Business Excellence Practices for Self-Assessment

Introduction

Business Excellence is regularly depicted as remarkable practices in dealing with organizational improvements and attaining results, all given a set of crucial concepts or values. These practices have developed into models to demonstrate how an excellent organization ought to function. The models have been produced and improved because of continued investigations of practices and values of the world’s most astounding performing companies. They reflect the outcomes of sustained quality improvement efforts.

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Summary of the Articles

The article, “An award journey for business excellence: the case study of a public sector unit” by Pankaj Madan explores the implementation of total quality management (TQM) that lasted nine years at Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL). Notably, this was an award-winning quality improvement effort (the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) model-based CII-EXIM Award for Business Excellence) following a successful completion at one of the largest power generation equipment producers in India. The article presents specific information about business processes and management practices applied by BHEL during its TQM implementation using the EFQM model. The result is presented as an outstanding TQM implementation that captured critical decisions made by the management team and learning processes that led to its success. In short, the article provides a thorough assessment of how the process of implementation was executed through deploying the model and how its evaluation provided a chance for BHEL to understand vital aspects of its operations, strengths, weaknesses, and determine areas that needed further improvements (Madan, 2010).

The Heavy Electrical Equipment Plant (HEEP) of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) at Hardwar is a company focused on quality improvement to reflect business excellence. The company has noted success in quality improvement. For instance, successful implementation of the ISO certification in 1993, the launching of TQM in HEEP in 1995, and the OHSAS accreditation in 2002, the adoption of the European Foundation for Quality in Management (EFQM) model for business excellence, and CIIEXIM Bank excellence award evaluation. Consequently, it was recognized as the greatest manufacturing plant in India in CII evaluation in 2006. As such, the article, “Fit between organizational culture and business excellence: A case study of heavy electrical equipment plant, BHEL” by Ashish Sinha and Bindu Arora sought to determine whether HEEP had a strong excellence-driven culture. The results indicated that the value of total organizational culture was just strong, but demonstrating opportunities for further improvement in many areas (Sinha & Arora, 2012).

A Business Excellence Model Preferred for Self-assessment in the Organization

Business excellence models are concepts that when used in an organization can assist to advance ideas and activity in a more deliberate and organized way, which should lead to better performance. The models are comprehensive in that they concentrate upon all factors and measurements of an organization, and specifically, elements that drive performance. These models are universally applied as both giving a system to help the application of business excellence standards and a compelling method of assessing how this application has been executed. A business excellence evaluation is the best method to determine the strength of an organization. There are many instruments accessible to help assist organizations to conduct business excellence assessment and, as such, it might be difficult to select the best tool. Notably, most of these business excellence models are the same and show the successful management cultures of best-performing organizations.

In this case, the EFQM Business Excellence Model is preferred because it is widely applied across Europe and other countries, such as the UAE (Business Excellence Tools, 2017). The EFQM Excellence Model captures the premises and the set of quality management (QM) constructs, which are mainly applied in assessments (Escrig & de Menezes, 2015). The Model is made up of five process enablers, which are the activities an organization must perform to develop and execute its strategy (EFQM, 2013).

Leadership

The organization will rely on leaders who can shape the direction, are seen as role models, and able to inspire trust in followers at all times. The leaders are expected to be flexible, supportive, and anticipate events to act in a timely fashion to ensure excellent performances.

Policy and Strategy

The organization will execute its mission and vision by creating a stakeholder-driven approach. Hence, policies, plans, aims, and procedures are created and used to deliver the strategy.

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People

The organization will review its relationship with people. Excellent organizations are known to hold their workforce in high esteem and develop a culture that ensures mutually beneficial relationships for both organizational and individual goals. Excellent organizations promote workforce capabilities and advance equality and justice. Such organizations care for people, communicate, reward, and acknowledge, in a manner that encourages people, creates commitment, and allows employees to apply their skills and knowledge for organizational benefits.

Partnerships and Resources

The organization will strategize and concentrate on improving relationships with external partners using internal resources to support its objectives, strategies, policies, and excellent processes. It will also focus on better environmental management and positive impacts on society.

Processes

The organization would design, control, and revamp processes, products, and services to create more value for customers and other stakeholders.

The EFQM Excellence Model has four Results areas, which an organization achieves, according to its strategic goals. Across all Customer Results, People Results, Society Results, and Business Results, the organization is expected to realize and sustain excellent results that meet or exceed the needs and expectations of all stakeholders (EFQM, 2013).

The Fundamental Concepts of Excellence present the basis for attaining long-term excellence in any organization. These eight concepts can be applied as the foundation to explain the features of excellent organizational culture and act as the common language for senior executives. Notably, each concept is unique and important in its way, but an optimal benefit is derived when an organization integrates all the concepts into its culture. The eight Fundamental Concepts are:

  • Results orientation
  • Customer focus
  • Leadership and constancy of purpose
  • Management by processes and facts
  • People development and involvement
  • Continuous learning, innovation, and improvement
  • Partnership development
  • Public responsibility

The organization is expected to rely on its strengths while implementing the EFQM Excellence Model instead of adopting a general method that depicts the framework as a set of standards that must be strictly adhered to in efforts to realize business excellence (Escrig & de Menezes, 2015).

Specific Criteria the Organization Would Need to Improve If It Goes for Self-assessment through the EFQM Model

People

Most of the people in the organization are generally highly qualified with diverse backgrounds, including academics, engineering, business, and scientific areas. Additionally, there are also junior people with limited experiences and qualifications. They all want to promote innovation, for instance. Consequently, they tend to have high expectations for the organization to provide learning and exposure to unique and inspiring concepts, and to demonstrate recognition for individuals making major contributions beyond any extrinsic rewards. The significance of innovation in promoting business excellence to ensure that customer and stakeholder expectations are met is likewise high. Thus, the appropriateness of approaches designed to manage the people dimension of the organization is critical. Organizational management practices create a good basis for its management culture, specifically for values expected of senior leaders, such as transparency, integrity, motivator, communicator, and innovation. People’s improvement would focus, for instance, on improving creativity, innovativeness, and motivation within and outside the organization to its network of stakeholders.

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In turn, the organization will also expect people to support its strategy, as it strives to develop knowledge and capabilities, ensure aligned interests, engagement, and empowered people. Moreover, effective communication is expected throughout the organization, as well as, rewards and recognitions.

Partnership

The organization operates within a web of partnerships to advance its mission. More importantly, some of these relationships are based on agreements, contracts, mutual understandings, trust, and cooperation. The capability of the organization to develop and maintain such a network is important for creating business excellence.

The effective partnership ensures the proper distribution of resources. In addition to improved governance, alignment of the allocation, and the use of resources against strategic goals should be determined by ensuring that resources are utilized most effectively to realize the mission and vision of the organization.

The organization would ensure that partners, suppliers, and other stakeholders are sufficiently managed for sustainable advantages. Additionally, resources, such as finances, physical assets, natural resources, and technological resources, are managed to ensure sustained success, environmental sustainability, and to support the delivery of strategic goals. Finally, information and knowledge would be managed in a manner that supports the effective decision-making and developing abilities of the staff.

Leadership

The organization has a mission to realize economic, social, environmental, and other forms of development by enhancing business excellence. To realize this mission, leadership is extremely important, and it may change during the transition. Personnel in the organization are anticipated to display strong leadership qualities, including integrity, dedication, and abilities to adapt to the changing needs of multiple stakeholders and complex organizational structures. The leaders of the organization have a critical role in strategic and executional decision-making and ensuring better performance is maintained. More importantly, leadership should ensure that organizational processes are carried out in a way that promotes the realization of goals and ultimately success. For leaders of the organization, the first agenda should ensure set goals with direction and strategic focus. Additionally, they must also establish monitoring and controlling systems for evaluating the performance of the organization.

Leadership would be responsible for promoting the mission, vision, and values of the organization while they act as role models. They would be expected to define, observe, review, and advance the move toward business excellence through effective organizational management and sustained performance. Leaders will also engage all stakeholders and reinforce a culture of excellence while ensuring flexibility and effective management of change processes.

How the Organizational Culture of the Organization Would Support or Go Against Achieving Business Excellence Compared to BHEL in India

Organizational culture is seen as an intricate and multi-layer element considered in several aspects of quality management. Hence, it has been important for researchers to explore the influences of organizational culture on quality management (Sinha & Arora, 2012). It is demonstrated that quality management and organizational culture are interconnected, and organizational culture should support any quality improvement efforts for them to be successful (Gogheri, Nawaser, Vesal, Jahanshahi, & Kazi, 2013). The interrelation is noted on the influence of quality management on organizational culture, on one hand. On the other hand, aspects of organizational culture also affect the implementation of quality improvement initiatives and their subsequent applications.

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In the case of BHEL, supportive aspects of organizational culture were identified. First, leadership for the company was highly rated (identified under the advanced category), but not to the excellent standards considered as necessary for attaining excellence. Nonetheless, it favored the realization of business excellence. Additionally, BHEL culture also supported innovation. When the policy and strategy outcomes were evaluated, they were strongly associated with planning, structure, systems, and innovation factors, and the score was considered advanced but not excellent. These attributes of organizational culture were also seen as extremely useful for attaining business excellence. Additionally, several other factors, including job performance, the orientation of new employees, individual development, communication, appraisal, cooperation, commitment, and conflict management showed strong relations with people management, but the score was advanced. These aspects of organizational culture supported quality improvement at BHEL.

For the organization, it is observed that the current leadership is not ready to support business excellence efforts. Hence, leadership change is necessary. Leadership for the excellent organization is expected to shape the future and provide direction, act as role models, and inspire followers. The organization will need to adopt a culture of flexibility to respond in a timely fashion for change initiatives. Leadership is anticipated to change to advance a culture of workforce engagement, empowerment, ownership, development, and accountability demonstrated in individual actions, experiences, and behaviors. Effective leadership will support individuals to develop their expertise and overcome challenges associated with innovation, attain their goals and targets, and recognize related efforts. Organizational leadership should also promote a culture that drives the generation of new ideas to support innovation and development. It is also required to support diversity and equality to support equal opportunities.

Organizational leadership is required to create a total quality culture to ensure a supportive environment is available to drive business excellence. The leadership of the organization, therefore, is required to create a flexible, adaptive culture to reflect the changing needs of all stakeholders and react swiftly to create a competitive advantage. Hence, a culture of quality should be the ultimate goal for organizational leadership to ensure business excellence. The leadership should inspire followers to identify problems in their departments and develop the best solutions. The current traditional practices of the status quo have not driven innovation and change adoption because managers and leaders have failed to facilitate idea generation and problem-solving. Leaders will be expected to allocate sufficient resources to drive the implementation of quality improvement efforts. More importantly, they are required to be personally involved in the change processes and act as champions of the project and role models. Personal engagement of leaders would lead to the successful involvement of others and effective evaluations of outcomes for improvement.

A Holistic Excellence Strategy through which the Organization May Improve Its Performance

This preferred holistic excellence strategy would address the following eight areas to enhance performance.

  • Delighting customers: the organization has both external and internal customer relationships. Irrespective of the type of relationship, it must ensure that, by operational customer feedback mechanisms, it sufficiently comprehends all issues of these groups. It must anticipate potential changes in customers’ needs and wants. As such, a constant dialogue with customers and maintaining relationships will drive trust, teamwork, organizational performance, and business excellence (Parks & Hilvert, 2016).
  • Results from vision and strategic planning: this component of the strategy will help the organization to present a strategic plan for several years to support the mission. It would ensure that personnel act more strategically to drive the vision.
  • Developing culture from values: this strategy underscores the relevance of developing a quality work culture from organizational values. Organizational values would become the core factors in the workforce management system in areas such as, recruiting, hiring, orientation, management performance appraisals, and dismissal, as well as in policies and processes.
  • Comprehending and integrating leadership and management: senior executives will have to know the distinction between leadership and management and integrate their features in the organization. The role of leadership has been previously mentioned. Management will implement the vision and strategies using appropriate planning, budgeting, staffing, communication, task designs, and feedback.
  • Employee engagement and passion: the organization will have to create engaged employees by focusing on what they value, leading to a passion for their jobs.
  • Maximizing performance: maximizing employee competence is vital for organizational excellence. The organization would achieve this through selecting the right employees for the job, defining and detailing performance expectations, providing timely and specific performance feedback, providing a suitable workplace, using motivation through rewards and recognition, and developing employee skills and knowledge through training.
  • Measuring progress: measures would be predictive for critical progress to attain excellence.
  • Managing change: senior executives are expected to lead change by example.

References

Business Excellence Tools. (2017). Benchmarking and performance excellence self-assessment. Web.

EFQM. (2013). An overview of the EFQM excellence model. Web.

Escrig, A. B., & de Menezes, L. M. (2015). What characterizes leading companies within business excellence models? An analysis of “EFQM recognized for excellence”recipients in Spain. International Journal of Production Economics, 169, 362-375. Web.

Gogheri, A. S., Nawaser, K., Vesal, S. M., Jahanshahi, A. A., & Kazi, R. (2013). Which organizational culture moves towards organizational excellency. Asian Social Science, 9(11), 221-236. Web.

Madan, P. (2010). An award journey for business excellence: The case study of a public sector unit. Total Quality Management, 21(12), 1343–1364. Web.

Parks, J., & Hilvert, C. (2016). In search of organizational excellence? Just put eight key strategies together! Web.

Sinha, A., & Arora, B. (2012). Fit between organizational culture and business excellence: A case study of heavy electrical equipment plant, BHEL. Vikalpa, 37(3), 19-27.

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