There’s an old saying, “Quality is the best business plan.”
As the quality leader here at Businessolver, I couldn’t agree more. Over the past several months, we’ve been putting quality at the heart of everything we do. From more process documentation to embracing DMAIC methodology, we’ve been vigorously working toward organizational excellence and quality across all areas of our business. To help guide us, we have been leveraging the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.
For those that have been following our Baldrige journey, we formally submitted our application for review earlier this year. As the next step in our journey to work toward the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for performance excellence, we recently welcomed the Iowa state Baldrige board of examiners to our Des Moines office for an onsite visit.
During our site visit, 12 examiners met with our executive leaders during 12 one-hour sessions to verify and clarify statements in our initial application. Basically, they told us to “prove it” – show we’ve implemented the quality processes as stated in our application. Examiners sat in on various company meetings, from daily department stand ups to role-specific tribe meetings, and went through demos and presentations of different systems that we use. Examiners also met with employees from every Businessolver department over 10 separate hours to informally verify, clarify, and ask questions.
Later this month, we’ll receive an in-depth feedback report from the examiners. The feedback report will tell us where our strengths are and where our opportunities for improvement are, based on the Baldrige Criteria. Our executive leadership team will review the report and identify what areas should have more focus and what strengths should be leveraged. This report and evaluation of our organization will be vital to tracking our improvement, consistency, and overall quality and effectiveness over time.
Sharing our knowledge
As we become a more quality-driven organization, what would be the point of all this preparation and learning if we didn’t pay it forward? In addition to examiners coming onsite, nine fellow Solvers have completed examiner training and are involved in reviewing and visiting other applicants in the state. Our commitment to developing our team and supporting other organizations has been a great experience; they can bring back and share their learning with other Solvers and use it to continuously help our quality initiative.
Having previously been involved in 14 on- and offsite Baldrige visits, I can truthfully say that we performed very well for a first-year applicant. We learned a lot during the onsite visit and are looking forward to receiving our feedback in December. We are already seeing positive changes just from the process and preparation for applying for the Baldrige award. It’s exciting to see Solvers truly embracing the rigor and discipline. My favorite part? I’m no longer the one asking, “Is there a process for that?” My coworkers are beating me to it!