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Baldrige in Brief

Article on Organizational Self-Assessments


Organizational Self-Assessments
By Mark L. Blazey
(Article published in Quality Progress, October 1998)

Blazey discusses three distinct types of self-assessments with an eye towards reducing production and cycle time while ensuring an accurate and useful product. Portions of this article were extracted from Insights to Performance Excellence--An Inside Look at the 1998 Baldrige Award Criteria.
(Published by the American Society for Quality)

As organizations pursue their journey to improve performance, the first stage can be especially grueling. As an advisor to many that are panting, sweating, and ready to quit as they are just beginning to "find their stride" I have found that a major hurdle can be writing a full narrative self-assessment. Early on, an organization's understanding of the criteria may be shallow as it applies to particular products. Knowledge often resides with just a few individuals. Time is already in short supply as teams gear up and training is constant. Resistance to change is ever present.

Curt Reimann, the first director of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award Office and the closing speaker for the 10th Quest for Excellence Conference, spoke of the need to streamline assessments to get a good sense of strengths, areas for improvement, and identify the vital few areas in which to focus leadership and drove organizational change.

This article is intended to help organizations in various stages of their journeys who need to, want to, and must self-assess regularly. Organizations with internal performance awards often welcome alternatives to annual writing marathons. Organizations "learning to walk" find a full length narrative overly challenging. In this article, I will describe several forms of Baldrige-based self-assessments of organizational performance and management systems: the written narrative, the Likert scale survey, and the behaviorally anchored survey.

For more information on Performance Assessments and Organizational Self-Assessments, contact Quantum Performance Group, Inc.
E-mail info@QuantumPerformance.com or call (585) 394-3700.