How the Baldrige Criteria Complements the Next ISO 9001 Revision

Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey

According to a recent IndustryWeek article, the 2015 edition of ISO 9001, the standard on quality management systems, is nearing completion with three focus areas:

  1. The process approach will strongly emphasize that the quality management system has to be woven into and fully aligned with an organization’s strategic direction.
  2. Superimposed on the system of processes is the PDCA (plan-do-check-act) methodology, which will apply both to individual processes, as well as the quality management system as a whole.
  3. An overall focus on risk-based thinking aims at “preventing undesirable outcomes,” such as nonconforming products and services.

At the Baldrige Program, we’ve interviewed several experts on the complementary usage of ISO and the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, including Luis Calingo (“Better Than ISO? How Baldrige Benefits Manufacturers“) and Ron Schulingkamp (“Baldrige and ISO QMS: A Complementary Relationship“).

To me, the 2015 ISO focus concepts are reminiscent of the Baldrige Criteria. For example,

  1. The Baldrige Criteria guide an organization to align work systems and learning initiatives, as well as core competencies, with its strategic directions as part of planning. In fact, the Criteria build alignment across the organization by making connections and reinforcing measures derived from processes and strategy.
  2. In the Criteria, PDCA is called out as a common process improvement approach within category 6. A key element of this category is improving processes to achieve better performance—better quality from customers’ perspectives and better financial and operational performance. In fact, the learning that comes from PDCA is key to how the Criteria are used to evaluate processes. The Criteria encourage organizations to choose the tools (e.g., ISO, PDCA) that are most suitable and effective for an organization in making improvements.
  3. Measuring product performance (e.g., defect levels, service errors) is part of Criteria item 7.1. Such product and operational performance results demonstrate product and service quality and value that lead to customer satisfaction and engagement.

The Criteria also cover risk-based thinking—intelligent risks, a concept introduced in the 2013–2014 Criteria. “Identifying strategic opportunities and intelligent risks is part of strategy, and pursuing the intelligent risks must be embedded in managing organizational operations.” Innovation can result from such pursuit; the Criteria encourage organizations to use creative, adaptive, and flexible approaches to foster incremental and breakthrough improvement through innovation.

In what ways do you think that the 2015 ISO 9001 edition and the Baldrige Criteria will be complementary?

Note: The 2015–2016 Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence will be available December 16.

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3 Responses to How the Baldrige Criteria Complements the Next ISO 9001 Revision

  1. Graham Wooding says:

    The last I heard was that the US TAG had voted against the latest revision of ISO 9001. Do you know if this is still the case, and the reasons why?

  2. Rebecca Anderson says:

    We really need to keep on this message that Baldrige not only compliments, but augments other performance improvement or quality approaches. I recently was asked in a consulting job interview about whether or not I felt my commitment to Baldrige would conflict with my ability to be open to or commit to other improvement approaches. It was a good opportunity to explain the concept of Baldrige as a framework, rather than an exclusive approach.

  3. Gonzalo Bonilla SS says:

    Thank you for the orientation regarding the relation ISO 9001 2015 and the MBNQA.
    We appreciate your guidance on this critical subject.
    Best regards.

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