When people ask me why they should score their Baldrige application or assessment, I give them two reasons.
First, I tell them that the score is a measure of the quality of their management system. Raising that score is a key indicator that their management system is improving.
Second, the scores measure the quality of every area in their management systems. Whether you score your assessment on your own or get scores from the Baldrige or state award programs, each Item and each Category are evaluated based on the quality of your processes (Categories 1-6) and your results (Category 7).
The scores for the application/assessment and each Category and Item in it reflect the strengths and opportunities for improvement identified by those who did the evaluation. The Scoring Guidelines in the Criteria booklets tell you what you aspire to achieve in each area.
Process guidelines address:
- How systematic and effective your approach is
- How well it responds to the Item requirements
- How well it is deployed
- How systematically it is refined
- How it contributes to organizational learning
- How well it is integrated with your organization’s needs
Results guidelines address:
- How results address key customer, market, process, and action plan requirements
- Performance levels
- Benchmark comparisons with competitors and others
The lowest score I’ve ever seen was Iredell-Statesville Schools’ report of scoring 83 points out of 1,000 on its first Baldrige assessment. The highest I’ve heard of in recent years is around 700 points for Baldrige Award winners. In my experience, most organizations score from 200 to 300 points on their first assessment/application—no matter how good they think they are.
That’s another reason to score your application/assessment: It is often an eye-opening experience.