Performance Excellence: Leaders are Accountable & Managers are Responsible
The Performance Excellence Criteria for the Malcolm Baldrige Model has an admirable logic. This logic is traceable to the teachings of Dr W Edwards Deming.
In India, the IMC Ramkrishna Bajaj National Quality Award (based on the Baldrige) has an impressive track record. Over 150 organizations have adopted this model.
Dr Deming advocated that a process is effective when you follow the Shewhart Cycle: Plan-Do-Check-Act. So intense was his advocacy that the Shewhart Cycle is now popularly referred to as the Deming Cycle.
It is also worth noting that when the Japanese auto industry attacked the US auto market, post the OPEC crisis, with fuel efficient cars, they broke the backbone of the US economy. Consequently, Malcolm Baldrige, the Secretary of Commerce, invited a few industrialists, as well as Dr W Edwards Deming and Dr Joseph Juran, both Quality Gurus, to establish a national strategy to contain Japanese economic aggression.
The brainstorming over an extended period resulted in what is now referred to as the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. Broadly, the Criteria are expressed in seven Categories:
- Strategic Planning
- Customer Focus
- Knowledge Management
- Workforce Focus
- Operations Focus
The Results Category carries half the weightage. The other half are shared between the first six Categories (Leadership to Operations Focus).
Each of the first six Categories is further divided to two Items. In what follows, I wish to refer to these 12 Items.
Each Item has a series of penetrating questions. These questions have been very carefully crafted by the Baldrige thinktank. However, they may appear intimidating, to a first-time reader.
Here is a clue to understanding each of the 12 Baldrige Items: Look for the Deming Cycle, namely, Plan-Do-Check-Act. Elementary.
So what is the magic of PDCA? Here is a window:
- Plan: By Leaders. They are Accountable
- Do: Delegable to Managers. They are Responsible
- Check: Review by Leaders. They are Accountable
- Act: Delegable to Managers. They are Responsible.
Currently, Baldrige Examiners look for an Approach- Deployment- Learning- Improvement logic in each Category Item.
Is ADLI = PDCA? Yes of course. Look carefully.
So if an organization implements ADLI / PDCA in every process, it is likely to have a sound foundation for Performance Excellence.
The Tata Group have adopted the Baldridge Model across every business unit. They host an internal competition for the JRD Quality Values Award. The key benefits of this strategy are:
- Building a Quality Culture, top-down
- Facilitating Internal Benchmarking of Best Practices.
- PSUs must adopt the Baldrige Model
- Municipalities must adopt the Baldrige Model
- Indian organizations must aim to become Global Benchmarks, such as, the Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai
- Without systematic Reviews (Learning / Check) by the Leadership Team, we are guaranteed to fail.