SWOT using the Baldrige Framework

Assessing your organization on a regular basis is a pre-requisite to strategic planning. One of the most widely accepted approaches for assessing strength's, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) is the Malcolm Baldrige Model. The Baldrige Model provides a structure for measuring and assessing organizational excellence by assigning points to various categories:

2000 Baldrige Template for SWOT Assessment
1. Leadership (125 points)
1.1 Organizational Leadership
1.2 Corporate Responsibility
2. Strategic Planning (85 points)
2.1 Strategic Development
2.2 Strategy Deployment
3. Customer and Market Focus (85 points)
3.1 Customer and Market Knowledge
3.2 Customer Satisfaction and Relationships
4. Information and Analysis (85 points)
4.1 Measures of Organizational Performance
4.2 Analysis of Organizational Performance
5. Human Resource Focus (85 points)
5.1 Work Systems
5.2 Employee Education, Training, and Development
5.3 Employee Well Being and Satisfaction
6. Process Management (85 points)
6.1 Product and Service Processes
6.2 Support Processes
6.3 Supplier and Partnering Processes
7. Business Results (450 points)
7.1 Customer Focused Results
7.2 Financial and Market Results
7.3 Human Resource Results
7.4 Supplier and Partner Results
7.5 Organizational Effectiveness Results

Let's quickly review the above template:

1. Leadership – An organization must have direction and guidance from an overall leadership system. Leadership systems include a balanced and strong executive management team, an effective organizational structure, and other attributes that allow the organization to move quickly without over-reliance on one single leader (such as the Chief Executive Officer).

2. Strategic Planning – Strategizing must be an integral part of the business and strategic planning drives much of what happens. Additionally, strategic planning has a quick turnaround; i.e. people spend most of their time trying to execute strategies as opposed to developing strategies.

3. Customer and Market Focus – You must clearly identify your customer and understand the marketplace. Customer requirements and their satisfaction are critical, but you must go beyond this and build customer alliances and relationships for customer retention.

4. Information and Analysis – You must collect quality data and transform it for timely and effective decision making. A performance measurement system (such as the Balanced Scorecard) and competitive intelligence are two primary components behind information and analysis.

5. Human Resource Focus – An overall human resource management system must be in place for maximizing human resource capital. This can include numerous components – hiring practices, compensation plans, recruiting, job design, reward / recognition programs, training, safety, and employee satisfaction.

6. Process Management – Products and services require various business processes. Numerous issues must be properly managed: Supply chain efficiency, consistency in delivery of products / services, quality improvement, control over defects / complaints, performance measurement, etc.

7. Business Results – The final category within the Baldrige Model are the results of the business. This is “proof positive” that you are successfully executing on the other six categories and as a result, almost half the points are assigned to this category.

The Baldrige Model has received worldwide acceptance as a means for gauging the health of an organization. Using the Baldrige Model as part of your strategic planning process is often considered a “best practice” in strategizing. You can also expand your analysis for more detail audits, leading to compliance with ISO standards.

Finally, the Baldrige Model may not cover all the information you need to properly assess your organization. For example, intellectual capital (culture, technology, knowledge, brand recognition, etc.) is becoming increasingly important. Don't forget to include these critical areas in your SWOT analysis.

Note: You can download Assessment Templates for applying the Baldrige Quality Model. Go to www.exinfm.com/training and download the supplemental material for Short Course on Strategic Planning. You can also download my Strategic Planning Model. Also visit www.efqm.org to download the EFQM Excellence Model.

Written by: Matt H. Evans, CPA, CMA, CFM | Email: matt@exinfm.com | Phone: 1-877-807-8756

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