Use this framework to improve an organization’s quality and performance
The European Foundation For Quality Management (EFQM), based in Brussels, is a not for profit organisation established with the purpose of increasing the competitiveness of companies. Central to this objective, the organisation promotes a model of excellence which it believes drives competitiveness and quality.
The EFQM framework, developed in 1989, looks at the cause and effect between what an organisation does and what it achieves. The premise is that if an organisation wants to achieve a different result, it has to change something within the organisation.
There are four fundamentals with the framework. First you must work out that you have the right plan. (Not a bad starting point though it presupposes that you familiar with lots of different options and are able to choose the right one.) Then you must deploy your resources and make sure they are used to best effect. (Obvious?) It is always important to build corrective opportunities into a plan which is why you should assess and refine. Finally, you need to measure results against your objective to see if you have achieved what you set out to achieve.
There are three integrated components of the model:
1. The fundamental concepts – these are the things that any company has to do to deliver superb quality and performance. They are the hygiene factors of excellence such as ensuring that the organisation offers added value to customers, it is environmentally friendly, it continually improves etc.
2. The criteria – the ingredients of the excellence recipe and the results they deliver. They include such as leadership, strategy, people, partnerships and processors. They also put an emphasis on customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and financial performance.
3. RADAR – the control and monitoring process for ensuring excellence and it is an acronym for:
Results - is the strategy delivering the right results?
Approaches – does the organisation have the right plan to deliver the results?
Deploy – is everything being deployed in a systematic way to ensure the achievement of results?
Assess and refined – is there a learning environment which adjusts activities should this be necessary?
In the diagram below we see the RADAR control factors around the edge of the central model. The central model is made up of the fundamental concepts (blue boxes) and the criteria/results (the red boxes). (You will get a better look at the framework if you download the PowerPoint slides).
Central to the EFQM model are people. People play a key role as enablers. People are also an important part of the results (eg customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction). This has similarities to the Service Profit Chain which tell us that profits start with an engaged workforce.
The EFQM organisation publishes many examples. The model appears to have found significant use in service organisations such as health care, public administration and education. However, it is also widely used in corporate organisations. An example is given on the EFQM website of Ricoh Deutschland, a subsidiary of Ricoh Company Ltd of Japan. The company is a market leader in multifunctional printers and has a 20% share of this sector in Germany. It has used the EFQM model to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty. The company carried out customer satisfaction surveys and employee perception surveys to measure its performance. The customer satisfaction survey, for example, showed an impressive 90% of Ricoh Deutschland's customers would recommend the company – a significant result and one that is much higher than those achieved by other business to business companies. The high levels of customer loyalty means that Ricoh has improved the renewal rate of contracts and as a result trading profits and sales have increased making the company the most successful one within the group. It is a demonstration of the cause and effect of the model - improve the enablers and the results will follow suit.
Some things to think about:
Consider joining EFQM. It offers training in the tool and shares experiences amongst members.
Central to the EFQM model are people. People play a key role as enablers. People are also an important part of the results (eg customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction).This has similarities to the Service Profit Chain (see elsewhere in this website) which posits that profits start with an engaged workforce.