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City of Germantown Selected to Site Visit Review for the Malcolm Baldrige Award

Post Date:09/09/2019 8:30 PM

The City of Germantown is one of only 12 U.S. organizations selected to proceed to Site Visit Review, the final stage in the evaluation process for the 2019 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA), the nation's highest award for organizational performance excellence. This announcement comes after 10-years of process improvement commitment to the Baldrige framework. Improvements that have resulted from the City’s Baldrige journey include consistent employee and community surveys, the citizen-led Germantown Forward 2030 strategic plan, a focus on customer requirements and satisfaction and use of LEAN Six Sigma as a process improvement tool. 

During a recent meeting, the Judges Panel for the MBNQAreviewed scoring data from the first two stages of the evaluation process for the annual Baldrige Award. The panel determined which organizations will receive site visits based solely on scoring data from evaluation teams composed of trained volunteers who bring a variety of sector expertise to the process. The panel will reconvene in November to review findings about the site-visited organizations’ performance and determine which to recommend to the Secretary of Commerce to be named 2019 Baldrige Award recipients. 

Twenty-six applicants were evaluated during the first two phases of the selection process for the 2019 Baldrige Award. The 12 organizations that are moving forward in the process will receive site visits in late September through early October. These organizations are based in 9 states representing most regions of the country. They vary in workforce size and sectors, even within award eligibility categories (e.g., the nonprofit category includes government). They include six in the health care category, one in education, three nonprofits and two small businesses.

While the Baldrige Award would result in international notoriety and make Germantown a benchmark for communities throughout the U.S., the real gem that results from the site visit is the feedback report. Following their time in Germantown, examiners will provide detailed information related to the strengths and opportunities for improvement that they find. This expert feedback from examiners who have experience with the highest performing companies in the country, is priceless in helping guide the City’s further dedication to process improvement and excellence in customer satisfaction.  

All Baldrige Award applicants receive a rigorous evaluation by members of the independent Board of Examiners for the MBNQA in seven areas of performance, as defined by the 2019–2020 Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence: leadership; strategy; customers; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; workforce; operations; and results. Baldrige examiners provide each applicant with 500 to 1,000 hours of review and a detailed report on the organization’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. “The feedback report that the City receives as a result of the site visit is the most valuable tool we have for improving the way the City of Germantown does business,” said City Administrator Patrick Lawton. “For years we have relied on Baldrige principles to help us better serve our customers,” he added.

The site visit evaluation teams will be composed of Baldrige examiners that include experts in each sector. The teams will spend several days at their assigned organizations’ sites, interviewing employees at all levels of the workforce to clarify and verify information submitted by each organization’s Baldrige Award application.

The Baldrige Award is not given for specific products or services. Since the first Baldrige Award recipients were recognized in 1988, 123 awards have been presented to 115 organizations (including eight two-time award recipients). These include Cargill, Ritz-Carlton, Federal Express, Lockheed Martin, Price Waterhouse Cooper and Caterpillar Financial. Only three municipal governments, Ft. Collins, Colorado, Coral Springs, Florida and Irving, Texas, have received the award.

For more information on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and the Baldrige Award, see nist.gov/baldrige.

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