Baldrige Framework

- a business model for integrated systems management

How to Improve the Baldrige Framework

Suppliers and partners are not second class stakeholders. Give them equal status with other major stakeholders (e.g., workforce, customers) by adding a dedicated Suppliers and Partners Focus Category and corresponding results item. Doing this will establish applicant accountability to addressing these stakeholders. The winnersí application summaries (especially healthcare) make a compelling argument that to win the Baldrige Award it is no longer necessary to meaningfully address supplier and partner organizations.

Baldrige Faux Excellence Framework Baldrige stunned the business community in 2001 by deleting all Process and Results Criteria Items dedicated to suppliers. This led to the December 2001 Quality Digest Magazine cover titled: "Is the Baldrige Award Still About Quality". The feature story was written by Richard J. Schonberger a world-acclaimed author and expert in the field of Lean - Six Sigma and World-Class Manufacturing. He cites several flaws in the Criteria including the removal of the Items dedicated to suppliers. Dr. Schonberger's position accurately reflected the sentiment throughout the business community that sustained the already declining award participation rate of the business community. Today, a consensus is growing in other sectors including education and health care that it is important for the Criteria to accountably address the supplier and partner organizations that represent on the order of 50% of their total expenditures. These costs often take the form of management, design, HR, maintenance, contract workforce, IT, customer support, and operational functions.

Action: Baldrige may want to check out the European Model to gain a better perspective of the importance of suppliers and partners to achieving organizational excellence.


MISSION: Accelerating organizational improvement beyond the capabilities of all the Business Excellence approaches combined. Paul Steel

2011 Baldrige Framework

Baldrige Framework - Business Nonprofit

Criteria Structure

The seven Criteria Categories shown in the figure above are subdivided into Items and Areas to Address.


There are 17 Criteria Items in the 7 Framework Categories, each focusing on a major requirement. See Item Format for a graphic describing the Item format and its requirements.

Areas to Address:

Items consist of one or more Areas to Address (Areas). Organizations should address their responses to the specific requirements of these Areas.


Baldrige Health Care Criteria Framework

A Systems Perspective

Baldrige Health Care Framework

See the Baldrige Framework Model - from the perspective of its systems and core processes




Has the Baldrige Award gone out of Business?

For the first time in the 25 year history of the award, there were no Baldrige business applicants
and Criteria degradation and impracticality are looking more and more like the primary causes

2013 Baldrige Applicants Summay

To put this in perspective, not one of the 20 million for-profit businesses in the United States applied for the Baldrige Award this year.


Even worse, the number of applicants has declined 73% for Health Care and 80% for Education since 2010

Source: NIST Baldrige Website

Baldrige improvement accelerated and made practical with tools and resources from the most experienced source



Criteria made Practical


Baldrige Framework


Core Values


Scoring System


Feedback Reports


All 44
Case Studies

  Baldrige Glossary



Criteria Templates


Winnersí Applications

  25th  Baldrige Anniversary Special  

Guides to Improvement


Metrics - Benchmarks


Best Systems & Processes

  Scoring Guidelines

Core Competencies:


One Stop Services


Training, Workshops


Seminars, Speaking, Presenting


Assessment - Including No Writing Option




Site Visit Preparation

  Application Development

Special Focus:


Baldrige Model




Health Care


Public Sector


Business - Private Sector


Baldrige International


Baldrige Store:

All Things Baldrige

Guide to a Well-Written Application

Site Visit Preparation Guide

Guide to Effectively Presenting Results

All Guides Bundle

Best Process Models and Implementation

Information Capture and Organization

End of Year Special: Get free 2013 Criteria Templates upgrade and Guide to Effectively Presenting Results with 2012 Criteria Templates order

Questions or feedback: Email:

MISSION: Accelerating organizational improvement beyond the capabilities of all Business Excellence approaches combined. Paul

2013 - 2014 Baldrige Criteria Changes both good and not so good

Special 25th Anniversary Edition Bundle

Guide to a Well-Written Baldrige Application and Site Visit Preparation Guide

Guide to a Well-Written Application                               Site Visit Preparation Guide


Baldrige Framework