How a Charity is Using Baldrige to Serve the Blind

Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey

Since 1989, the Blind Foundation for India (BFI), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, hasBFI Van - Eye Camp (2) served over 15 million blind people in India, raising over $4 million, performing 125,000 free cataract operations, donating 10,000 Braille kits to blind children for their education, and funding 115 vans to transport doctors and patients. Additionally, the foundation has worked on prevention, conducting 750,000 eye exams for school-age children and providing necessary interventions such as eye drops, glasses, and Vitamin A.

And according to Dr. Manu Vora, chairman and president of Business Excellence, Inc., the charity has done all of this by using the Baldrige Excellence Framework as a way to manage its work and ensure optimum efficiency and effectiveness.

“The Baldrige framework has added great value throughout the BFI journey,” said Vora. “By using various concepts/tools from the Baldrige Criteria, we were able to create a lean organization with six directors. Corporate governance and ethics have been used to manage BFI. We keep focused communication with our donors, for example, with an annual appeal showing a progress report. We recognize our donors and volunteers. Use of these tools helped us in becoming a donor-centric, nonprofit focusing on the actual needs of 15 million blind people in India.”

Vora, who is also a blogger for the ASQ Influential Voices program, said he has been familiar with the Baldrige Excellence Framework and its Criteria from his work since 1990 in quality management at AT&T Bell Laboratories. “Since 1993, I have integrated these Criteria in my Total Quality Management course in MBA programs at various business schools globally,” he said. “I am convinced that the Baldrige framework provides important guidance to effectively manage an organization.”

The Baldrige framework is used to ensure that the nonprofit considers all elements of its operations–by aligning its quality tools with the Baldrige Criteria. For example,

  • Leadership category focus: Vision, Mission, Values, Ethics, Governance, Social Responsibility, Lean, Board of Directors, Plan Do Study Act (PDSA)
  • Strategy category focus: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis; Balanced Scorecard; and Hoshin Planning
  • Customers category focus: Voice of the Customer (VOC), single yearly update to donors (Lean)
  • Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management category focus:  Benchmarking with other nonprofit organizations
  • Workforce category focus: Recognition of donors and volunteers
  • Operations category focus: Brainstorming, Affinity Diagram, Pareto Principle, Ishikawa Diagram, Lean, Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), Process Mapping, SIPOC, Problem Solving, Medical Partner Development in India
  • Results category focus: Feedback Reports to Donors, Gantt Chart, Critical Path Method (CPM), Risk Matrix

“The Baldrige framework provides an excellent platform to manage any organization,” said Vora. “The assessment helps in focusing on value addition to stakeholders (donors, volunteers, the community, etc.), with a continuous-improvement philosophy. For nonprofits with limited resources, the Baldrige framework is a great way to optimize resources and provide value to society.”

BFI Prevention -1 (2)BFI’s mission is to prevent and cure blindness, and educate and permanently rehabilitate  blind people in India. India is home to one-third of the world’s blind population. This video will help you learn more about BFI.

How might your volunteer work be made more efficient and focused on value through use of the Baldrige framework?

 

Posted in Baldrige Criteria, Customer Focus, Health Care, Nonprofit, Performance Results, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Focus on the 2015 Judges’ Panel: Judge Fonda Vera

By Christine Schaefer

Who are the folks who judge applications for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award? In an ongoing blog series, we have been interviewing members of the 2015 Judges’ Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. In the interviews, they share their insights and perspectives on the award process, on their experiences, and on the Baldrige framework and approach to organizational improvement.

Following is the interview of Fonda Vera, a second-year judge. Vera is executive dean of planning, research, effectiveness, and development at Richland College (PDF), the first and only community college to date to receive a Baldrige Award (in 2005).

What experiences led you to the role of Baldrige judge?

I began my involvement with the Baldrige Program as an applicant in 1999. I was one of the writers of [Richland College’s] numerous state and national applications. Just writing the application and studying the Criteria from that point of view was a wonderful learning experience, not only in learning about the Criteria but also about my own organization.

After we were [named] a Baldrige Award recipient in 2005, I became a national examiner. I was fortunate enough to go on a site visit the very first year and also for the next two years in a row. In total, I have participated in four site visits, and I have led one. It was an incredible honor to be chosen to sit on the panel of judges.

You have a great deal of experience in the education sector. How do you see the Baldrige Excellence Framework as valuable to education organizations?

The Baldrige Excellence Framework is invaluable to education. The education sector is buffeted about by ongoing state and national legislative changes, calls for accountability demanding more performance with less funding, and students who are less and less prepared—for a multitude of reasons—for success in education and ultimately in life. The Baldrige Excellence Framework is the rudder for the education sector in that stormy sea. It empowers organizations to address their reason for being by maintaining focus and discipline to achieve student success.

How do you apply Baldrige principles/concepts to your current work experience/employer?

Richland College has used Baldrige principles and the framework since 1999. It quickly became the way we do business. We have been fortunate to have consistency in leadership, which I believe is key. This discipline of following the Criteria is not always easy, but it is hard to argue with the good results it produces. Our college’s vision of being the best place we can be to learn, teach, and build sustainable local and world community fits perfectly with the Baldrige core values and concepts.

As a judge, what are your hopes for the judging process? In other words, as a judge what would you like to tell applicants and potential Baldrige Award applicants about the rigor of the process?

As a current judge, a previous applicant, and a previous award recipient, I would say to potential applicants that following the Baldrige Criteria and writing an application is one of the best things you can do for your organization. It will cause you to examine what you do, why you do it, and for whom you do it in a way that you’ve never done before.

Using the Socratic Method, this deep dive into your organization’s business will reveal opportunities to improve and strengths you may never have known existed. The challenge and the rigor for each organization is to have the discipline to take what is learned, act on it, and invest in the discipline for the long haul. The rewards are many if you follow this path.

What encouragement/advice would you give Baldrige examiners who are reviewing award applications now?

I encourage all Baldrige examiners who are reviewing award applications to do their absolute best to understand the applicant they are reviewing and to make comments that are relevant and will move the applicant to the next level of maturity. This is not only important to the applicant but also is vital to the judging process. While the examining process is certainly very hard work, take the time to enjoy the intellectual challenge and the camaraderie that accompanies it. It is indeed a unique experience.

See other blogs on the 2015 Judges’ Panel: Laura Huston, Dr. Ken Davis, Michael Dockery, Miriam N. Kmetzo, Dr. Sharon L. Muret-Wagstaff, Dr. Mike R. Sather, Ken Schiller, Dr. Sunil K. Sinha, Dr. John C. Timmerman, and Roger M. Triplett. Greg Gibson, a candidate for the 2015 panel, pending appointment, will also be interviewed for this series.

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How the West Found Baldrige

Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey

What do the American West, Six Sigma, cowboy ethics, commerce, and quality improvement have to do with one another?

They are all elements of the story of Malcolm Baldrige, U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President Ronald Reagan; Baldrige was passionate about the American West and U.S. business. That passion continues to be honored today not only by a national program in his name but by state and sector Baldrige-based programs that spread the Baldrige process to local communities.

But it’s Quality New Mexico, which uses as its slogan “the state of quality,” that has a very new mexicopersonal connection to the Baldrige family.

A recent article by Nigel Hey, “The Story of Mac Baldrige and Quality New Mexico,” outlines how Mac Baldrige and his commitment to increase U.S. business productivity and customer satisfaction led to the birth of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program to support the competitiveness and sustainability of U.S. organizations, and how that national program took root in New Mexico.

The story begins with Motorola’s 1981 initiative for a tenfold improvement in quality that included the development of Six Sigma and the manufacturer’s implementation of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.

“To achieve the quality goal demanded by Six Sigma, Motorola required that suppliers start their own Baldrige-based quality programs,” writes Hey. “One such supplier was AT&T, which created an internal Chairman’s Quality Award based strictly on the Baldrige Criteria and required each division to submit a Baldrige application covering its internal quality program.” One of AT&T’s suppliers was Sandia National Laboratories, based in Albuquerque, NM.

In 1991, at the invitation of U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Motorola’s COO Chris Galvin spoke to business leaders in Las Cruces, NM, explaining that quality was “his company’s main weapon of defense against the onslaught of new foreign competitors.”

After site visits to Motorola headquarters and to a state Baldrige-based program helping organizations improve in Minnesota, New Mexican business leaders and Senator Bingaman became convinced that a Baldrige-based program in New Mexico could help state organizations stem the tide of lost business to foreign competition and increase job opportunities.

In 1993, with the support of Sandia National Laboratories, Quality New Mexico was born, with the vision of turning New Mexico into a quality state.

Read the full story here of how Baldrige expanded to New Mexico and the value it brought across the United States.

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Focus on the 2015 Judges’ Panel: Judge Ken Schiller

By Christine Schaefer

Did you ever wonder who are the folks who judge applications for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award? What in their background brought them to this high honor, and what advice they may have for Baldrige Award applicants, potential applicants, and examiners?

For an ongoing series of blogs on this site, we are interviewing all members of the Judges’ Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award to share their individual insights and perspectives on the award process, their experiences, and the Baldrige framework and approach to organizational improvement in general.

The primary role of the Judges’ Panel is to ensure the integrity of the Baldrige Award selection process. Based on a review of results of examiners’ scoring of written applications (the Independent and Consensus Review processes), judges vote on which applicants merit Site Visit Review (the third and final examination stage) to verify and clarify their excellent performance in all seven categories of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. The judges also review reports from site visit to recommend to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce which organizations to name as U.S. role models—Baldrige Award recipients. No judge participates in any discussion of an organization for which he/she has a real or perceived conflict of interest. Judges serve for a period of three years.

Ken Schiller

Second-Year Judge; Co-Owner, K&N Management (PDF), a small business that received the Baldrige Award in 2010.

Schiller_Ken
What experiences led you to the role of Baldrige judge?

Being a small business [Baldrige Award] recipient in 2010 and then doing my best to be an ambassador for the Baldrige Program.

You have a great deal of experience in the business sector, particularly in the service business industry. How do you see the Baldrige Excellence Framework as valuable to organizations in that sector/industry?

The Baldrige framework is the most valuable performance excellence model for any organization in any industry.

Our customers benefit from consistency in our products and services. We measure what is important to our customers and the company, identify trends, and use measures to continuously improve. This delights our customers and creates loyalty that allows us to outperform our competitors. Our team members are proud to work for an award-winning organization that focuses on excellence, quality, integrity, and relationships.

How do you apply Baldrige principles/concepts to your current work experience, particularly in the organization you lead?

K&N Management uses the Baldrige framework to align the actions of the company toward one common goal: to delight each guest that walks into our restaurant. Strategic planning continues to fuel our improvement efforts year after year.

As a judge, what are your hopes for the judging process? In other words, as a judge what would you like to tell applicants and potential Baldrige Award applicants about the rigor of the process?

It is not rocket science, but it is very rigorous and requires a high level of discipline. You can’t just dabble in it; you have to go “all in.” A burning desire for continuous improvement is the key driver for success.

What encouragement/advice would you give Baldrige examiners who are reviewing award applications now?

What you are doing matters and will benefit our country by improving American organizations as well as stretching you to grow personally and professionally.

See other blogs on the 2015 Judges’ Panel: Laura Huston (chair), Dr. Ken Davis, Michael Dockery, Miriam N. Kmetzo, Dr. Sharon L. Muret-Wagstaff, Dr. Mike R. Sather, Dr. Sunil K. Sinha, Dr. John C. Timmerman, Roger M. Triplett, and Fonda L. Vera. Greg Gibson, a candidate for the 2015 panel, pending appointment, will also be interviewed for this series.

 

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Focus on the 2015 Judges’ Panel: Judge Michael Dockery

Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey

Did you ever wonder who are the folks who judge applications for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award? What in their background brought them to this high honor, and what advice might they have for Baldrige Award applicants, potential applicants, and examiners?

In an ongoing series in this Baldrige Program blog, we will be interviewing members of the Judges’ Panel of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award to share individual members’ insights and perspectives on the award process, their experiences, and the Baldrige framework and approach to organizational improvement in general.

The primary role of the Judges’ Panel is to ensure the integrity of the Baldrige Award selection process. Based on a review of results of examiners’ scoring of written applications (the Independent and Consensus Review processes), judges vote on which applicants merit Site Visit Review (the third and final examination stage) to verify and clarify their excellent performance in all seven categories of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. The judges also review reports from site visit to recommend to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce which organizations to name as U.S. role models—Baldrige Award recipients. No judge participates in any discussion of an organization for which he/she has a real or perceived conflict of interest. Judges serve for a period of three years.

Michael L. Dockery, a second-year judge
Senior Manager, Memphis World HubDockery_Michael
FedEx Express Corporation

What experiences led you to the role of Baldrige Judge?

I began volunteering on the national Board of Examiners in 2008. My experiences included serving as category lead on several examiner teams; serving as senior examiner and/or team lead for four years; and participating on three site visit teams, including site visit team lead in 2012.

During my role as team lead, I received valuable training, coaching, and mentoring from fellow examiners and Baldrige staff throughout the process. The site visit experiences afforded me an opportunity to demonstrate analytical, team building, and leadership skills required to meet the process deliverables for all stakeholders.

The developmental programs and knowledge sharing within the Baldrige community also gave me the confidence to take on the responsibility of Baldrige judge once the vetting process was completed.

You have a great deal of experience in the service sector. How do you see the Baldrige Excellence Framework as valuable to organizations in that sector? 

With an ongoing focus on service quality and marketplace competitiveness, I picture the Baldrige Excellence Framework being beneficial to organizations in the service sector and all sectors that are interested in focusing on the future while meeting current customer demands.

I feel that it is important that service organizations invest in a framework that will allow them to respond or adapt rapidly to changing demands, as well as to other challenges in the global market.

As the Baldrige framework is refined or updated, it continues to create value that can transform organizations by offering criteria that helps with marketplace competitiveness, an approach to performance excellence, cultural change, and innovation.

In addition, the emphasis on a systematic, disciplined approach to process improvement may give organizations confidence to engage in intelligent risk-taking, enhance the strategic planning process, and identify measures for detecting potential blind spots.

I am confident that the evolution of the Baldrige Excellence Framework, once fully deployed in the service sector, will be able to connect people, processes, and technology seamlessly for long-term value.

How do you apply Baldrige principles/concepts to your own work experiences/employer?

I regularly deploy all areas of the Criteria to process improvement initiatives and daily operations. When assessing process improvement opportunities, I take a holistic viewpoint and systems approach to evaluating how new processes may be implemented and the impact these processes could potentially have on the customer experience.

The framework helps me to effectively manage multiple projects or tasks while addressing new, changing requirements by internal and external customers.  I have deployed the framework to all organizations I have led since being introduced to the Criteria and share key concepts with organizational employees during staff meetings and management development sessions. As a result, there are systematic, repeated approaches that translate into a culture of innovation, safety, and service excellence, which are core values for the company.

By integrating the framework with the company’s quality programs and Lean processes, the leadership team and employees are able to implement or sustain core processes that deliver positive outcomes.  The framework also helps me create an environment of organizational learning and knowledge transfer, by involving all levels of the organization in the improvement process.

The process dimensions of approach, deployment, learning, and integration are evident in the organizations I lead, and many of the Baldrige core values, such a visionary leadership, valuing people, and management by fact, are also commonplace.

The framework has been instrumental in the company’s ability to refine processes, lead organizations through difficult challenges, and improve business results.

As a judge, what are your hopes for the judging process? Or, in other words, as a judge, what would you like to tell applicants and potential applicants about the rigor of the process?

I have a genuine appreciation for previous members who served on the Panel of Judges and the time commitment that is required to participate in the judging process.   Obviously, the focus is on providing outstanding customer service, remaining committed to the process, and identifying role-model organizations that have demonstrated best practices and proven processes that can be benchmarked across the industry.

The applicants (former, current, and future) can feel confident that all panel members demonstrate a passion, commitment, and desire to protect the integrity of the process and provide all applicants the highest level of service required to deliver the expected value.

The Baldrige staff and other stakeholders work extremely hard to ensure that a consistent process is executed to determine which organizations receive consideration for site visits. The same approach, rigor, and ethical standards are utilized by the judges’ panel to identify organizations with role-model best practices and to determine sector award winners.

All members appointed to the Panel of Judges provide expert, diverse sector knowledge that is beneficial when evaluating the many processes that various organizations deploy that lead to positive performance results and outcomes.

What encouragement/advice would you give examiners who are reviewing applications now?

I would like to encourage all examiners to do their best, trust the process, and have fun. The experience provides a great opportunity for skill development, teamwork, mentorship, and systematic execution of core processes.

I am excited to see the ongoing collaboration and willingness by experienced examiners to onboard new talent into the Baldrige community.

See other blogs from the 2015 Judges’ Panel: Dr. Ken Davis, Laura Huston, Miriam N. Kmetzo, Dr. Sharon L. Muret-Wagstaff, Dr. Mike R. Sather, Ken Schiller, Dr. Sunil K. Sinha, Dr. John C. Timmerman, Roger M. Triplett, and Fonda L. Vera. Greg Gibson, a candidate for the 2015 panel, pending appointment, will also be interviewed for this series.

Posted in Baldrige Award Process, Baldrige Criteria, Baldrige News, Customer Focus, Performance Results, Uncategorized | Leave a comment