The Performance Excellence Award process includes the following steps:

Prepare

The process begins with the organization submitting a Letter of Intent (due March 1, June 1, or September 1). Two months later, the organization submits an application – either a narrative application or a Baldrige Express survey conducted with its workforce (either full staff or a sampling). The narrative application offers the opportunity for the organization to describe its environmental situation, its key work processes, and its results (usually written by a small number of leaders and practitioners).  The process of writing the application causes self-discovery: reflecting on the Baldrige questions facilitates deep internal dialogue with organizational leaders, often leading to a better understanding of organizational strengths and process gaps.

PEN now offers three tiered options:

 

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Depth of Evaluation (Baldrige Questions)

Organizational Profile (2 general topics, approximately 35 questions)

 

Organizational Profile plus

Basic and Overall Level questions (19 general Item topics, approximately 90 questions)

Organizational Profile plus

Basic and Overall questions plus

Multiple Level questions (19 general topics, approximately 270 questions)

Award Eligibility

Commitment

Commitment,

Advancement, or

Achievement

Advancement,

Achievement, or

Excellence

Application Length

 

7 pages

 

30 pages

55 pages

Focus Areas

Organizational Alignment

Improvement Orientation

Level 1 plus

Systematic Processes

Fact-Based Evaluation & Imprmnt

Key Results/Outcomes

Levels 1-2 plus

Organizational Systems

Some Innovation

High Performance Results

Feedback Guidelines

Summary of findings (“Highlights and Considerations”)

No scoring

Strengths and OFIs at Overall Level

Scoring ranges

Strengths and OFIs at Multiple Level

Scoring per Baldrige Item

PEN Team, Process

  • 2 Evaluators
  • No site visit (optional Improvement Planning session)
  • 90 day cycle time

 

  • 3-5 Evaluators
  • 1-2 day site visit
  • 120-150 day cycle time
  • 6-10 Evaluators
  • 3-4 day site visit
  • 150-180 day cycle time

Investment*

 

$2500 member ($5K nonmember)

Small/Medium: $3K ($6K nonmbr)

Large: $5K ($10K nonmember)

Small: $8K ($12K nonmember)

Medium: $12K ($16K non)

Large: $16K ($20K non)

Deadlines (all levels)

Cycle 1 (Spring/Summer): Letters of Intent due March 1; Applications due May 1

Cycle 2 (Summer/Fall): Letters of Intent due June 1; Applications due August 1

Cycle 3 (Fall/Winter): Letters of Intent due September 1; Applications due November 1

 

In this way, organizations have a paced, gradual pathway that “meets the organization where it is,” helping leaders identify and prioritize just the right level of opportunities for improvement. And for organizations earlier on the journey to excellence, it offers faster, less intense ways to improve processes and outcomes.


Independent Review

The is independently reviewed by a team of trained, volunteer Evaluators to identify strengths and improvement opportunities through the perspective of the best practices in the Baldrige Criteria and through the filter of your Organizational Profile (which describes your operating environment, strategic challenges, and other key organizational factors). Teams are built balancing many factors, including sector/industry knowledge, functional expertise, Baldrige experience, and leadership experience.


Consensus & Site Visit

The team then forms a consensus view of the organization’s strengths and improvement opportunities before conducting a site visit to verify perceived strengths and clarify possible improvement opportunities. Site visits are 1-4 days, depending on assessment option chosen and the size, complexity, and maturity of the organization.  Site visits also offer an opportunity for deep organizational learning for the organization, as the dialogue with a team of professionals oftentimes leads to organizational insights.


Improvement Planning

The output of our process is a comprehensive feedback report, which includes a list of key themes (similar to an executive summary), description of strengths and improvement opportunities by Criteria Item, and scores. Our final step is an Improvement Planning Session. Scheduled about a month after site visit, this 2-2.5 hour facilitated session is intended to 1) promote understanding of the feedback report, and 2) work with senior leaders to prioritize improvement opportunities that oftentimes serves as input to an organization’s planning process.


MN/SD/ND Performance Excellence Award

Although the primary goal of our assessment is learning and improvement, we also recognize levels of performance excellence through the Performance Excellence Award. Established in 1991, the Award has been given to nearly 150 organizations that successfully complete an assessment. We have four Award levels, intended to recognize organizations for where they are in their journey: Commitment, Advancement, Achievement, Excellence (the “role model” organization). Recognition is delivered at our annual spring conference.


Timeline

The Network offers a “rolling schedule” for the assessment process, allowing your organization to pick a timeframe that works best for your planning and operational cycles. A schedule is as follows:

    •  
    • Spring/Summer
    • Summer/Fall
    • Fall/Winter
    • Letter of Intent Due
    • Mar 1 Spring/Summer
    • June 1 Summer/Fall
    • Sept 1 Fall/Winter
    • Application Due
    • May 1 Spring/Summer
    • Aug 1 Summer/Fall
    • Nov 1 Fall/Winter
    • Site Visits
    • Aug/Sept Spring/Summer
    • Nov/Dec Summer/Fall
    • Feb/Mar Fall/Winter
    • Improvement Planning
    • Sept/Oct Spring/Summer
    • Dec/Jan Summer/Fall
    • Mar/Apr Fall/Winter