February 2005 
Volume 03, Issue 9 
Integrated Defense Systems

5 things you should know about the Baldrige Award

IDS adopts criteria of esteemed quality honor

baldrige AwardAll business units of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems are starting internal and external assessments this year after adopting the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria in 2004. As IDS President and CEO Jim Albaugh said when he announced the plan last March, IDS is using Baldrige to "help us continue to build a performance-based culture and improve our business performance."

The creation of the IDS Business Excellence office underscored the importance of the Baldrige framework and the seven categories that are the core of the criteria for excellence. Here are some things Boeing employees should know about the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.


Malcolm Baldrige was the U.S. Secretary of Commerce from 1981 to 1987. Baldrige was a proponent of quality management as a key to the United States' prosperity and long-term strength. He took a personal interest in the quality improvement act that was eventually named after him, and he helped draft one of the early versions.


Congress established the award program in 1987 to recognize U.S. organizations for their achievements in quality and performance and to raise awareness about the importance of quality and performance excellence as a competitive edge. The Baldrige Award is given by the President of the United States to businesses—manufacturing and service, small and large—and to education and health care organizations that apply for the award and are judged to be outstanding in seven areas.


In the 1980s, many industry and government leaders saw that a renewed emphasis on quality was essential for U.S. companies to conduct business in an ever-expanding. more demanding and competitive world market. But many American businesses either did not believe quality mattered for them or did not know where to begin. The Baldrige Award was envisioned as a standard of excellence that would help U.S. organizations achieve world-class quality.


Leadership. Examines how senior executives guide the organization, and how the organization addresses its responsibilities to the public and practices good citizenship.

Strategic planning. Examines how the organization sets strategic direction and how it determines key action plans.

Customer and market focus. Examines how the organization determines requirements and expectations of customers and markets; builds relationships with customers; and acquires, satisfies and retains customers.

Measurement, analysis and knowledge management. Examines the management, effective use, analysis and improvement of data and information to support key organization processes and the organization's performance-management system.

Human resource focus. Examines how the organization enables its workforce to develop its full potential, and how the workforce is aligned with the organization's objectives.

Process management. Examines aspects of how key production/delivery and support processes are designed, managed and improved.

Business results. Examines the organization's performance and improvement in its key business areas: customer satisfaction, financial and marketplace performance, human resources, supplier and partner performance, operational performance, and governance and social responsibility. The category also examines how the organization performs relative to competitors.


The Baldrige Award promotes quality awareness, recognizes quality achievements of U.S. organizations and provides a vehicle for sharing successful strategies. The Baldrige Award criteria focus on results and continuous improvement. They provide a framework for designing, implementing and assessing a process for managing all business operations.

ISO 9000 is a series of five international standards published in 1987 by the International Organization for Standardization in Geneva. Companies can use the standards to help determine what is needed to maintain an efficient quality-conformance system. ISO 9000 registration determines whether a company complies with its own quality system. Overall, ISO 9000 registration covers less than 10 percent of the Baldrige Award criteria.

"Baldrige is not about winning an award. It's about achieving business success with a high-performing, ethical organization," emphasized Debbie Collard, IDS Business Excellence director. "It is critical that Boeing respond to current challenges and address all complexities of delivering today's results while preparing effectively for the future. The Baldrige criteria help our business deal with the challenges of long-term viability and sustainability as a high-performing business."


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