For business to be successful, organizations need to realize that business excellence is a tool which helps them translate their plan into action and is a way of executing strategy. The best way to implement ‘business excellence’ practices in any organization is to balance the differential elements or variables of ‘business excellence’ models in such a way that development is strongly aligned to organizational imperatives.
The successful implementation of ‘business excellence’ practices requires focused leadership whose concern for improvement (excellence) or financial necessity outweighs their attachment to traditional norms. One of the major issues faced by organizations implementing business excellence or quality management practices is the change in the culture of organizations as ‘business excellence’ implementation process may need to change the current work practices.
The three aspects which should form an essential ingredient of the business excellence system are program design, leadership support and effective execution. Apart from this, systems that capture and measure performance also play a vital role.
First step of the execution plan should be to ensure that the systems are reliable and score what they are meant to score. Simplicity of the whole business excellence process is also important. Besides, the tools in place should be convenient to access. It has to be ensured that staff at all levels (strategic, tactical and operational), understand the need of business excellence and the associated variables that form a part of the business excellence framework.
Employees should be made to know about the program as they are the ones responsible for implementing it. Managers and strategists who are involved in the implementation of the ‘excellence’ framework have to foresee the ease of ‘business excellence’ management.
Therefore, it is utmost important that the program itself is valued by its employees and managers have trust in it and are willing to put faith in it. For businesses to be a success, they have to create a culture of continuous development by making business excellence something that employee’s value.
Each business unit and employee should know what they are supposed to achieve and how. The best way to implement business excellence framework is to use a standardized performance criteria by using standard language to define competencies or values for individual employees and business units. This will allow them to compare performance among employees and units throughout the organization.
Simplicity is vital to business excellence, the implementation plan has to ensure that the evaluation and measurement process is simple and flexible fitting well with the organization’s goals and needs. Measures, variables and the overall scoring criteria should not be too complex and cumbersome to evaluate.
Also that employees who are responsible for implementing the ‘quality’ and ‘excellence’ principles have to clearly understand the various aspects of ‘business excellence’. The plan should be to measure and improve performance against objectives. It is also important that the business excellence plan has measures that encourage excellence or quality in terms of both performance and behavior.
Execution of business excellence is as much of an issue with organizations as development and as a part of the implementation plan, it has to be made sure that the development plan considers the implementation and the management aspects of it. Successful ‘business excellence’ implementation requires a thorough understanding of critical success factors for implementation, barriers to achieving these factors, and managerial tools and techniques to overcome these barriers.
In organizations, determining the correct excellence measures and assigning appropriate weights to these measures is one of the biggest challenges. Management and monitoring of those measures and scores come only after the measures in place reflect on actual organization performance. One of the other key questions in front of business management is whether to have a generic excellence framework with the same measure for every business (inbound and outbound) at that level or to have a slightly different measure dependent on conditions.
This is because, in organizations, there is no single business excellence framework which can be generically said to be suited as the scores, weights, design, structure, metrics and the measures included in the business excellence framework depend on various factors. The size of organization, how well the business excellence system is linked to objectives, the structure of the organization, the systems measuring the performance, the importance of business excellence to the management; all determine the structure of business excellence system.
As part of the implementation process, managers have to brief on the ‘business excellence’ measures and the role of business excellence in the larger scheme of things. In a business environment, this would mean highlighting the importance of business on the overall company performance. Employees in business have to be explained how their efforts can help in increased customer satisfaction which can lead to repeat purchase, loyalty and long-term relationship which eventually can have a positive effect on the brand image.
In summary, as a part of implementation, frontline employees should be made realize their value of in broader business sense. The importance of excellence and continuous improvement can then be better understood within the larger context of things. The plan should be to make organizations corporate culture compatible with the strategy adopted so that business excellence is later extended to the whole organization.
This has to be guided by a strategic quality / excellence focused leadership should guide the whole process. Employee involvement within the implementation phase cannot be overemphasized, as it has traditionally been seen that processes done with the employee are much more effective and achieve better buy-in. It can also be gathered from previous studies that businesses that do a spectacular job of performance and talent management don’t rely on infrastructure but on employees and their managers who believe in the business excellence process.
The important variables and the key determinants of successful ‘business excellence’ structure implementation are management commitment to business excellence and continuous improvement, training for excellence throughout the organization, customer focus and continuous improvement, and a focus on employee involvement and empowerment.
A well implemented excellence structure should look at all the critical aspects of employment, recruiting, retention, and relationships. It should also align measures to business needs and makes measures relevant to the goals of the senior management team.
The best way to manage and improve performance is to track and measure the right factors and to ensure that all levels of the organization accept the metrics. Implementation issues can be best taken care of by involving employees in the development and implementation of ‘excellence’ frameworks across organizations.