The European Model for Quality Management is a European foundation that seeks to drive forward quality management within all sectors of Society. The EFQM Excellence Model is the framework that has been devised as a tool, so that the quality management within organisations can be objectively assessed.

It can also be used as a management tool to define and shape a company’s goals when looking at both capability and general performance.

The framework of the Model is based on 9 quite strict sections. Five of these are termed ‘Enablers’ and the other 4 are ‘Results’.

The Enabler sections analyse what a company does and who does what. As the name suggests, the Results sections looks at what is actually achieved within the company.

The Enabler sections are: Leadership, People, Strategy, Partnerships and Resources as well as Processes, Products and Services.

The Results are: People Results, Customer Results, Society Results, Key Results.

The two are regarded as being mutually dependent in the sense that the Results are brought about by the Enablers, but the Enablers have to improve by using information gleaned from the Results, so no one section is much more vital than the other; both are necessary and without each other nothing is achieved. This makes it a very balanced quality management tool.

Applications

One of the appealing aspects of the EFQM Model is that it can be used by companies to self assess their businesses, so there is no need to spend a long time working with consultants who apply the framework. This makes it cost effective for companies who wish to improve their quality management but have to do so on a very tight budget.

Some organisations do use it to help them focus on their vision and aspirations for the future and help make these happen, as opposed to simply leaving development to chance.

But it can also be used by companies as a way of understanding the nature of their business in greater detail. Looking at the partnerships, the processes and how people within the organisation link together and looking at the management and leadership of a company can be a useful tool no matter how large or small the company.

However, the EFQM Model is perhaps best known as being the basic framework against which companies can achieve the EFQM Excellence Award, which enables a company to recognise and celebrate its most positive customer relationship/experience, whether that is internal or external.

One interesting aspect to the EFQM Excellence Model is that it is not just relevant to private businesses. The information and results it generates are applicable to any organisation, no matter how big or small or whether it is in the private sector, public sector (Government, including local government, the NHS, Civil Service etc) or whether in the Voluntary/Not For Profit Sector.

So it can be used to drive forward quality within any sector, business or charitable organisation, which makes it extremely useful and its use is indeed widespread, throughout these sectors, with each easily able to apply the framework and then learn from the results.
EFQM and Business Planning

The results that are derived from an EFQM analysis are often used as the basis for a business planning exercise, so that the results can be fed into the business planning section, enabling future plans to take into account the issues raised within the EFQM. In this way any ‘glitches’ in terms of results, which may show that some parts of the company or organisation are not as healthy as was first anticipated, can be ironed out as part of the planning process.

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