Business Excellence is often described as outstanding practices in managing the organization and achieving results, all based on a set of fundamental concepts or values. These practices have evolved into models for how a world class organization should operate. These models have been developed and continue to evolve through extensive study of the practice and values of the world’s highest performing organizations. Since the 1990s there has been a general decline in award applications. However there has been an increasing trend for organizations to apply these models and integrate the principles and practice with their day-to-day operations thereby achieving the benefits business excellence brings.
Business Excellence Tools
Business Excellence tools are explained in 3 categories. First be clear on the desired outcome for your business and then choose carefully for most value.
- 1. Some tools may be regarded as significant business improvement initiatives, including Lean Management, Six Sigma, Business Process Reengineering (BPR), Balanced Scorecard, Quality Management Systems (QMSs), Total Quality Management (TQM) and Performance Benchmarking. All of these major tools are sub-sets of Business Excellence and so they qualify as Business Excellence tools.
- 2. A few tools are now available to enable Business Excellence as a whole to be implemented readily and quickly by the world’s SMEs.
- 3. Finally, thousands of tools are available to assist employees with specific Business Excellence tasks such as developing a Pareto Chart, Quantifying the Benefit to Cost ratio of an improvement initiative, or Calculating the Standard Deviation of a set of measurements.
Business Excellence Models
Business excellence models are frameworks that when applied within an organization can help to focus thought and action in a more systematic and structured way that should lead to increased performance. The models are holistic in that they focus upon all areas and dimensions of an organization, and in particular, factors that drive performance. These models are internationally recognized as both providing a framework to assist the adoption of business excellence principles, and an effective way of measuring how thoroughly this adoption has been incorporated.
Several business excellence models exist world-wide. While variations exist, these models are all remarkably similar. The most common include;
- Baldrige (MBNQA) – Used in over 25 countries including US and NZ
- European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) – Used throughout Europe
- Singapore Quality Award Model – Singapore
- Japan Quality Award Model – Japan
- Canadian Business Excellence Model – Canada
- Australian Business Excellence Framework (ABEF) – Australia
Business Excellence Frameworks
A Business Excellence Framework is an integrated leadership and management system that describes the elements essential to sustainable organizational excellence. An organization can use a Business Excellence Framework to:
- Achieve stronger financial performance
- Create visionary and inspirational leadership
- Drive innovation in products and services
- Focus on customer service and satisfaction
- Increase market penetration and revenue
- Create effective business planning processes
- Raise productivity and reduce operating cost
- Engage teams in the process of improvement and increase staff satisfaction
- Improve decision-making capabilities and increase capacity to manage change.
- Be recognized for your achievements in excellence and best practice in the Australian Business Excellence Awards.
- Demonstrate to key stakeholders that the organization has a structured and systematic approach to improving and achieving best practices and excellence.
source: Ramesh Kandadai
Business Excellence Awards
In general, business excellence models have been developed by national bodies as a basis for award programs. For most of these bodies, the awards themselves are secondary in importance to the wide-spread take up of the concepts of business excellence, which ultimately lead to improved national economic performance. Often awards programs operate at a local, regional and national level to recognize and celebrate the achievement of all levels of organizational maturity. It is through these award programs that an organization can be assessed and justifiably claim to operate at World Class levels of performance. Awards are usually only given to those organizations that have been assessed as “excellent” through a rigorous awards process using independent teams of evaluators to assess award applicants. It was recently estimated that there are at least 76 countries operating a business excellence award program at a national level.