Juhani Anttila
Venture Knowledgist Quality Integration
Helsinki, Finland



Criteria purposes

Malcolm Baldrige (MB) criteria are the basis for an effective organizational self-assessments. They are one of the most recognized model of performance excellence and criteria for a national quality award (see www.quality.nist.gov). The criteria have three important roles in strengthening organizations' competitiveness:
- to help improve organizational performance practices, capabilities, and results
- to facilitate communication and sharing best practices information among organizations of all types
- to serve as a working tool for understanding and managing performance and for guiding planning and opportunities for learning

Malcolm Baldrige criteria are, in fact, a useful framework for quality management as understood in the ISO 9000 definition, and meaning factually the same as quality of management.

Criteria for performance excellence goals

The criteria are designed to help organizations use an aligned approach to organizational performance management that results in
- delivery of ever-improving value to customers, contributing to marketplace success
- improvement of overall organizational effectiveness and capabilities
- organizational and personal learning

Core values and concepts

The criteria are built upon a set of core values and concepts recognized in modern organizations. These values and concepts are the foundation for integrating key business requirements within a results-oriented framework. The values and concepts are the embedded beliefs and behaviours found in high performing organizations. They are the foundation for integrating key business requirements within a results-orientated framework that creates a basis for action and feedback.

The core values and concepts of the Malcolm Baldrige model are:
- Visionary leadership
- Customer-driven excellence
- Organizational and personal learning
- Valuing employees and partners
- Agility
- Focus on the future
- Managing forinnovation
- Management by fact
- Social responsibility
- Focus on results and creating value
- Systems perspective

Criteria for performance excellence framework

The core values and concepts are embodied in seven assessment categories of the Baldrige Criteria. These are organized into seven Categories, these into 19 Examination Item, and these in turn contain a total of 32 Areas to Address. In the full MB assessment procedure, performance descriptions of the organization being assessed are made by Areas to Address and the assessments (scoring) by Examination Item. A part of the Examination Items refer to Approaches and Deployment of business realization, whereas others refer to performance Results.

The criteria categories (see figure) are:
1. Leadership
2. Strategic planning
3. Customer and market focus
4. Measurement, analysis and knowledge management
5. Human resource focus
6. Process management
Business results

Figure. Malcom Baldrige criteria structure

There are also simplified assessment procedures available for an easy starting to the use of MB criteria.


Anttila J. Vakkuri J. Good Better Best. Helsinki: Sonera Corporation, 2000

 [This material has been presented in different forms in differerent seminars or conferences]