Improving Processes & Services
bullet blank


EFQM Excellent Model & Balanced Scorecard

Many organisations, particularly Public Sector ones, are using some form of self-assessment framework to identify their organisational strengths and weaknesses and using this to develop an improvement plan built upon a series of improvement projects and programmes. Such improvement projects then make use of the approaches and tools and techniques described in this toolkit.

This section is simply a brief overview of self-assessment and the three main approaches used: - a Purpose Built Framework, the EFQM Excellence Model, and Balanced Scorecard.

A Purpose Built Self-Assessment framework

This example will illustrate the basic idea of self-assessment. One County Council developed a simple framework of four characteristics:

Each characteristics had five statements against which the organisation self assessed itself. The management team of each department carried out a self assessment using this framework. They reviewed each category, scoring themselves against “good practice” on that category - substantiating that score with evidence.

For example, for Staff Involvement they would score themselves out of ten for each of the following. The extent to which:

  1. All staff are committed to serving the public.
  2. Decisions are made at the point closest to the delivery of the service.
  3. Training opportunities are identified with staff and fulfilled.
  4. Staff views and active participation are positively sought.
  5. There are effective organisational communications: up/down/across.

In a separate session, they then identified the strengths and weaknesses of their unit and the key quality issues they needed to tackle in order to improve. Finally, they developed a project-based improvement plan.

Our own quality health check is of this form and has been used by organisations as the basis for developing their own self assessment framework.

EFQM Excellence Model

EFQM Excellence Model

The most commonly used self assessment framework is the EFQM Excellence Model developed by the European Foundation for Quality Management. This is the basis for the UK Business Excellence Award and the results can be benchmarked against those of other organisations. Information on the Excellence Model can be found at the British Quality Foundation web site.

Organisations complete a structured self-assessment against nine parameters:

Five Enablers, concerned with what is done to run the organisation and how it is operated. How well the organisations is run in terms of:

Four Results, concerned with what the organisation has achieved and is achieving as seen by the stakeholders. How well the organisation delivers in terms of:

Balanced Scorecards

Balanced Scorecard


Another self assessment approach is based around the Balanced Scorecard. In America, Robert Kaplan and David Norton conducted a year long research project with 12 companies at the leading edge of performance measurement. From this work they devised the balanced scorecard.

A balanced scorecard aims to provide a framework to translate strategic objectives into a set of performance measures and four different perspectives from which to view a business. It can be thought of as analogous to the dials and indicators in an aeroplane cockpit. It allows managers to look at the business from four important perspectives:

For each perspective, the organisation establishes:

This provides senior managers with an evaluation of each perspective, targets for improvement, an improvement programme of initiatives, and performance measures to monitor the performance and improvements.