?"

7. Motivation − "How do you determine the key factors that affect workforce engagement? How do you determine the key factors that affect workforce satisfaction?"

8. Leadership development − "How do you evaluate the effectiveness of your workforce and leadership development and learning systems?"

9. Core competencies − "How does your organization determine core competencies?"

10. Best practices − "How improvements and lessons learned are shared with other organizational units and processes to drive organizational learning and innovation?"

This article has highlighted some very tough questions from the Baldrige criteria, with the intent of focusing attention on questions and difficult issues that tend to remain hidden. I think that focusing on these questions has a domino effect on the remaining requirements of the criteria.

Please visit www.qualityprogress.com to read the entire article.

Secret Sauce for Six Sigma

Happy to share my latest article published on SixSigmaIQ.com.

In this article I discuss why a fertile soil is essential for Six Sigma (or any management technique) to do well. The article uses examples from how GE and Motorola were ripe and ready for Six Sigma. Not everyone is. It is critical to invest in a foundation before an all out Six Sigma program.

Link: http://www.sixsigmaiq.com/article.cfm?externalID=987