Business Excellence models

90There are several different models for each of these techniques, such as the Baldrige model and Balanced Scorecard. We will not attempt to go into detail here about the different models, but will confine ourselves to consideration of the techniques in principle.

Business Excellence models are widely seen as important for any organisation that aims to be world class. The models are constantly evolving as the world’s highest performing companies study and develop them as they strive to drive their performance up. They provide a convenient framework to asses and recognise business performance.

Business excellence models do include performance measures, and ensure the system works productively by monitoring and improving performance, and encouraging continuous performance improvement. They also usually align the targeted measures with strategy.

The objective is to provide a clear Vision and perspective to the workforce, recognise the unique business situation and tailor the solution for maximise performance to the individual circumstances. Also to establish a culture of continuous improvement and systematic problem solving.

European Foundation for Quality Management model

The Business Excellence Model was originally developed by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM). British and European Governments are committed to encouraging organisations to use it.

The principle is that the user carries out a self-assessment against the 9 box model supplied. The expectation is that improvements can be made through understanding the processes the company uses and how these turn into value for the customer.

According to the UK’s department of Trade and Industry, the Model acknowledges that a company’s processes allow its staff to produce results. They call these “Enablers”. There are nine criteria in the model, each given a weighting.

The model says that all results are achieved by the management driving policy and strategy, using people, resources and processes, to deliver excellent key performance results.
The five ” enabler ”criteria consider how the organisation approaches “Excellence” in terms of Leadership , Policy and Strategy, People, Partnerships and Resources, and Processes

The four “Results” criteria consider what the organisation has achieved for stakeholders. The four results areas are Customer Results, People Results, Society Results, and Key Performance Results.

Lean management

Lean management is a business model that supports continuous improvement, systematically seeking incremental changes in processes that will produce improved efficiency and quality.


In some instances registration for, and adoption of a standard, for example ISO9000, is a prerequisite of trading with huge numbers of organisations.

It has to be said that there are dissenters who believe some of the standards and models are irrelevant and bureaucratic, and add no value.

As ever, it is up to management to be sure they are investing time and resources wisely, and to constantly evaluate the cost/benefit they are getting from using any particular framework or methodology.