Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence

The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence provide a systems perspective for understanding performance management. They reflect validated, leading-edge management practices against which an organization can measure itself.

With their acceptance nationally and internationally as the model for performance excellence, the Criteria represent a common language for communication among organizations for sharing best practices. The Criteria are also the basis for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award process.

The Baldrige performance excellence criteria is a framework that any organization can use to improve overall performance.

Seven categories make up the award criteria: Leadership — Examines how senior executives guide the organization and how the organization addresses its responsibilities to the public and practices good citizenship.

Strategic planning — Examines how the organization sets strategic directions and how it determines key action plans.

Customer and market focus — Examines how the organization determines requirements and expectations of customers and markets; builds relationships with customers; and acquires, satisfies, and retains customers.

Measurement, analysis, and knowledge management — Examines the management, effective use, analysis, and improvement of data and information to support key organization processes and the organization’s performance management system.

Workforce focus — Examines how the organization enables its workforce to develop its full potential and how the workforce is aligned with the organization’s objectives.

Process management — Examines aspects of how key production/delivery and support processes are designed, managed, and improved.

Results — Examines the organization’s performance and improvement in its key business areas: customer satisfaction, financial and marketplace performance, human resources, supplier and partner performance, operational performance, and governance and social responsibility. The category also examines how the organization performs relative to competitors.