EFQM Levels of Excellence

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1 EFQM Levels of Excellence Committed to Excellence A Guide for Applicants 2007 EFQM It is the EFQM s intent to encourage the widespread use of this material within companies and organisations. However, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or communicated in any form or by any means (be this electronically, mechanically, through photocopy or recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission from the copyright owner." Version Page 1 of 33

2 Table of Contents Section Item Page 1 Introduction 3 2 Outputs from Self Assessment 3 3 Improving Performance Agreeing your prioritisation criteria Prioritising your improvements Planning your improvement activities Implementing your improvements 8 4 Validation Organising your site visit Preparing for your site visit Understanding what you can expect from your site visit Organisations that are not successful 11 Annex 1 Validation Profile 13 Annex 2 Focusing your Improvement Activity 18 Annex 3 Sample Improvement Project Plan 24 Annex 4 Applicant Feedback Form 45 Version Page 2 of 33

3 1. Introduction These guidelines have been produced for organisations applying for the Committed to Excellence scheme. Organisations have a choice of applying directly to the EFQM or one of its National Partner Organisations (NPO) and this determines who will organise validation of the Improvement Project Plan. As a European wide scheme, the standards required and process followed are identical, regardless of whether applications are made to the EFQM or NPO. During the first stage of the scheme you are required to complete a Self-Assessment using an EFQM or one of its National Partner Organisations (NPO s) endorsed assessment products. You may have also received support by an experienced Facilitator trained by the EFQM or NPO during your Self- Assessment. These guidelines aim to provide you with practical help and guidance for Stage 2 of the Scheme, validating your Improvement Project Plan. This requires independent validation that your Improvement Project Plan has been deployed. This will normally take place between 6-9 months after your assessment by a trained EFQM / NPO Validator during a site visit. 2. Outputs from Self-Assessment You will need to develop your Improvement Project Plan based on the outcome of your Self- Assessment. This must have been conducted using an EFQM or NPO endorsed assessment product based on the nine criteria of the EFQM Excellence model. Typically the outputs of a Self-Assessment will include: Strengths and Areas for Improvement against each of the 9 criterion of the EFQM Excellence Model. An evaluation of what your organisation currently does in relation to each of the 9 criterion of the EFQM Excellence Model. These outputs provide the information you need to develop and implement your Improvement Project Plan. 3. Improving Performance The main steps involved in improving performance are: Agreeing the criteria against which you will prioritise your improvement opportunities Prioritising your improvements Planning your improvement activities Implementing your improvements Version Page 3 of 33

4 You may find it helpful for the team involved in the Self-Assessment to contribute to the development of the Improvement Project Plan. This will ensure consistency of understanding between the team that prioritised the improvement opportunities and the team that will implement the Improvement Project Plan. It is important to recognise that most organisations are unlikely to have the resources available to implement all the improvements identified as outputs from their Self-Assessment. Concentrating on the vital few will enable you to focus on those factors with the highest impact on performance or achievement of organisational goals, once deployed. This means you will need to prioritise the improvements identified during your Stage 1Self-Assessment. 3.1 Agreeing your prioritisation criteria Before you prioritise your improvement actions it is important to determine and understand what criteria you will be using to do so. Applicants are always free to use whatever prioritisation methodology they prefer. This method will need to be explained briefly in the Improvement project template. One commonly used prioritisation tool (described below in 3.2 Prioritising your Improvements ) considers two dimensions - the impact the action will have on your performance or goals and your organisation s capability to implement it. Those actions with a significant early impact on organisational goals or performance, which are quick and easy to implement are likely to have a higher priority than those which are difficult to implement or are not likely to have an impact within the next 6-9 months. 3.2 Prioritising your improvements Your prioritisation criteria should be documented as part of your Improvement Project Plan, see Annex 3, Sample Improvement Project Plan, part 2 and part 4 for a worked example. Once you have agreed on your prioritisation criteria you can then proceed to prioritise your actions. An example of a Prioritisation Process: Step 1. Remove or combine any duplicate actions. Step 2. Group any common themes to create one broader action, re-wording if appropriate. Step 3. Use the prioritisation matrix to list all improvement initiatives in column A, see figure 1 below. (Refer to Annex 3, parts 2 and 4 for a worked example. This can be adapted to take account of your own prioritisation criteria if required) Step 4. For each initiative, consider the impact it will have on your goals or performance. Decide whether you think this will be high, medium, or low, and allocate the appropriate number of points (see figure 2) in column B of the prioritisation matrix. Version Page 4 of 33

5 Step 5. Then, for each action, consider the capability you have as an organisation to implement it within the next 6-9 months. Decide whether you think this will be high, medium, or low, and allocate the appropriate number of points (see figure 3) in column C of the matrix. Step 6. Calculate the score for each action by multiplying column B by column C, and insert the score in column D (see figure 1). Step 7. Finally, determine the ranking by simply re-ordering the actions by their score, i.e. the higher the score, the higher the ranking. Insert the ranking in column E (see figure 1). Step 8. Completing the prioritisation matrix will give you a much better understanding of which actions to focus on. However, there is no substitute for common sense and the matrix should only be used as a guide. Once you have completed your prioritisation matrix, take a step back and make sure your ranking of the actions feels right, amending any as appropriate. Examples of other factors to consider when doing this are: One action may build the foundations for others. Even though it may be particularly resource hungry, if it can be implemented within the 6-9 month timeframe, it would make sense to do it as an early action. An action may address such a fundamental performance gap that it needs to be addressed before other, dependant actions are tackled. It may seem logical to implement some actions in parallel with others. Step 9. Finally, decide how many actions you feel you can manage to deploy within the 6-9 month timeframe. You must tackle a minimum of 3 improvement actions in order to be considered for recognition. Clearly, more improvement actions can be undertaken depending on the size of the task and resource available. Figure 1 - Example of a completed Prioritisation Matrix A B C D E Action Impact Capability Score Ranking Implement process improvements to reduce customer-billing time by 2 weeks. Introduce a staff suggestion scheme Establish a system to measure customer satisfaction Version Page 5 of 33

6 Figure 2 - Suggested Prioritisation Criteria for Impact High Impact Medium Impact Low Impact 5 POINTS 3 POINTS 0 POINTS Will have a significant impact on one or more organisational goals or performance indicators in the next 6-9 months. Will have some impact on at least one organisational goal or performance indicator in the next 6-9 months. Is unlikely to have an impact on any organisational goals or performance indicators in the next 6-9 months. Figure 3 - Suggested Prioritisation Criteria for Capability High Capability Medium Capability Low Capability 5 POINTS 3 POINTS 0 POINTS Can be implemented within 6-9 months Uses relatively little resource to achieve Within the organisation s control Likely to be implemented within 6-9 months May require a reasonable amount of resource to achieve Is within the organisation s control Unlikely to be achieved within 6-9 months Will require a substantial amount of resource to achieve Is dependent upon factors external to the organisation. Once you have prioritised your actions and agreed the number you intend to deploy within the next 6-9 months, the next step is to develop your Improvement Project Plan. This will help you deploy and monitor your actions; as well as provide the documentation required for Site-Visit validation. 3.3 Planning your improvement activities A first draft of your Improvement Project Plan should be sent to the body to which you applied (EFQM or NPO) immediately after your Self-Assessment to confirm that the standard is appropriate for the scheme. Of particular interest will be the prioritisation criteria used, the relevance of the improvement initiatives to your organisation and the expected impact on organisational performance. This is designed to avoid Applicants spending 6-9 months deploying an Improvement Project Plan that is unlikely to meet the required standard. For each Improvement Initiative, a description of the Approach, planned Deployment, process for Assessment and Review and anticipated Results should be detailed. (Review Annex 3, part 6, for a worked example). The first draft Improvement Project Plan should be detailed although it is acknowledged that the sections about Deployment, Assessment and Review and Results will be at an early stage. Approximately 4-6 weeks before the Site Visit, an updated and fully documented Improvement Project Plan will be required. Version Page 6 of 33

7 The table below describes the sections required for each Improvement Initiative and provides guidance on how to complete them. Improvement Plan Headings A Title of Improvement Action B Owner of the action Explanation Ensure that the title of the improvement action is clear and understandable for the benefit of the Validator The person who has overall responsibility for ensuring that the action is deployed to the agreed standards and within the agreed timeframe. C Date for full deployment The date by which the action should be completed and fully deployed in line with the description provided under Deployment. D E Model Criterion impacted Current Status The EFQM Excellence Model criteria that the action is helping to address, e.g. 3 People. The current status of any action can be reported at any agreed review point: Red: Amber: Green: Deployment not on target Not yet due to be started / in progress and deployment on target Completed. The date of the review should be noted. F Results (Deployment Measurement) Measures or indicators used to assess whether the improvement action has been deployed within time scales and to its full potential (what should it look like) G Approach Description of the approach being taken to address the area for improvement The reasons why this approach was selected as a priority and the expected benefit to the organisation (e.g. explain the link to the business plan, the performance indicators or results that are expected to improve or the stakeholders expected to benefit) H Deployment A description of how the approach will be deployed, e.g. Who is responsible for implementation To which groups of people What areas of operation Key milestones What will full deployment look like The deployment measure to be used. Detail the measure, how often the data is to be collected and the associated targets. I Assessment and Review How will progress be monitored to ensure that the plan is on track and if necessary, corrections can be made? Version Page 7 of 33

8 3.4 Implementing your Improvements You will need to implement your actions as outlined in your Improvement Project Plan. Implementation will require regular monitoring to ensure that expected results are achieved. Part 6 of the Improvement Project Plan provides a framework to help do this. E Current Status The current status of any action can be reported at any agreed review point: Red: Amber: Green: Deployment not on target Not yet due to be started / in progress and deployment on target Completed. The date of the review should be noted. F I Results (Deployment Measurement) Assessment and Review Measures or indicators used to assess whether the improvement action has been deployed within time scales and to its full potential (what should it look like) How will progress be monitored to ensure that the plan is on track and if necessary, corrections can be made? This guide does not attempt to address the complexities of introducing change into an organisation, but the following list gives some guidance on areas to consider: Allocating overall responsibility for the Improvement Project Plan may make it easier to co-ordinate activities and monitor progress. Validation requires you to specify the owner of each improvement action - it may be helpful for you to define roles and responsibilities involved, e.g. reporting progress. To make sure your improvements are effective, you will need to have monitoring systems to check the progress of their deployment, measure their impact, and take corrective action as appropriate. Your Improvement Project Plan documentation provides a format to help you do this. You may wish to develop success criteria to help you determine whether your actions are having the desired effect. Effective communication can help the organisation to build acceptance and ownership of changes - you may wish to consider whether your communication process allows an appropriate level of input to the development and implementation of the Improvement Project Plan and keeps appropriate people informed of progress and changes. Depending on the scale and complexity of your actions, it may be worth considering some likely alternative scenarios and developing contingency plans to deal with them. To gain the benefits of your improvements you will need to make sure they are sustainable beyond the timeframe of the project plan, e.g. by integrating them into your normal operations. There are likely to be people within your organisation who are used to implementing change. You could use their experience to help you implement your Improvement Project Plan. Version Page 8 of 33

9 4. Validation Validation will require you to demonstrate that you have implemented a minimum of 3 actions to a prescribed standard. This will be confirmed by an independent trained EFQM or NPO Validator, using the RADAR scoring matrix. The framework that will be used by the Validator is described in Annex 1. You will receive a written report that will provide you with feedback on Strengths and Areas for improvement. The report will confirm whether you have been successfully recognised as Committed to Excellence. Organisations that are successful will receive a certificate and logo confirming that they have been recognised as Committed to Excellence, valid for two years. Certificates are dated and organisations should consider whether they wish to apply for Commitment to Excellence again at some time in the future or to progress towards Recognised for Excellence. Organisations who are not successful will receive guidance on where they need to improve before reapplying for Committed to Excellence. 4.1 Organising your site visit Your site visit will only be carried out upon your request and this should be done with the body you applied to (EFQM or your NPO) 6-9 months after you completed your Self-Assessment. You will receive an independent visit from a trained EFQM or NPO Validator who will evaluate deployment of your Improvement Project Plan. 4.2 Preparing for your site visit Once you have contacted the EFQM or your NPO to express your interest in a site visit, you will be allocated a trained Validator. Your Validator will contact you to agree the date for the Site Visit and let you know what is required. Your Validator will require the following information:- Your completed application form (the original application form that you completed when applying for Committed to Excellence. This will be provided by the EFQM or NPO) Outputs from your Self or Assisted Assessment Your completed Improvement Project Plan (Refer to Annex 3 for a worked example) which includes:- Version Page 9 of 33

10 Front page complete with your organisational information as follows: Name of Organisation Address Contact Person Telephone Number Fax Number Address Date of Self-Assessment The name of the organisation applying for Committed to Excellence. This is the name that will be on the certificate if the organisation is successful. Address where the site visit is to take place The Validator s prime contact person within the organisation Telephone number of the contact person Fax number of the contact person address of the contact person Date the Self-Assessment took place Part 1: Information about your Self Assessment Part 2a: The outcome of your Self-Assessment What Strengths were identified? Part 2b: The outcome of your Self-Assessment What Areas for Improvement were identified? Part 3: Prioritising your areas for improvement - How will you determine the importance of an improvement project? Part 4: Impact and relevance of your improvement projects Part 5: Planning of Part 6: Detailed description for each improvement action Other areas that your Validator may suggest that you consider are:- Ensuring that members of your Top Team (or as many as possible) are available for the site visit Arranging a cross section of employees to be available. They will be interviewed by your Validator in group or one to one discussions to test the deployment of your Improvement Project Plan. You should consider including volunteers who were involved in one or more of the following areas:- 1. Your Self Assessment 2. Development of the Improvement Project Plan 3. Implementation of the Improvement Project Plan 4. Those who were affected by the deployment of the Improvement Project Plan Organising some examples of support documentation, e.g. communication briefs, progress review meeting action points, etc. Organising meeting rooms and refreshments during the Site Visit. Version Page 10 of 33

11 4.3 Understanding what you can expect from your Site Visit As explained above your Validator will contact you to help you understand what you need to do to prepare for the visit and dispel any worries or concerns you may have. Your Validator will send you an outline agenda for the day so that you will know what to expect. Below is an example of a typical outline agenda: Agenda Items Introductions and meet top team Overview of the process to-date and explain the purpose of the Site Visit Define the success criteria for determining Committed to Excellence Explanation of the Site Visit Process and Data Collection - Structured Interviews based on the Improvement Project Plan Lunch Deployment Testing - Document Review Deployment Testing - Discussion with employees Preparation of Feedback Report and Presentation On Site Feedback Next Steps and Close At the end of the visit your Validator will provide you with feedback as to whether or not you have been successful. This will provide you with details of the areas where you did well or where there was room for improvement. Successful organisations will receive a certificate confirming that they have been recognised as Committed to Excellence. The Certificates are dated and are valid for two years and reflect the commitment demonstrated by the organisation at the time of the site visit. Many successful organisations will benefit from re-applying at some time in the future. A second application can help to consolidate an understanding of organisational assessment and reinforce a culture of continuous improvement. As the organisation gains experience it could consider applying for Recognised for Excellence. 4.4 In case your organisations is not successful Organisations that are not successful will receive guidance within their written report on where they need to improve before re-applying for Committed to Excellence. Applicants can request a new date for their Improvement Project Plan to be validated within 3 months of the first Site Visit. They will be able to use the same Improvement Project Plan or substituted Improvement Actions (as long as they were generated from the original Self-Assessment). Please contact the EFQM or NPO to discuss this option. A fee for the Site Visit will be payable. Version Page 11 of 33

12 If this option is not appropriate, re-applications for Committed to Excellence will be accepted only if the process begins with a new Self-Assessment. By this stage nearly one year will have elapsed since the first Self-Assessment and it is important that a new process confirms that Improvement Actions are relevant. It is recommended that an organisation, whether successful or not, should not go through more than 3 cycles of Commitment to Excellence as the benefits and learning are likely to have been maximised by this stage. Version Page 12 of 33

13 Annex 1 - Validation Profile The Validation Profile below, shows for each of the RADAR elements, the standard each Applicant is expected to demonstrate to be recognised as Committed to Excellence. Each Improvement Initiative will be evaluated against this profile and it will be used to inform the structure of the Site Visit. Validation requires that the applicant demonstrate that a minimum of two improvement actions meets the required validation profile of 32 or more attributes out of 65. The standard for each RADAR element must also be demonstrated. The third improvement action must at least demonstrate the minimum profile for Approach and Deployment (20 out of 35 attributes). This acknowledges that the timeframe for some improvement initiatives and the consequential benefits may only be evident beyond the Site Visit. However, there should be sufficient evidence that the initiative is sound and relevant. This will provide a common standard for all Applicants against which to assess their commitment to improve. The profile is illustrative, in that the shaded areas indicate where an Applicant could be reasonably expected to demonstrate the required level of evidence. The exact profile will vary from organisation to organisation but what is a requirement is the overall performance for each RADAR element. For Approach, organisations must demonstrate a minimum performance level of 60% For Deployment, organisations must demonstrate a minimum performance level of 50% For Assessment and Review, organisations must demonstrate a minimum performance level of 40% For Results, organisations must demonstrate a minimum performance level of 40% The logic of the framework is based on the fact that soundly based; relevant organisational Approaches will have a positive impact on performance. Within the timeframe of an application from undertaking a Self-Assessment to the date of Site Visit, there is likely to be a lag between the impact of an Approach on Results. This is why the Radar element for Approach is weighted more heavily than other areas. Version Page 13 of 33

14 Annex 1 - Validation Profile (used for each improvement project) Improvement Action No: _1_ Results Sources of No Some Clear Comp. Targets Targets for deployment have been achieved Part 6, sections F of the Action Plan The targets for effectiveness have been achieved Part 6, sections F of the Action Plan The required profile for Results is 40% (4 or more attributes out of a possible 10) Minimum profile for Results achieved for initiative 1? Yes/No Approach Sources of No Some Clear Comp. Sound Improvement activity clearly addresses an area identified through self assessment Parts 1 and 2 of the Action Plan The rationale for selection is clearly demonstrated by prioritisation against sound criteria Part 3 of the Action Plan Improvement actions are clearly and fully documented in the required format Parts 6 of the Action Plan x 3 The relevance of the improvement action to the organisation is clearly established Original application form which provides background information about the organisation Part 3, of the Action Plan Integrated Improvement activity supports Business Goals, business performance or other organisational approaches Parts 3 and 4 of the Action Plan The required profile for Approach is 60% (15 or more attributes out of a possible 25) Version Page 14 of 33

15 Minimum profile for Approach achieved for initiative 1? Yes/No Version Page 15 of 33

16 Improvement Action No: _1_ Deployment Sources of No evidence Implemented The improvement action is implemented in all target areas Part 5 of the Action Plan Part 6, section H of the Action Plan Deployment Sources of No Systematic The deployment plan has been implemented in a structured way and any changes have been documented Part 5 of the Action Plan Part 6, section H of the Action Plan 25% of areas Some 50% of areas 75% of areas Clear 100% of areas Comp. The required profile for Deployment is 50% (5 or more attributes out of a possible 10) Minimum profile for Deployment achieved for initiative 1? Yes/No Assessment and Review Measurement There is regular measurement of deployment of the improvement action There is regular measurement of effectiveness of the improvement action Learning Sources of Part 6, sections F, H, and J of the Action Plan Part 6, sections F and J of the Action Plan Part 6, section J of the Regular progress reviews are used to Action Plan capture and understand learning throughout deployment Improvements Part 6, section J of the Corrective action (either to the Action Plan approach or to deployment of the approach) has been taken as a result of learning gained from progress reviews and this is fully documented. No Some Clear Comp. The required profile for Assessment & Review is 40% (8 or more attributes out of a possible 20) Minimum profile for Assessment & Review achieved for initiative 1? Yes/No mum Overall Profile Achieved (32 or more attributes out of a maximum 65) insert number Minimum Overall Profile Not Achieved (31 attributes or less) insert number If minimum overall profile not achieved is Minimum Profile for Approach & Deployment Achieved? Yes/No Version Page 16 of 33

17 Annex 2 - Focusing your Improvement Activity 1. Introduction Committed to Excellence Once you have completed your Self-Assessment, you should have identified a number of organisational Strengths and Areas for Improvement. One approach for deciding which Areas for Improvement you will tackle is to review those that achieved the highest rating for each of the 9 criteria you assessed. From this list of 9 Areas for Improvement you can evaluate which 3, have the greatest impact on organisational performance and are the easiest to implement. Equally, you can concentrate your efforts on one criterion if you believe that this will generate a significant performance breakthrough. What is important is that they are relevant for your organisation. The decision about how many Areas for Improvement you will tackle, will be influenced by: How they have been prioritised in terms of impact on organisational performance (e.g. contribution to key results, improvements in customer / employee / societal satisfaction, achievement of strategy and objectives) And The capability of the organisation to manage and implement the improvements. (The availability of people to join the project teams and costs associated with the implementation of improvements) Typically, no more than five or six should be undertaken. Any more than this risks the danger that your improvement programme will loose focus and become stretched for resources. However, for the purposes of an application for Committed to Excellence, a minimum of 3 improvement actions must be presented. Demonstrating the relevance of improvement actions to the organisation is a critical part of the validation process for Committed to Excellence. The selection of your 3 Improvement Actions will be based on an evaluation of impact and capability to implement. This is reflected in the structure of the Improvement Project Plan you are required to complete and will be used by the Validator during site visit. The three improvement actions can address any of the 9 criteria of the EFQM Excellence Model, in any permutation. They could all be focused on one criterion or spread across three criteria. Your improvement actions will fall into at least one if not more of the following 4 categories: 1. Improving an existing Enabler 2. Developing a new Enabler 3. Improving an existing Result 4. Developing a new Result Version Page 17 of 33

18 The following tables have been developed for each of the 4 categories, it is not a mandatory requirement that you use them, they are designed to help you to test and structure your ideas. The table(s) you use will depend on how Areas for Improvement have been prioritised. Once you have completed the appropriate tables you should document your improvement actions more fully in the Improvement Project Plan template provided. A worked example of an Improvement Project Plan has been prepared to help you to understand the requirements of RADAR and to demonstrate the level of detail required. Please review this before completing the Improvement Project Plan template. 2. Improving Existing Enablers The table below can be used to indicate areas where you want to focus your improvement activity for Enablers. This will be informed, by the score you allocated during the assessment for the RADAR elements, Approach, Deployment, Assessment and Review and Results. E.g. if the approach exists but it is not systematic or measures do not exist, then this will be the focus of improvement activity. Version Page 18 of 33

19 Example Description of the Approach. The business planning process has been defined but the assessment indicated a number of areas for improvement. Sound The planning process is sound, it identifies stakeholder requirements and is related to organisational objectives. Integrated Integrating the planning process with an annual review of manpower requirements could be improved and would help to assess capability to deliver the business plan. Implemented This is weak. Business Plan targets, measures and objectives are not cascaded to all employees. Systematic The approach for developing the business plan is defined and structured. Measurement Quarterly and annual reviews are planned to track actual versus planned performance. Learning The planning process is reviewed and improvements have been identified. Improvements Integrate the business planning process with an annual review of manpower requirements. Align objectives with resources to improve production volumes and productivity Translate business plan requirements into objectives and targets for all employees. Increase employee understanding and ownership of objectives and targets measured by the Employee Opinion Survey. Enabler Approach 1 Enabler Approach 2 Enabler Approach 3 Version Page 19 of 33

20 3. Developing New Enablers In this category, your Self-Assessment has identified something that you should be doing that will have a positive impact on organisational performance but no Approach currently exists. Development of new enablers should be based around stakeholder needs; they should support strategy and address organisational weaknesses. It is important that the organisation is clear about the benefits of the Approach. Example Describe the Approach There is no structured approach to collect feedback from employees. An Employee Survey will be developed and launched to address this weakness. What are the benefits for stakeholders? This will provide an opportunity for employees to influence organisational policies. How does it contribute to strategy? The survey will identify satisfaction levels and highlight priority areas for improvement. What organisational weaknesses does it address? Lack of data to evaluate how well organisational policies contribute to employee retention and satisfaction. What measures will you use to assess deployment and to evaluate the impact against goals? Number of employees receiving the survey and providing feedback. (Implementation and Measurement) Improvement initiatives launched in response to employee feedback. (Learning) Overall Satisfaction levels (Perception results) Impact on organisational performance, measured by retention rates leading to reduced costs for recruitment, improved return on training investment and increase in productivity. (Performance Results) Enabler Approach 1 Enabler Approach 2 Enabler Approach 3 Version Page 20 of 33

21 4. Improving Existing Results The table below can be used to indicate areas where you want to focus your improvement activity for Results. This will be informed, by the score you allocated during the assessment for trends, targets, comparisons and causes. E.g. the result exists but targets have not been set or the causes or enabling activities that contribute to the result need to be improved. Example Description of the Measure. Results Measure 1 Results Measure 2 Results Measure 3 Customer complaint levels are tracked and recorded but the data has not been segmented by category of complaint or by customer profile. Trends / Scope Complaint levels have increased over the last 12 months Targets A target to reduce complaint levels has been set but has not been met Comparisons No external comparisons are made. Causes The drivers of complaints are not clearly understood. Improvements Segment customer complaint data. Rank the data by the most frequent type of complaint. Form a project team to analyse root causes and develop a solution to reverse complaint trends. Identify external organisations to benchmark how they manage Customer Complaints. Target a reduction in customer defections. Increase the customer base. Increase average revenue generated per customer. Version Page 21 of 33

22 5. Developing New Results In this category, your Self-Assessment has identified a result that you should be tracking but no indicator currently exists. Development of new results should be based around stakeholder needs; they should support strategy and address organisational weaknesses. Establishing a new measure is only the start of the process. It is important to think about how the information will be collected and what organisational activities will influence performance against this result. Example Results Measure 1 Results Measure 2 Results Measure 3 Describe the Result Introduce supplier performance measures based on component reliability and performance. Why is this important to stakeholders? Supplier components are critical to product performance and reliability. They are the two key performance indicators that influence a customer s decision to purchase the final product. How does it contribute to strategy? Product quality is directly related to organisational image, sales volumes, revenue and overall financial contribution. Improvements Introduce a process for supplier selection and evaluation Introduce a quality review system based on sampling supplier components Organise a joint improvement team with suppliers to improve component quality. Target reduction in customer complaint levels. Target increases in customer perception of quality. Target improvements to reduce production time. Target reductions in inventory levels. Target improvements in cash flow. Version Page 22 of 33

23 Annex 3: Sample Improvement Project Template The EFQM Levels of Excellence Scheme Committed to Excellence ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE FOR IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS Please refer to your Guide for Applicants for advice on how to complete this plan EFQM It is the EFQM s intent to encourage the widespread use of this material within companies and organisations. However, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or communicated in any form or by any means (be this electronically, mechanically, through photocopy or recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission from the copyright owner." Version Page 23 of 33

24 ORGANISATION DETAILS Name of Organisation Address Contact Person Telephone Number Fax Number Address Planned date for Validation visit (usually 6 9 months after formal application) Please note: Your Action Plan should: Be in English Have numbered pages Not exceed 15 pages (including this page) It should be typed and the font size must not be less than 10 Retain the same structure of the tables and margins provided Version Page 24 of 33

25 Part 1: Information about your Self Assessment (SA) Date of your Self-Assessment Did you use an External Facilitator? Method of Assessment Yes No Briefly describe the method used for your Self Assessment how the SA was conducted who participated at the SA exercise We used the EFQM Determing Excellence questionnaire. It was issued to selected people to complete and then we had a meeting to agree our strengths and areas for improvement. What were the lessons learnt which could help to improve your approach to SA. For our next assessment we intend to issue the questionnaire to more of the organisation in order to get a wider input. Version Page 25 of 33

26 Part 2: The outcome of your Self-Assessment What Strengths and Areas for Improvement were identified? List below 2 of the most relevant strengths and areas for improvements based on the EFQM Excellence Model criterion below. ENABLER RESULTS Model Areas for Improvement Criterion Leadership 1.1 No medium or long term view developed about the Vision for the organisation 1.2 Management involvement with suppliers is ad-hoc Policy and 2.1 Customer complaint data is unstructured and not used as a formal input to developing strategy or plans Strategy 2.2 Business plan objectives and targets are not effectively communicated or cascaded to all employees People 3.1 The manpower plan is not aligned with the business plan, resulting in a poor allocation of resources to support objectives 3.2 There is no employee survey or other formal means of capturing feedback against which to evaluate Human Resource policies Partnerships 4.1 Ad-hoc selection or evaluation of suppliers and there is no defined approach to develop a win-win relationship and Resources 4.2 No consistent approach to invoicing and lack of control over cash-flow Processes 5.1 Poor definition and lack of understanding about the key processes that influence performance. Ownership of processes is weak and responsibilities are vague 5.2 Product quality affected by variable component standards Customer 6.1 Data is poorly segmented and there is no structured approach to analysing results. Results 6.2 Customer defections have been increasing and revenue generated per customer is declining, faster than the industry average. Complaints trends are rising and this could be due to worsening product quality People Results 7.1 Employee turnover has been rising, resulting in increased recruitment costs and poor return on training investment. This has led to a decline in productivity. 7.2 Society 8.1 No formal approach defined for re-cycling (paper, packaging, scrap materials) Results Key Performance Results 8.2 No evaluation or control of utilities, particularly electricity and water 9.1 Cash-Flow management is variable 9.2 Market share is declining, probably due to poor product quality leading to increased customer defections.

27 Part 3: Prioritising your areas for improvement - How will you determine the importance of an improvement project? You may use any method you are comfortable with to prioritise your Areas for Improvement. You are required to briefly describe how you do it and the output it generates. The Applicant Guide provides you with ideas on how this can be done. Briefly describe your prioritisation criteria and how you prioritised your Areas for Improvement: The organisation operates in a niche market, providing high quality specialised components at a premium price for the automotive sector. Retention of the existing customer base is critical for maintaining medium term revenue flows because it can take up to six months to bid for an win a tender for a new contract. The key factors that customers evaluate their suppliers against in a highly competitive market are product quality and on time-delivery. To ensure a competitive position, the organisation is dependent on supplier performance, retention of a skilled workforce and a tight control of operating costs. Prioritisation of our improvement actions is based on the impact they have on the following objectives: Their contribution to improving Customer Satisfaction through enhanced product performance and on-time availability Achieving high tolerance levels and increased life expectancy of supplier components The ability to improve employee retention levels Increasing productivity and delivering cost control efficiencies Selection of Improvement Actions is then determined based on an evaluation against: Costs, time and resource required for implementation in relation to the impact they have against the objectives listed above. Outcome: A list of your Top 3 improvement projects. Project 1 Project 2 Project 3 Title: Develop and Introduce an Employee Opinion Survey (EOS) Title: Title: Improve the invoicing process to reduce payment cycles from 40 days to 30 days Part 4: Impact and relevance of your improvement projects

28 Projects Project 1 Project 3 How is it relevant to your organisation and how does it serve your strategy? Retention of a skilled and motivated workforce is key to the performance of the organisation. Employee turnover has been rising and this has had an impact on our ability to retain knowledge, skills and experience. Reversing this trend will have a positive impact on our ability to achieve product quality and productivity targets. The reasons for employee turnover are not fully understood and a systematic approach to capture employee feedback is required. This will help to understand the impact of current HR policies and gaps in our approaches necessary to retain a motivated workforce. The EOS is a means to an end and an important and necessary mechanism to inform decision-making It is important that the organisation constantly invest in upgrading operations to improve component reliability. The impact on the profit and loss account of improving cash flow will generate funds for capital investment in operational equipment. What impact will it have on your Organisational Goals, Performance Results or Business Plan? Analysis of EOS data will be used to evaluate existing HR policies and to identify gaps in approaches. As a result of modified and new HR approaches identified from the EOS, the target is to reduce employee turnover by 5% within 6 months. This is calculated to reduce recruitment costs by 15k Euro and as a result save 5K Euro that would have been spent training new recruits. Product Quality and Productivity are expected to improve by 3% and 5% respectively as a result of retaining experienced employees. This is calculated by comparing employees with 1 or more year s experience with the typical performance of new recruits. The effect of reducing payment cycles from 40 to 30 days is expected to generate a benefit of 50k Euro in a full year of operation. How does it contribute to or support other organisational Approaches? Employee turnover creates inefficiencies due to the increased costs of recruitment and the reduced impact of our investment in training. Resolving this problem will reduce recruitment costs, improve the return on investment in training and contribute to improvements in product quality and productivity. The invoicing initiative is linked to the financial policies of the organisation concerning cash flow, the terms for customer contracts and the operating procedures of the finance department.

29 Part 5: Planning of A B C D E F Project Key Milestones Project Owner Expected completion date Project Owner Status J F M A M J J A S O N D 1 Develop and Introduce an Employee Opinion HR Manager November 2001 Survey I. II. III. 2 Establish a partnership framework for key Operations August 2001 suppliers and work together to agree how to improve component quality and stock management Manager I. II. III. 3 Improve the invoicing process to reduce Finance Manager January 2001 payment cycles from 40 days to 30 days I. II. III. Status Red = deployment not on target Amber = not yet due to start/in progress and deployment on target

30 A Guide for Applicants Part 6: Improvement Project 1 A Title: Develop and Introduce an Employee Opinion Survey B Owner of the Action: HR Manager C Date for Full Deployment: November 2001 D Model Criterion: 3: People E Current Status as of (insert month and year): Red Amber Green Project Description F RESULTS What measures will you use to ensure the improvement has been fully deployed? What measures will you use to ensure the improvement has been successful? The project plan defined 4 key dates when the survey should be issued. To date, two cycles have been completed in line with the plan. 50% of all employees have received the survey. On the first cycle, 55% of employees completed the questionnaire On the second cycle, 65% of employees responded to the survey. Turnover has been reduced by 3% against a target in the first 6 months of 5%. Recruitment costs have been reduced by 9k Euro compared to the target of 15k Euro. 4k Euro has been saved in training costs compared to the target of 5K Euro. Product Quality and Productivity have improved by the target rates of 3% and 5% respectively as a result of retaining experienced employees caused by revised and new HR policies. G APPROACH Describe the project and why it is necessary The outcome of the assessment highlighted an absence of formalised approaches to the way in which the organisation manages employees in certain key areas. The management team recognised that a number of issues such as sick leave, employee turnover and productivity needed to be addressed but that the basic data to understand why these problems occurred did not exist. In a service industry, people are key and the need to address these problems was identified as a top priority. However, without basic information, the management team was unclear about specific actions to resolve the issues. The Employee Survey will help to understand then determine appropriate courses of action. The tangible benefits and impact on performance of this initiative will ultimately be realised after the survey has been introduced. The survey highlights the importance the organisation places on understanding employee issues that directly affect organisational performance. Version 7 Page 26 of 33

31 A Guide for Applicants Part 6: Improvement Project 1 (Continued) H DEPLOYMENT Describe How it will be implemented Where it will be implemented Who contributes to the implementation The Human Resource manager has the lead role for the improvement action and formed a team of 5 employees who all volunteered to help develop the survey. The initiative is based on ideas and material provided in Advice Booklet 3, People. The team reviewed the topic areas in booklet 3, contributed their own ideas and produced a draft questionnaire. The draft questionnaire was copied to all employees for comment. Suggestions were reviewed and changes made to produce a final survey that will be issued to all employees over a 12-month period. Based on the resources available in the HR department and the need to analyse returns quickly, the team agreed that the survey should be issued to 25% of employees every quarter. This will also provide a benefit in terms of regular feedback that will highlight trends that would not be available if one large survey was issued. To date, the questionnaire has been designed, produced and 2 surveys have been issued. This is in line with the deployment plan. Full deployment of the initiative will be completed within the next 3 months (by November). All employees will have then had the opportunity to complete the questionnaire. Based on the feedback from the first two surveys, the data highlighted training as a key driver of productivity and a project team has been formed to work on this performance issue. The project team defined two types of measures for this improvement initiative. The first relates to the time scales by when surveys should be issued and the response rate by employees and this was set at 50% of employees for each survey issued. The second type of measure relates to the performance outcomes from improving retention rates and they address recruitment costs, return on training investment, product quality and productivity. I ASSESSMENT AND REVIEW Describe how you will Monitor and record progress against plan Identify and record learning points Monitor progress against measures listed in I Result The project team met after the end of each survey At the end of the first cycle, the team agreed to promote the survey to encourage employees to respond. This will be continued for the third and fourth surveys. At the end of the second survey, the feedback highlighted that the major cause of employee turnover was due to a lack of personal development and opportunities for multiskilling. As a result a new project team was formed to address this feedback. The objective is to introduce personal development plans for all employees and this has been communicated. Version 7 Page 27 of 33

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