What is Organisational or Business Excellence?
Business Excellence refers to a holistic model for guiding the management of an organisation to deliver Balanced Sustainable Performance comparable to the best in the field. The model stems primarily from the work of Dr Edwards Deming and encourages the application of key principles, practices and tools on key organisational systems.
The Influence of Edwards Deming
Deming in his writing and teaching focused on the idea of quality involving delivering what the market wanted at a price they would pay but in a dependable and reliable way.
- This implied acquiring a deep understanding of what a market (customer) needed and then designing the value stream to deliver the desired experience. Doing this in a reliable, dependable and efficient way would place any organisation in a very strong competitive and sustainable position.
- This approach raised issues about reducing waste. Deming outlined a chain reaction where reducing waste and rework would improve productivity, increase value added work, reduce non value add work (wasteful and slow practices) and so reduce costs and improve quality – win more of the market etc.
- Given the many external and internal factors that affect work in a Value Stream it’s not surprising that there are always gaps between the ideal and actual operation. Improving the organisation by learning why things are happening and then making changes that are a measurable improvement to close the gaps is a key aspect of Deming’s approach. Again any organisations that can identify their strategic and operational priorities for improvement and carries them out are likely to sustain high levels of performance.
- In Post-war Japan, Deming and Juran worked with the country’s industrial leaders (including the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers) to apply their principles to the reconstruction work going on in Japan.
- The success of Japan Post WW2 led people around the world to pay attention to Deming’s ideas. He conducted seminars around the world through the 80′s onwards and consulted to many organisations and governments receiving many awards. He is considered the original management consultant!
- His work was interpreted and absorbed into the many Organisational Excellence Frameworks around the world like the Australian, Baldridge and European Frameworks. Many countries have Excellence Awards based on his ideas.
The model shown provides a view of the major elements of the Organisational or Business Excellence Frameworks. The drivers of Excellence are seen as the areas of Leadership and Customer Focus. Strategy, Information and People are seen as enablers of Excellence. Processes are the core by which Excellence is created finally delivering high levels of performance against a balanced set of indicators. Each of these areas is broken down into key performance systems within an organisation. These vary across the frameworks of the world. However, there is great consistency in models used.
The model is based on the practice of key principles (such as Outside In Thinking, Systems Thinking, Statistical Thinking) within these areas of an organisation.