Criteria for Performance Excellence


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1 Leadership (120 pts.)

The Leadership category examines how your organization’s senior leaders’ personal actions guide and sustain your organization. Also examined are your organization’s governance system and how your organization fulfills its legal, ethical, and societal responsibilities and supports its key communities.

1.1 Senior Leadership: How do your senior leaders lead? (70 pts.)

Describe how senior leaders' actions guide and sustain your organization. Describe how senior leaders communicate with your workforce and encourage high performance.

Within your response, include answers to the following questions:

a. Vision, Values, and Mission (1) How do senior leaders set organizational vision and values? How do senior leaders deploy your organization’s vision and values through your leadership system, to the workforce, to key suppliers and partners, and to Customers and other stakeholders, as appropriate? How do senior leaders' personal actions reflect a commitment to the organization’s values?

(2) How do senior leaders personally promote an organizational environment that fosters, requires, and results in legal and ethical behavior?

(3) How do senior leaders create a sustainable organization? How do they create an environment for organizational performance improvement, the accomplishment of your mission and strategic objectives, innovation, competitive or role-model performance leadership, and organizational agility? How do they create an environment for organizational and workforce learning? How do they develop and enhance their personal leadership skills? How do they participate in organizational learning, in succession planning, and in the development of future organizational leaders?

b. Communication and Organizational Performance
(1) How do senior leaders communicate with and engage the entire workforce? How do senior leaders encourage frank, two-way communication throughout the organization? How do senior leaders communicate key decisions? How do they take an active role in reward and recognition programs to reinforce high performance and a Customer and business focus?

(2) How do senior leaders create a focus on action to accomplish the organization’s objectives, improve performance, and attain its vision? What performance measures do senior leaders regularly review to identify needed actions? How do senior leaders include a focus on creating and balancing value for Customers and other stakeholders in their organizational performance expectations?

Notes:

N1. Organizational vision (1.1a[1]) should set the context for strategic objectives and action plans, which are described in Items 2.1 and 2.2.

N2. A sustainable organization (1.1a[3]) is capable of addressing current business needs and possesses the agility and strategic management to prepare successfully for its future business and market environment. In this context, the concept of innovation includes both technological and organizational innovation to succeed in the future. A sustainable organization also ensures a safe and secure environment for the workforce and other key stakeholders. An organization’s contributions to environmental, social, and economic systems beyond those of its workforce and immediate stakeholders are considered in its societal responsibilities (Item 1.2).

N3. A focus on action (1.1b[2]) considers the strategy, the workforce, the work systems, and the hard assets of your organization. It includes both innovation and ongoing improvements in productivity that may be achieved through eliminating waste or reducing cycle time, and it might use techniques such as six sigma and lean. It also includes the actions to accomplish your organization’s strategic objectives.

N4. Your organizational performance results should be reported in Items 7.1–7.6.

N5. For nonprofit organizations that rely on volunteers to accomplish their work, responses to 1.1b(1) also should discuss your efforts to communicate with and engage the volunteer workforce.

How well does your organization meet this Category Item?

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Poor Below Average Average Above Average Excellent


1.2 Governance and Social Responsibilities: How do you govern and fulfill your societal responsibilities? (50 pts.)

Describe your organization’s governance system and approach to leadership improvement. Describe how your organization ensures legal and ethical behavior, fulfills its societal responsibilities, and supports its key communities.

Within your response, include answers to the following questions:

a. Organizational Governance (1) How does your organization review and achieve the following key aspects of your governance system?
  • accountability for management’s actions
  • fiscal accountability
  • transparency in operations and selection of and disclosure policies for governance board members, as appropriate
  • independence in internal and external audits
  • protection of stakeholder and stockholder interests, as appropriate

(2) How do you evaluate the performance of your senior leaders, including the chief executive? How do you evaluate the performance of members of the governance board, as appropriate? How do senior leaders and your governance board use these performance reviews to further their development and to improve both their personal leadership effectiveness and that of your board and leadership system, as appropriate?

b. Legal and Ethical Behavior (1) How do you address any adverse impacts on society of your products and operations? How do you anticipate public concerns with current and future products and operations? How do you prepare for these concerns in a proactive manner, including conserving natural resources and using effective supply chain management processes, as appropriate? What are your key compliance processes, measures, and goals for achieving and surpassing regulatory and legal requirements, as appropriate? What are your key processes, measures, and goals for addressing risks associated with your products and operations?

(2) How does your organization promote and ensure ethical behavior in all your interactions? What are your key processes and measures or indicators for enabling and monitoring ethical behavior in your governance structure, throughout your organization, and in interactions with Customers, partners, suppliers and other stakeholders? How do you monitor and respond to breaches of ethical behavior?

c. Societal Responsibilities and Support of Key Communities (1) How do you consider societal well-being and benefit as part of your strategy and daily operations? How do you consider the well-being of environmental, social, and economic systems to which your organization does or may contribute?

(2) How does your organization actively support and strengthen your key communities? What are your key communities? How do you identify these communities and determine areas for organizational involvement, including areas related to your core competencies? How do your senior leaders, in concert with your workforce, contribute to improving these communities?

Notes:

N1. Societal responsibilities in areas critical to your organization’s ongoing marketplace success also should be addressed in strategy development (Item 2.1) and in process management (Category 6). Key results, such as results of regulatory and legal compliance (including the results of mandated financial audits); reductions in environmental impacts through the use of “green” technology, resource-conserving activities, or other means; or improvements in social impacts, such as the global use of enlightened labor practices, should be reported as Leadership Outcomes (Item 7.6).

N2. Transparency in operations of your governance board (1.2a[1]) should include your internal controls on governance processes. For some nonprofit organizations, an external advisory board may provide some or all of the governance board functions. For those nonprofit organizations that serve as stewards of public funds, stewardship of those funds and transparency in operations are areas of emphasis.

N3. Leadership Performance evaluation (1.2a[2]) might be supported by peer reviews, formal performance management reviews, and formal or informal workforce and other stakeholder feedback and surveys. For some nonprofit and government organizations, external advisory boards might evaluate the performance of senior leaders and the governance board.

N4. Measures or indicators of ethical behavior (1.2b[2]) might include the percentage of independent board members, measures of relationships with stockholder and nonstockholder constituencies, instances of ethical conduct breaches and responses, survey results on employee perceptions of organizational ethics, ethics hotline use, and results of ethics reviews and audits. They also might include evidence that policies, workforce training, and monitoring systems are in place with respect to conflicts of interest and proper use of funds.

N5. Areas of societal contributions and community support appropriate for 1.2c might include your efforts to improve the environment (e.g., collaboration to conserve the environment or natural resources); strengthen local community services, education, and health; and improve the practices of trade, business, or professional associations.

N6. The health and safety of your workforce are not addressed in Item 1.2; you should address these workforce factors in Item 5.2.

N7. Nonprofit organizations should report in 1.2b(1), as appropriate, how they address the legal and regulatory requirements and standards that govern fundraising and lobbying activities.

N8. For some charitable organizations, societal contributions and support for key communities (1.2c) may occur totally through the mission-related activities of the organization. In such cases, it is appropriate to respond with any “extra efforts” you devote to support of these communities.

How well does your organization meet this Category Item?
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Poor Below Average Average Above Average Excellent


2 Strategic Planning (85 pts.)

The Strategic Planning category examines how your organization develops strategic objectives and action plans. Also examined are how your chosen strategic objectives and action plans are deployed and changed if circumstances require, and how progress is measured.

2.1 Strategy Development: How do you develop your strategy? (40 pts.)

Describe how your organization establishes its strategy to you address its strategic challenges and leverage its strategic advantages. Summarize your organization’s key strategic objectives and their related goals.

Within your response, include answers to the following questions:

a. Strategy Development Process (1) How does your organization conduct its strategic planning? What are the key process steps? Who are the key participants? How does your process identify potential blind spots? How do you determine your core competencies, strategic challenges and strategic advantages (identified in your Organizational Profile)? What are your short- and longer-term planning time horizons? How are these time horizons set? How does your strategic planning process address these time horizons?

(2) How do you ensure that strategic planning addresses the key factors listed below? How do you collect and analyze relevant data and information pertaining to these factors as part of your strategic planning process:

  • your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
  • early indications of major shifts in technology, markets, products, Customer preferences, competition, or the regulatory environment
  • long-term organizational sustainability, including needed core competencies
  • your ability to execute the strategic plan

b. Strategic Objectives

(1) What are your key strategic objectives and your timetable for accomplishing them? What are your most important goals for these strategic objectives?

(2) How do your strategic objectives address your strategic challenges and strategic advantages? How do your strategic objectives address your opportunities for innovation in products, operations, and your business model? How do your strategic objectives address current and future core competencies? How do you ensure that your strategic objectives balance short- and longer-term challenges and opportunities? How do you ensure that your strategic objectives consider and balance the needs of all key stakeholders?

Notes:

N1. “Strategy Development” refers to your organization’s approach (formal or informal) to preparing for the future. Strategy development might utilize various types of forecasts, projections, options, scenarios, knowledge (see 4.2a for relevant organizational knowledge), or other approaches to envisioning the future for purposes of decision making and resource allocation. Strategy development might involve participation by key suppliers, distributors, partners, and Customers. For some nonprofit organizations, strategy development might involve participation by organizations providing similar services or drawing from the same donor population or volunteer workforce.

N2. The term “strategy” should be interpreted broadly. Strategy might be built around or lead to any or all of the following: new products; redefinition of key Customer groups or market segments; new core competencies; revenue growth via various approaches, including acquisitions, grants, and endowments; divestitures; new partnerships and alliances; and new employee or volunteer relationships. Strategy might be directed toward becoming a preferred supplier, a local supplier in each of your major Customers’ or partners’ markets, a low-cost producer, a market innovator, or a high-end or customized product or service provider. It also might be directed toward meeting a community or public need.

N3. Your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (2.1a[2]) should address all factors that are key to your organization’s future success, including the following, as appropriate: your Customer and market requirements, expectations, and opportunities; your opportunities for innovation and role-model performance; your core competencies; your competitive environment and your performance relative to competitors and comparable organizations; your product life cycle; technological and other key innovations or changes that might affect your products and services and how you operate, as well as the rate of that innovation; your workforce and other resource needs; your ability to capitalize on diversity; your opportunities to redirect resources to higher-priority products, services, or areas; financial, societal, ethical, regulatory, technological, security, and other potential risks and opportunities; your ability to prevent and respond to emergencies, including natural or other disasters; changes in the national or global economy; partner and supply chain requirements, strengths, and weaknesses; changes in your parent organization; and other factors unique to your organization.

N4. Your ability to execute the strategic plan (2.1a[2]) should address your ability to mobilize the necessary resources and knowledge. It also should address your organizational agility based on contingency plans or, if circumstances require, a shift in plans and rapid execution of new or changed plans.

N5. Strategic objectives that address key challenges and advantages (2.1b[2]) might include rapid response, customization, co-location with major Customers or partners, workforce capability and capacity, specific joint ventures, virtual manufacturing, rapid innovation, ISO quality or environmental systems registration, Web-based supplier and Customer relationship management, and product and service quality enhancements. Responses to Item 2.1 should focus on your specific challenges and advantages—those most important to your ongoing success and to strengthening your organization’s overall performance.

N6. Item 2.1 addresses your overall organizational strategy, which might include changes in product offerings and Customer engagement processes. However, the item does not address product design or Customer engagement strategies; you should address these factors in Items 6.1 and 3.1, as appropriate.

How well does your organization meet this Category Item?
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Poor Below Average Average Above Average Excellent


2.2 Strategy Deployment: How do you deploy your strategy? (45 pts.)

Describe how your organization converts its strategic objectives into action plans. Summarize your organization’s action plans, how they are deployed, and key action plan performance measures or indicators. Project your organization’s future performance relative to key comparisons on these key performance measures or indicators.

Within your response, include answers to the following questions:

a. Action Plan Development and Deployment

(1) What are your key short- and longer-term action plans? What are the key planned changes, if any, in your products, your Customers and markets, and how you will operate?

(2) How do you develop and deploy action plans throughout the organization to your workforce and to key suppliers and partners, as appropriate, to achieve your key strategic objectives? How do you ensure that the key outcomes of your action plans can be sustained?

(3) How do you ensure that financial and other resources are available to support the accomplishment of your action plans, while meeting current obligations? How do you allocate these resources to support the accomplishment of the plans? How do you assess and manage the financial and other risks associated with the plans?

(4) How do you establish and deploy modified action plans if circumstances require a shift in plans and rapid execution of new plans?

(5) What are your key human resource or workforce plans to accomplish your short- and longer-term strategic objectives and action plans? How do the plans address potential impacts on people in your workforce and any potential changes to workforce capability and capacity needs?

(6) What are your key performance measures or indicators for tracking the achievement and effectiveness of your action plans? How do you ensure that your overall action plan measurement system reinforces organizational alignment? How do you ensure that the measurement system covers all key deployment areas and stakeholders?

b. Performance Projection

For the key performance measures or indicators identified in 2.2a(6), what are your performance projections for both your short- and longer-term planning time horizons? How are these projections determined? How does your projected performance compare with the projected performance of your competitors or comparable organizations? How does it compare with key benchmarks, goals, and past performance, as appropriate? If there are current or projected gaps in performance against your competitors or comparable organizations, how will you address them?

Notes:

N1. Strategy and action plan development and deployment are closely linked to other items in the criteria. The following are examples of key linkages:

  • Item 1.1 for how your senior leaders set and communicate organizational direction;
  • Category 3 for gathering Customer and market knowledge as input to your strategy and action plans and for deploying action plans;
  • Category 4 for measurement, analysis, and knowledge management to support your key information needs, to support your development of strategy, to provide an effective basis for your performance measurements, and to track progress relative to your strategic objectives and action plans;
  • Category 5 for meeting your workforce capability and capacity needs, for workforce development and learning system design and needs, and for implementing workforce-related changes resulting from action plans;
  • Category 6 for changes to core competencies, work systems, and work process requirements resulting from your action plans; and
  • Item 7.6 for specific accomplishments relative to your organizational strategy and action plans.

N2. Measures and indicators of projected performance (2.2b) might include changes resulting from new ventures; organizational acquisitions or mergers; new value creation; market entry and shifts; new legislative mandates, legal requirements, or industry standards; and significant anticipated innovations in products and technology.

How well does your organization meet this Category Item?
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Poor Below Average Average Above Average Excellent


3 Customer Focus (85 pts.)

The Customer Focus category examines how your organization engages its Customers for long-term marketplace success. This engagement strategy includes how your organization builds a Customer-focused culture. Also examined is how your organization listens to the voice of its Customers and uses this information to improve and identify opportunities for innovation.

3.1 Customer Engagement: How do you engage Customers to serve their need and build relationships? (40 pts.)

Describe how your organization determines product offerings and mechanisms to support Customers’ use of your products. Describe also how your organization builds a Customer-focused culture.

Within your response, include answers to the following questions:

a. Product Offerings and Customer Support
(1) How do you identify and innovate product offerings to meet the requirements and exceed the expectations of your Customer groups and market segments (identified in your Organizational Profile)? How do you identify and innovate product offerings to attract new Customers and provide opportunities for expanding relationships with existing Customers, as appropriate?

(2) How do you determine your key mechanisms to support use of your products and enable Customers to seek information and conduct their business with you? What are your key means of Customer support, including your key communication mechanisms? How do they vary for different Customers, Customer groups, or market segments? How do you determine your Customer’ key support requirements? How do you ensure that Customer support requirements are deployed to all people and processes involved in Customer support?

(3) How do you keep your approaches for identifying and innovating product offerings and for providing Customer support current with business needs and directions?

b. Building a Customer Culture

(1) How do you create an organizational culture that ensures a consistently positive Customer experience and contributes to Customer engagement? How do your workforce performance management system and your workforce and leader development systems reinforce this culture?

(2) How do you build and manage relationships with Customers to

  • your acquire new Customers
  • meet their requirements and exceed their expectations in each stage of the Customer life cycle; and
  • increase their engagement with you?

(3) How do you keep your approaches for creating a Customer-focused culture and building Customer relationships current with business needs and directions?

Notes:

N1. “Customer engagement” refers to your Customers’ investment in your brand and product offerings. Characteristics of engagement include Customer retention and loyalty, Customers’ willingness to make an effort to do business—and to increase business—with your organization, and Customers’ willingness to actively advocate for and recommend your brand and product offerings.

N2. “Product offerings” and “products” refer to the goods and services that you offer in the marketplace. Product offerings (3.1a[1]) should consider all the important characteristics of products and services and their performance throughout their full life cycle and the full “consumption chain.” The focus should be on features that affect Customer preference and loyalty— for example, those features that differentiate your products from competing offerings or other organizations’ services. Those features might include price, reliability, value, delivery, timeliness, ease of use, requirements for the use and disposal of hazardous materials, Customer or technical support, and the sales relationship. Key product features also might take into account how transactions occur and factors such as Customer data privacy and security. Your results on performance relative to key product features should be reported in Item 7.1, and those concerning Customer perceptions and actions (outcomes) should be reported in Item 7.2.

N3. The goal of Customer support (3.1a[2]) is to make your organization easy to do business with and responsive to your Customers’ expectations.

N4. Customer relationship building (3.1b[2]) might include the development of partnerships or alliances with Customers.

N5. The Customer life cycle (3.1b[2]) begins in the pre-sale period and should include all stages of your involvement with the Customer. This might include relationship building, the active business relationship, and an exit strategy, as appropriate.

How well does your organization meet this Category Item?
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Poor Below Average Average Above Average Excellent


3.2 Voice of the Customer: How to you obtain and use information from your Customers? (45 pts.)

Describe how your organization listens to your Customers and acquires satisfaction and dissatisfaction information. Describe also how Customer information is used to improve your marketplace success.

Within your response, include answers to the following questions:

a. Customer Listening (1) How do you listen to Customers to obtain actionable information and to obtain feedback on your products and your Customer support? How do your listening methods vary for different Customers, Customer groups, or market segments? How do your listening methods vary across the Customer life cycle? How do you follow up with Customers on the quality of products, Customer support, and transactions to receive immediate and actionable feedback?

(2) How do you listen to former Customers, potential Customers, and Customers of competitors to obtain actionable information and to obtain feedback on your products, Customer support, and transactions, as appropriate?

(3) How do you manage Customer complaints? How does your Customer complaint management process ensure that complaints are resolved promptly and effectively? How does your Customer complaint management process enable you to recover your Customers’ confidence, and enhance their satisfaction and engagement? How does your complaint management system enable aggregation and analysis of complaints for use in improvement throughout your organization and by your partners, as appropriate?

b. Determination of Customer Satisfaction and Engagement
(1) How do you determine Customer satisfaction and engagement? How do these determination methods differ among Customer groups and market segments, as appropriate? How do your measurements capture actionable information for use in exceeding your Customers’ expectations and securing your Customers’ engagement? How do your determination methods enable aggregation and analysis of data for use in improvement throughout your organization and by your partners, as appropriate?

(2) How do you obtain and use information on your Customers’ satisfaction relative to their satisfaction with your competitors? How do you obtain and use information on your Customers’ satisfaction relative to the satisfaction levels of Customers of other organizations providing similar products or to industry benchmarks, as appropriate?

(3) How do you determine Customer dissatisfaction? How do your measurements capture actionable information for use in meeting your Customers’ requirements and exceeding their expectations in the future? How do your determination methods enable aggregation and analysis of data for use in improvement throughout your organization and by your partners, as appropriate?

c. Analysis and Use of Customer Data
(1) How do you use Customer, market, and product offering information to identify current and anticipate future Customer groups and market segments? How do you consider Customers of competitors and other potential Customers and markets in this segmentation? How do you determine which Customers, Customer groups, and market segments to pursue for current and future products?

(2) How do you use Customer, market, and product offering information to identify and anticipate key Customer requirements (including products and product features) and changing expectations and their relative importance to Customers’ purchasing or relationship decisions? How do you identify and anticipate how these requirements and changing expectations will differ across Customers, Customer groups, and market segments and across the Customer life cycle?

(3) How do you use Customer, market, and product offering information to improve marketing, build a more Customer-focused culture, and identify opportunities for innovation?

(4) How do you keep your approaches for Customer listening; determination of Customer satisfaction, dissatisfaction, and engagement; and use of Customer data current with business needs and directions?

Notes:

N1. The “voice of the Customer” refers to your process for capturing Customer-related information. Voice-of-the-Customer processes are intended to be proactive and continuously innovative to capture stated, unstated, and anticipated Customer requirements, expectations, and desires. The goal is to achieve Customer engagement. Listening to the voice of the Customer might include gathering and integrating various types of Customer data, such as survey data, focus group findings, warranty data, and complaint data that affect Customers’ purchasing and engagement decisions.

N2. Customer listening information could include marketing and sales information, Customer engagement data, win/loss analysis, and complaint data. “Actionable information” refers to specific aspects of your products and Customer interactions that affect Customers’ future relationships with your organization.

N3. Determining Customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction (3.2b) might include the use of any or all of the following: surveys, formal and informal feedback, Customer account histories, complaints, field reports, win/loss analysis, Customer referral rates, and transaction completion rates. Information might be gathered on the Web, through personal contact or a third party, or by mail. Determining Customer dissatisfaction should be seen as more than reviewing low Customer satisfaction scores. Dissatisfaction should be independently determined to identify root causes of dissatisfaction and enable a systematic remedy to avoid future dissatisfaction.

N4. Other organizations providing similar products (3.2b[2]) might include organizations that are not competitors but provide similar products in other geographic areas or to different populations.

How well does your organization meet this Category Item?
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Poor Below Average Average Above Average Excellent


4 Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management (90 pts.)

The Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management category examines how your organization selects, gathers, analyzes, manages, and improves its data, information, and knowledge assets and how it manages its information technology. The category also examines how your organization reviews and uses reviews to improve its performance.

4.1 Measurement, analysis, and Improvement of Organizational Performance: How do you measure, analyze, and then improve organizational performance? (45 pts.)

Describe how your organization measures, analyzes, reviews, and improves its performance through the use of data and information at all levels and in all parts of your organization.

Within your response, include answers to the following questions:

a. Performance Measurement
(1) How do you select, collect, align, and integrate data and information for tracking daily operations and for tracking overall organizational performance, including progress relative to strategic objectives and action plans? What are your key organizational performance measures, including key short-term and longer-term financial measures? How frequently are these measures determined? How do you use these data and information to support organizational decision making and innovation?

(2) How do you select and ensure the effective use of key comparative data and information to support operational and strategic decision making and innovation?

(3) How do you keep your performance measurement system current with business needs and directions? How do you ensure that your performance measurement system is sensitive to rapid or unexpected organizational or external changes?

b. Performance Analysis and Review
How do you review organizational performance and capabilities? What analyses do you perform to support these reviews and to ensure that conclusions are valid? How do you use these reviews to assess organizational success, competitive performance, and progress relative to strategic objectives and action plans? How do you use these reviews to assess your organization’s ability to respond rapidly to changing organizational needs and challenges in your operating environment?

c. Performance Improvement
How do you translate organizational performance review findings into priorities for continuous and breakthrough improvement and into opportunities for innovation? How are these priorities and opportunities deployed to work group and functional-level operations throughout your organization to enable effective support for their decision making? When appropriate, how are the priorities and opportunities deployed to your suppliers, partners, and collaborators to ensure organizational Alignment?

Notes:

N1. Performance measurement (4.1a) is used in fact based decision making for setting and aligning organizational directions and resource use at the work unit, key process, departmental, and organizational levels.

N2. Comparative data and information (4.1a[2]) are obtained by benchmarking and by seeking competitive comparisons. “Benchmarking” refers to identifying processes and results that represent best practices and performance for similar activities, inside or outside your organization’s industry. Competitive comparisons relate your organization’s performance to that of competitors and other organizations providing similar products and services.

N3. Organizational performance reviews (4.1b) should be informed by organizational performance measurement, performance measures reported throughout your criteria item responses, and performance measures reviewed by senior leaders (1.1b[2]), and they should be guided by the strategic objectives and action plans described in Items 2.1 and 2.2. The reviews also might be informed by internal or external Baldrige assessments.

N4. Analysis (4.1b) includes examining performance trends; organizational, industry, and technology projections; and comparisons, cause-effect relationships, and correlations. Analysis should support your performance reviews, help determine root causes, and help set priorities for resource use. Accordingly, analysis draws on all types of data: Customer-related, financial and market, operational, and competitive.

N5. The results of organizational performance analysis and review should contribute to your organizational strategic planning in Category 2.

N6. Your organizational performance results should be reported in Items 7.1–7.6.

How well does your organization meet this Category Item?
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Poor Below Average Average Above Average Excellent


4.2 Management of Information, Knowledge, and Information Technology: How do you manage your information, organizational knowledge, and information technology? (45 pts.)

Describe how your organization ensures the quality and availability of needed data, information, software, and hardware for your workforce, suppliers, partners, collaborators, and Customers. Describe how your organization builds and manages its Knowledge assets.

Within your response, include answers to the following questions:

a. Data, Information, and Knowledge Management
(1) How do you ensure the following properties of your organizational data, information, and knowledge?
  • Accuracy
  • Integrity and reliability
  • Timeliness
  • Security and confidentiality

(2) How do you make needed data and information available? How do you make them accessible to your workforce, suppliers, partners, collaborators, and Customers, as appropriate?

(3) How do you manage organizational knowledge to accomplish

  • the collection and transfer of workforce knowledge;
  • the transfer of relevant knowledge from and to Customers, suppliers, partners, and collaborators;
  • the rapid identification, sharing, and implementation of best practices; and
  • the assembly and transfer of relevant knowledge for use in your strategic planning process.

b. Management of Information Resources and Technology
(1) How do you ensure the following properties of your organizational data, information, and knowledge?

(2) In the event of an emergency, how do you ensure the continued availability of hardware and software systems and the continued availability of data and information?

(3) How do you keep your data and information availability mechanisms, including your software and hardware systems, current with business needs and directions and with technological changes in your operating environment?

Notes:

N1. Data and information access (4.2a[2]) might be via electronic or other means.

How well does your organization meet this Category Item?
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Poor Below Average Average Above Average Excellent


5 Workforce Focus (85 pts.)

The Workforce Focus category examines how your organization engages, manages, and develops your workforce to utilize its full potential in alignment with your organization’s overall mission, strategy, and action plans. The category examines your ability to assess workforce capability and capacity needs and to build a workforce environment conducive to high performance.

5.1 Workforce Engagement: How do you engage your workforce to achieve organizational and personal success? (45 pts.)

Describe how your organization engages, compensates, and rewards your workforce to achieve high performance. Describe how members of your workforce, including leaders, are developed to achieve high performance. Describe how you assess workforce engagement and use the results to achieve higher performance.

Within your response, include answers to the following questions:

a. Workforce Enrichment
(1) How do you determine the key factors that affect workforce engagement? How do you determine the key factors that affect workforce satisfaction? How are these factors determined for different workforce groups and segments?

(2) How do you foster an organizational culture that is characterized by open communication, high-performance work, and an engaged workforce? How do you ensure your organizational culture benefits from the diverse ideas, cultures, and thinking of your workforce?

(3) How does your workforce performance management system support high-performance work and workforce engagement? How does your workforce performance management system consider workforce compensation, reward, recognition, and incentive practices? How does your workforce performance management system reinforce a Customer and business focus and achievement of your action plans?

b. Workforce and Leader Development

(1) How does your learning and development system address the following factors for your workforce and your leaders?
  • your organization’s core competencies, strategic challenges, and accomplishment of its action plans, both short-term and long-term
  • organizational performance improvement and innovation
  • ethics and ethical business practices
  • the breadth of development opportunities, including education, training, coaching, mentoring, and work-related experiences, as appropriate

(2) How does your learning and development system address the following factors for your workforce?

  • their learning and development needs, including those that are self-identified and those identified by supervisors and managers
  • the transfer of knowledge from departing or retiring workers
  • the reinforcement of new knowledge and skills on the job

(3) How do you evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of your learning and development systems?

(4) How do you manage effective career progression for your entire workforce? How do you accomplish effective succession planning for management and leadership positions?

c. Assessment of Workforce Engagement

(1) How do you assess workforce engagement? What formal and informal assessment methods and measures do you use to determine workforce engagement and workforce satisfaction? How do these methods and measures differ across workforce groups and segments? How do you use other indicators, such as workforce retention, absenteeism, grievances, safety, and productivity to assess and improve workforce engagement?

(2) How do you relate your workforce engagement assessment findings to key business results reported in Category 7 to identify opportunities for improvement in both workforce engagement and business results?

Notes:

N1. “Workforce” refers to the people actively involved in accomplishing the work of your organization. It includes your organization’s permanent, temporary, and part-time personnel, as well as any contract employees supervised by your organization. It includes team leaders, supervisors, and managers at all levels. People supervised by a contractor should be addressed in Category 6 as part of your larger work systems. For nonprofit organizations that also rely on volunteers, “workforce” includes these volunteers.

N2. “Workforce engagement” refers to the extent of workforce commitment, both emotional and intellectual, to accomplishing the work, mission, and vision of the organization.

N3. The characteristics of “high-performance work” environments (5.1a[2] and 5.1a[3]) in which people do their utmost for the benefit of their Customers and for the success of the organization are key to understanding an engaged workforce. These characteristics are described in detail in the definition of “high-performance work” on page 58.

N4. Compensation, recognition, and related reward and incentive practices (5.1a[3]) include promotions and bonuses that might be based on performance, skills acquired, and other factors. In some government organizations, compensation systems are set by law or regulation. However, since recognition can include monetary and nonmonetary, formal and informal, and individual and group mechanisms, reward and recognition systems do permit flexibility.

N5. Your organization may have unique considerations relative to workforce development, learning, and career progression. If this is the case, your response to 5.1b should include how you address these considerations.

N6. Identifying improvement opportunities (5.1c[2]) might draw on your workforce-focused results presented in Item 7.4 and might involve addressing workforce-related problems based on their impact on your business results reported in response to other Category 7 items.

How well does your organization meet this Category Item?
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5.2 Workforce Environment: How do you build an effective and supportive workforce environment? (40 pts.)

Describe how your organization manages workforce capability and capacity to accomplish the work of the organization. Describe how your organization maintains a safe, secure, and supportive work climate.

Within your response, include answers to the following questions:

a. Workforce Capability and Capacity
(1) How do you assess your workforce capability and capacity needs, including skills, competencies, and staffing levels?

(2) How do you recruit, hire, place, and retain new members of your workforce? How do you ensure your workforce represents the diverse ideas, cultures, and thinking of your hiring and Customer community?

(3) How do you manage and organize your workforce to accomplish the work of your organization, capitalize on the organization’s core competencies, reinforce a Customer and business focus, exceed performance expectations, address your strategic challenges and action plans, and achieve the agility to address changing business needs?

(4) How do you prepare your workforce for changing capability and capacity needs? How do you manage your workforce, its needs, and your needs to ensure continuity, to prevent workforce reductions, and to minimize the impact of workforce reductions, if they do become necessary?

b. Workforce Climate

(1) How do you address workplace environmental factors to ensure and improve workforce health, safety, and security? What are your performance measures and improvement goals for each of these workforce needs? What are any significant differences in these factors and performance measures or targets for different workplace environments?

(2) How do you support your workforce via policies, services, and benefits? How are these tailored to the needs of a diverse workforce and different workforce groups and segments?

Notes:

N1. “Workforce capability” (5.2a) refers to your organization’s ability to accomplish its work processes through the knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies of its people. Capability may include the ability to build and sustain relationships with your Customers; to innovate and transition to new technologies; to develop new products, services, and work processes; and to meet changing business, market, and regulatory demands. “Workforce capacity” (5.2a) refers to your organization’s ability to ensure sufficient staffing levels to accomplish its work processes and successfully deliver your products to your Customers, including the ability to meet seasonal or varying demand levels.

N2. Workforce capability and capacity should consider not only current needs but also future requirements based on your strategic objectives and action plans reported in Category 2.

N3. Preparing your workforce for changing capability and capacity needs (5.2a[4]) might include training, education, frequent communication, considerations of workforce employment and employability, career counseling, and outplacement and other services.

How well does your organization meet this Category Item?
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Poor Below Average Average Above Average Excellent


6 Process Management (85 pts.)

The Process Management category examines how your organization designs its work systems and how it designs, manages, and improves its key processes for implementing those work systems to deliver Customer value and achieve organizational success and sustainability. Also examined is your readiness for emergencies.

6.1 Work Systems: How do you design your work systems (35 pts.)

Describe how your organization designs its work systems and determines its key processes to deliver Customer value, prepare for potential emergencies, and achieve organizational success and sustainability.

Within your response, include answers to the following questions:

a. Work Systems Design
(1) How do you design and innovate your overall work systems? How do you decide which processes within your overall work systems will be internal to your organization (your key work processes) and which will use external resources?

(2) How do your work systems and key work processes relate to and capitalize on your core competencies?

b. Key Work Processes

(1) What are your organization’s key work processes? How do these processes contribute to delivering Customer value, profitability or financial return, organizational success, and sustainability?

(2) How do you determine key work process requirements, incorporating input from Customers, suppliers, partners, and collaborators, as appropriate? What are the key requirements for these processes?

c. Emergency Readiness

How do you ensure work system and workplace preparedness for disasters or emergencies? How does your disaster and emergency preparedness system consider prevention, management, continuity of operations, and recovery?

Notes:

N1. “Work systems” refers to how the work of your organization is accomplished. Work systems involve your workforce, your key suppliers and partners, your contractors, your collaborators, and other components of the supply chain needed to produce and deliver your products and business and support processes. Your work systems coordinate the internal work processes and the external resources necessary for you to develop, produce, and deliver your products to your Customers and to succeed in your marketplace.

N2. Your key work processes (6.1b[1]) are your most important internal value creation processes and might include product design and delivery, Customer support, supply chain management, business, and support processes. Your key work processes are the processes that involve the majority of your organization’s workforce and produce Customer, stakeholder, and stockholder value.

N3. Disasters and emergencies (6.1c) might be weather-related, utility-related, security-related, or due to a local or national emergency, including potential pandemics. Emergency considerations related to information technology should be addressed in Item 4.2.

How well does your organization meet this Category Item?
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Poor Below Average Average Above Average Excellent


6.2 Work Processes: How do you design, manage, and improve your key organizational work processes? (50 pts.)

Describe how your organization designs, implements, manages, and improves its key work processes to deliver Customer value and achieve organizational success and sustainability.

Within your response, include answers to the following questions:

a. Work Process Design
How do you design and innovate your work processes to meet all the key requirements? How do you incorporate new technology, organizational knowledge, and the potential need for agility into the design of these processes? How do you incorporate cycle time, productivity, cost control, and other efficiency and effectiveness factors into the design of these processes?

b. Work Process Management (1) How do you implement and manage your work processes to ensure that they meet design requirements? How does your day-to-day operation of these processes ensure that they meet key process requirements? How is workforce, Customer, supplier, partner, and collaborator input used in managing these processes, as appropriate? What are your key performance measures or indicators and in-process measures used for the control and improvement of your work processes?

(2) How do you control the overall costs of your work processes? How do you prevent defects, service errors, and rework and minimize warranty costs or Customers’ productivity losses, as appropriate? How do you minimize the costs of inspections, tests, and process or performance audits, as appropriate?

c. Work Process Improvement
How do you improve your work processes to achieve better performance, to reduce variability, to improve products, and to keep the processes current with business needs and directions? How do you incorporate the results of the organizational performance reviews discussed in response to Item 4.1 into the systematic evaluation and improvement of your work processes? How are work process improvements and lessons learned shared with other organizational units and processes to drive organizational learning and innovation?

Notes:

N1. To improve process performance (6.2c) and reduce variability, your organization might implement approaches such as a Lean Enterprise System, Six Sigma methodology, use of ISO quality systems standards, the Plan-Do-Check-Act methodology, or other process improvement tools. These approaches might be part of your performance improvement system described in response to P.2c in the Organizational Profile.

N2. The results of improvements in product performance should be reported in Item 7.1. All other work process performance results should be reported in Item 7.5.

How well does your organization meet this Category Item?
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Poor Below Average Average Above Average Excellent


7 Results (450 pts.)

The Results category examines your organization’s performance and improvement in all key areas— product outcomes, Customer-focused outcomes, financial and market outcomes, workforce-focused outcomes, process effectiveness outcomes, and leadership outcomes. Performance levels are examined relative to those of competitors and other organizations with similar product offerings.

7.1 Product Outcomes: What are your product performance results? (100 pts.)

Summarize your organization’s key product performance results. Segment your results by product offerings, Customer groups, and market segments, as appropriate. Include appropriate comparative data.

Provide data and information to answer the following questions:

a. Product Results
What are your current levels and trends in key measures or indicators of product performance that are important to your Customers? How do these results compare with the performance of your competitors and other organizations with similar product offerings?

Notes:

N1. Product results reported in this item should relate to the key product features identified as Customer requirements and expectations in P.1b(2), based on information gathered in Items 3.1 and 3.2. The measures or indicators should address factors that affect Customer preference, such as those included in Item P.1, Note 5, and Item 3.1, Note 2.

N2. For some nonprofit organizations, product or service performance measures might be mandated by your funding sources. These measures should be identified and reported in your response to this item.

How well does your organization meet this Category Item?
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Poor Below Average Average Above Average Excellent


7.2 Customer-Focused Outcomes: What are your Customer-focused performance results? (70 pts.)

Summarize your organization’s key Customer-focused results for Customer satisfaction, dissatisfaction, and engagement. Segment your results by product offerings, Customer groups, and market segments, as appropriate. Include appropriate comparative data.

Provide data and information to answer the following questions:

a. Customer-Focused results
(1) What are your current levels and trends in key measures or indicators of Customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction? How do these results compare with the Customer satisfaction levels of your competitors and other organizations providing similar products?

(2) What are your current levels and trends in key measures or indicators of Customer relationship building and engagement? How do these results compare over the course of your Customer life cycle, as appropriate?

Notes:

N1. What are your current levels and trends in key measures or indicators of Customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction? How do these results compare with the Customer satisfaction levels of your competitors and other organizations providing similar products?

N2. What are your current levels and trends in key measures or indicators of Customer relationship building and engagement? How do these results compare over the course of your Customer life cycle, as appropriate?

How well does your organization meet this Category Item?
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Poor Below Average Average Above Average Excellent


7.3 Financial and Market Outcomes: What are your financial and marketplace performance results? (70 pts.)

Summarize your organization’s key financial and marketplace performance results by market segments or Customer groups, as appropriate. Include appropriate comparative data.

Provide data and information to answer the following questions:

a. Financial and Market Results
(1) What are your current levels and trends in key measures or indicators of financial performance, including aggregate measures of financial return, financial viability, or budgetary performance, as appropriate?

(2) What are your current levels and trends in key measures or indicators of marketplace performance, including market share or position, market and market share growth, and new markets entered, as appropriate?

Notes:

N1. Responses to 7.3a(1) might include aggregate measures of financial return, such as return on investment (ROI), operating margins, profitability, or profitability by market segment or Customer group. Responses also might include measures of financial viability, such as liquidity, debt-to-equity ratio, days cash on hand, asset utilization, and cash flow. Measures should relate to the financial measures reported in 4.1a(1) and the financial management approaches described in Item 2.2. For nonprofit organizations, additional measures might include performance to budget, reserve funds, cost avoidance or savings, administrative expenditures as a percentage of budget, and the cost of fundraising versus funds raised.

N2. For nonprofit organizations, responses to 7.3a(2) might include measures of charitable donations or grants and the number of new programs or services offered.

How well does your organization meet this Category Item?
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Poor Below Average Average Above Average Excellent


7.4 Workforce-Focused Outcomes: What are your workforce-focused performance results? (70 pts.)

Summarize your organization’s key workforce-focused results for workforce engagement and for your workforce environment. Segment your results to address the diversity of your workforce and to address your workforce groups and segments, as appropriate. Include appropriate comparative data.

Provide data and information to answer the following questions:

a. Workforce Results
(1) What are your current levels and trends in key measures or indicators of workforce engagement and workforce satisfaction?

(2) What are your current levels and trends in key measures or indicators of workforce and leader development?

(3) What are your current levels and trends in key measures of workforce capability and capacity, including staffing levels and appropriate skills?

(4) What are your current levels and trends in key measures or indicators of your workforce climate, including workforce health, safety, and security and workforce services and benefits, as appropriate?

Notes:

N1. Results reported in this item should relate to processes described in Category 5. Your results should be responsive to key work process needs described in Category 6 and to your organization’s action plans and human resource or workforce plans described in Item 2.2.

N2. Responses to 7.4a(1) should include measures and indicators identified in response to 5.1c(1).

N3. Nonprofit organizations that rely on volunteers should include results for their volunteer workforce, as appropriate.

How well does your organization meet this Category Item?
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Poor Below Average Average Above Average Excellent


7.5 Process Effectiveness Outcomes: What are your process effectiveness results (70 pts.)

Summarize your organization’s key operational performance results that contribute to the improvement of organizational effectiveness, including your organization’s readiness for emergencies. Segment your results by product offerings, by Customer groups and market segments, and by processes and locations, as appropriate. Include appropriate comparative data.

Provide data and information to answer the following questions:

a. Process Effectiveness Results
(1) What are your current levels and trends in key measures or indicators of the operational performance of your work systems, including work system and workplace preparedness for disasters or emergencies?

(2) What are your current levels and trends in key measures or indicators of the operational performance of your key work processes, including productivity, cycle time, and other appropriate measures of process effectiveness, efficiency, and innovation?

Notes:

N1. Results reported in Item 7.5 should address your key operational requirements as presented in the Organizational Profile and in Items 6.1 and 6.2. Include results not reported in Items 7.1–7.4.

N2. Results reported in Item 7.5 should provide key information for analysis and review of your organizational performance (Item 4.1); demonstrate use of organizational knowledge (Item 4.2); and provide the operational basis for product outcomes (Item 7.1), Customer-focused outcomes (Item 7.2), and financial and market outcomes (Item 7.3).

N3. Appropriate measures and indicators of work system performance (7.5a[1]) might include audit, just-in-time delivery, and acceptance results for externally provided products, services, and processes; supplier and partner performance; product, service, and work system innovation rates and results; simplification of internal jobs and job classifications; work layout improvements; changing supervisory ratios; response times for emergency drills or exercises; and results for work relocation or contingency exercises.

How well does your organization meet this Category Item?
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Poor Below Average Average Above Average Excellent


7.6 Leadership Outcomes: What are your leadership results? (70 pts.)

Summarize your organization’s key governance and senior leadership results, including evidence of strategic plan accomplishments, fiscal accountability, legal compliance, ethical behavior, societal responsibility, and support of key communities. Segment your results by organizational units, as appropriate. Include appropriate comparative data.

Provide data and information to answer the following questions:

a. Leadership and Societal Responsibility Results
(1) What are your results for key measures or indicators of accomplishment of your organizational strategy and action plans?

(2) What are your key current findings and trends in key measures or indicators of governance and fiscal accountability, both internal and external, as appropriate?

(3) What are your results for key measures or indicators of regulatory and legal compliance?

(4) What are your results for key measures or indicators of ethical behavior and of stakeholder trust in the senior leaders and governance of your organization? What are your results for key measures or indicators of breaches of ethical behavior?

(5) What are your results for key measures or indicators of your organization’s fulfillment of its societal responsibilities and your organization’s support of its key communities?

Notes:

N1. Measures or indicators of strategy and action plan accomplishment (7.6a[1]) should address your strategic objectives and goals identified in 2.1b(1) and your action plan performance measures and projected performance identified in 2.2a(6) and 2.2b, respectively.

N2. Responses to 7.6a(2) might include financial statement issues and risks, important internal and external auditor recommendations, and management’s responses to these matters. For some nonprofit organizations, results of IRS 990 audits also might be included.

N3. Regulatory and legal compliance results (7.6a[3]) should address requirements described in 1.2b. Workforce-related occupational health and safety results (e.g., Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA] reportable incidents) should be reported in 7.4a(4).

N4. For examples of measures of ethical behavior and stakeholder trust (7.6a[4]), see Item 1.2, Note 4.

N5. Responses to 7.6a(5) should address your organization’s societal responsibilities discussed in 1.2b(1) and 1.2c(1), as well as support of the key communities discussed in 1.2c(2). Measures of contributions to societal well-being might include reduced energy consumption; the use of renewable energy resources, recycled water, and alternative approaches to conserve resources (e.g., increased audio and video conferencing); and the global use of enlightened labor practices.

How well does your organization meet this Category Item?
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