Best Practices in Application Writing Kay Kendall Excellence at Work Conference February 25, 2011 Kay@BaldrigeCoach.com 11 Abby Rd.Westford, MA 01886(978) 692-0308
Objectives • Learnings from Previous Applications • Review and Characterize OFIs • Understand Changes in the 2011 – 2012 Baldrige Criteria • Create a Table of Contents • Create a Matrix of Expected Results • Process Ownership and Descriptions • Review Application Best Practices in • Responding to What and How (Process) and Results Questions • Leveraging Linkages in the Criteria
Objectives (concluded) • Identify Needed Information to Prepare or Revise Figures and Tables • Develop a Detailed Project Plan • Map Key Themes to Related Items • Review Two Items for ADLI and LeTCI • Review Categories • Identify Next Steps with Milestones • Wrap Up
Overview of the Application Preparation Process • P – Project Plan • Table of Contents • Matrix of Expected Results • Page Allocations • Actions and Milestones • D – Document • Write or Revise • S – Study • Best Practices from Others’ Applications • Previous OFIs (and Strengths!) • A – Act to Address Self-Identified OFIs
Characterization of OFIs • Those that truly represent gaps in your organization’s performance • Those that reflect a problem with the way your application was written
Characterization of OFIs -- Process • Evaluate “Approach” OFIs • Action to develop an approach – or – • Action to enhance application • Build a cycle of evaluation and improvement into every approach described. Use examples. Be consistent with P.2c.
Characterization of OFIs -- Results • Evaluate “Missing” OFIs • Data available? • Minimize its importance • Evaluate trends – explanation? • Use a matrix of expected results
Prioritization Plot your Opportunities For Improvement (OFIs) against two dimensions – impact and ease of addressing High Are you sure about that impact? The sweet spot! Impact Don't even think about it! Are you bored? Low Ease of addressing Difficult Easy
Key Changes from the 2009 – 2010 Criteria • Category 7 now reduced to 5 Items • 7.1 Product and Process Outcomes (now includes accomplishment of strategy) • 7.2 Customer Focused Outcomes • 7.3 Workforce Focused Outcomes • 7.4 Leadership Focused Outcomes • 7.5 Financial and Marketplace (“should include”) • Reorganized Category 3 • Removed perceived redundancies • Shortened overall length • Improved the logic flow
More Changes to the Criteria • Category 6 renamed to Operations Focus • Item 6.1 Limited to Work Systems • Item 6.2 Limited to Work Processes • Clarified definitions for both • Refocused on Performance Projections • Not intended to say that projecting performance is not important • Remove from the Scoring Range until in the 90-100% range • Added a question in Category 4 • Added as an element of Strategic Development
And Even More Changes to the Criteria • Headings for Multiple Requirements • Form a basic outline of the Criteria • Added two new concepts • Intelligent risk • Social media in Voice of the Customer
Table of Contents (TOC) • Valuable tool to design and organize application • Organized by Organizational Profile and Category • Figures illustrate major processes as systems • Tables - compact way to summarize information and focus on the most important requirements with results figure numbers
Best Practices in Application Preparation • Prepare a project plan with tasks, roles, milestones, and page allocations • Identify key themes and embed recurring examples • Identify an organizing strategy for application alignment and integration • Prepare a figures plan – the Table of Contents • Prepare an expected results matrix – requirement, segmentation, comparisons for all important requirements • Prepare process descriptions to show deployment, systematic evaluation, cycles of improvement, and integration • Use cross-references to reinforce integration
Other More Subtle Tips • Lead the witness – create an expectation for the examiners of what they will see • Refer to the value of the feedback you have received from previous applications • Draw the conclusion you want the examiners to make with action-oriented figure legends and the use of in-graph comment bubbles • No extra white space – think “data dense” • Take advantage of the Glossary with no page limit • Personalize, personalize, personalize -- help the examiners get to know you
Examples of Well-Done Tables and Figures Clear, compelling evidence of cycles of evaluation and improvement and organizational learning Heartland Health
Answers “Who?” “What?” and “When?” Heartland Health
Fully Deployed AtlantiCare
Integration of Two Key Processes Heartland Health
A Systematic Process AtlantiCare
A Great Job of “Leading the Witness” Poudre Valley Health System
Another Great Job… Sharp
Drawing the Conclusion for the Examiners Poudre Valley Health System
Cues and Reinforcement Sharp
Tips For Preparing a Good Application • Remember, the better your application, the more relevant your feedback • Learn to think like an examiner (hmmm, become an examiner?) • Some words are red flags -- “regularly,” “frequently,” “often” • Empty assertion or anecdotal evidence • Future tense doesn't get you credit • Inconsistent references to parts of your organization, initiatives, and processes • “Disappearing” lines of service, customer groups, workforce segments
The Criteria Are Rich! • The “Basic” Criteria are on pages 4 through 26 • More information on the meaning of the Criteria is on pages 33 through 48 • A detailed glossary is on pages 57 through 65 • ALL THREE ARE IMPORTANT!!!
Understand “How” and “What” The Criteria are a series of two types of questions: “How” questions ask for descriptions of systematic approaches Asked in Categories 1 – 6 “What” questions ask for: A list of specific details (in the Organizational Profile and Categories 1 – 6) See the Organizational Profile; also 1.2b(1); 1.2b(2); 1.2c(1,2); 2.1a(1); 2.1b(1); 2.2a(1); 2.2a(4); 2.2a(5); 2.2b; 3.2a(2); 4.1a(1); 4.1b; 5.1b(1); 5.2b(1); 6.1a(2); 6.1b(1); 6.2a(2); 6.2b(1) Performance results (in Category 7)
Define the Process A System Improve Deploy Measure A Systematic Approach - “How”
Approach Deployment Results • What do they do? • How do they do it? • Is it systematic? • Does it support key operational factors and processes? • Does it support the • Strategic Challenges? • Who does it? • Where and when • is it done? • How do they align everyone? • What happens • because of their • approaches and • deployment? • Is it relevant? • Are there positive, sustained trends? • How does their performance compare with relevant comparisons? Learning • Are there evaluation and improvement cycles for the approach? • Is there evidence of organizational learning? Putting The Pieces Together
Baldrige Criteria Language for “Process” 1.1a(1) HOW do SENIOR LEADERS set your organization’s VISION and VALUES through your leadership system, to the workforce, to key suppliers and partners, and to patients and other stakeholders, as appropriate? HOW do SENIOR LEADERS’ actions reflect a commitment to the organization’s VALUES?
Simplified Criteria Language What is the process for. . .? • Setting the organizational vision and values What is the process for. . . ? • Deploying the vision and values to all employees, key suppliers and partners, and customers.
Baldrige Criteria Language for “Process” 1.1b(2)HOW do SENIOR LEADERS create a focus on action to accomplish the organization’s objectives, improve PERFORMANCE, and attain its vision? How do SENIOR LEADERS identify needed actions? How do SENIOR LEADERS include a focus on creating and balancing VALUE for PATIENTS and other STAKEHOLDERS in their organizational PERFORMANCE expectations?
Simplified Criteria Language What is the process for…? • Driving improvement action • What performance metrics are used? • Creating and balancing (by senior leaders) needs of all Stakeholders
Baldrige Criteria Language for Results 7.1a(1)What are your current LEVELS and TRENDS in KEY MEASURES or INDICATORS of health care outcomes and PROCESS PERFORMANCE that are important to and directly serve your PATIENTS and STAKEHOLDERS? HOW do these RESULTS compare with the PERFORMANCE of your competitors and other organizations with similar offerings?
Simplified Criteria Language • What are your current levels and trends of performance in product and service related key measures…? • What are your comparative/competitive results for …?
The Linkages Abound!(or should) – some examples • P.1a(1) Main product offerings --> P.1a(2) Core competencies and 6.2a Work process design --> 7.1 Product outcomes • P.1a(3) Workforce or employee groups and segments --> 5.2 Methods and measures differ across workforce groups and segments --> 7.3 Workforce-focused outcomes [hint: don't forget your volunteers, if you have them]
More Examples of Linkages • P.1b(2) Key customer groups and segments --> 3.2a(1) Health Care Service Offerings--> 7.2 Customer Focused Outcomes and 7.5(2) Indicators of marketplace performance • P.2a(3) Sources of comparative and competitive data --> 4.1a(2) Selection and use of key comparative data --> Category 7 results
And a Few (Obvious) Ones • P.2b Strategic advantages and challenges -->2.1a(1) Strategy development process and 2.1b(1) Strategic objectives • P.2c Performance improvement system – 6.2b(4) [hint: really, all Process Items since improve-ment is one of the scoring dimensions]
Project Planning Is Key • Milestones • Deadlines • Who • Dependencies