The Forward Award Evaluation Process
You’ve completed your application. Now what?
While applicants have been busy finalizing their assessment responses, we’ve been training teams of examiners. Once submitted, each application is rigorously evaluated by the Board of Examiners. Examiners review each application relative to the Baldrige Criteria and identify strengths of the organization and areas for improvement. The review is composed of three distinct processes.
The application, including the intent to apply forms, is reviewed independently by a team of at least four members of the Board of Examiners.
The application is reviewed jointly by a team of at least three members of the Board of Examiners. To the extent possible, consensus review is conducted by the same Examiner team that provides independent review. This review results in a consensus score that determines the level of recognition for which an applicant is eligible. The level of recognition identified through the consensus process determines whether a site visit is required, is optional, or will not be provided. The consensus review is also the time during which feedback reports to applicants are drafted.
The site visit occurs prior to final score determination and serves to clarify and verify the information received in the Application Report Package. A site visit is required for all organization with a consensus score at high Mastery or at the Forward Award of Excellence level. Site visits are also available at the applicant’s request for repeat applicants (who have submitted two or more applications in a three-year period) previously recognized at the Mastery level or above. Discretionary site visits may also be made to collect more data, more accurately decide recognition level or define strengths and opportunities for improvement for an applicant.
Scoring of applicant responses to the Criteria and development of feedback reports are based on several evaluation dimensions:
|Refers to how the applicant appropriately and effectively addresses the Item requirements—the methods used—as well as the degree to which the approach is systematic.
|Refers to the extent to which the applicant’s approach is consistently applied to all areas within the organization, all customer segments, etc.
|Refers to the applicant’s systematic cycles of evaluation and improvement, encouraging refinement of approach and breakthrough change.
|Refers to how the applicant’s approach is aligned with organizational needs, your measures are complementary across processes and work units, and your plans, processes, and other actions are harmonized across process and work units to support organization-wide goals.
|Refers to outputs and outcomes in achieving the purposes given in Category 7, including your current level of performance, the rate and breadth of your performance improvements, your performance relative to relevant comparisons or benchmarks, and linkages to your critical organizational needs.
The examination process and the scoring system make up a two-part assessment system. The Criteria Items represent what is to be evaluated. The scoring system represents how the evaluations are made.
Our Key Deliverable: The Feedback Report
Forward Award applicants at all application levels receive a written feedback report at the conclusion of the Forward Award process. The feedback report identifies strengths and opportunities for improvement relative to the Award Criteria. By identifying gaps in systems and improvement strategies, the feedback report can assist applicant organizations to improve in a more focused way, such as in the strategic and business planning process.
Every applicant organization is urged to request a post feedback meeting with Examiner representatives to clarify items in the feedback report. Both organizational teams and Examiner representatives find these sessions satisfying and worthwhile.