The Operations domain of the Baldrige framework is reflected in the Organizational Effectiveness layer of the Organizational Hierarchy of Needs.
Baldrige focuses on all aspects of operations in relation to the company’s products or services, processes, customer value, and overall success (Framework, 2017). This includes internal procedures, relationships, and connections.
1. The Operations Domain: Work Processes, Relationships, Design, and Innovation
How does the organization determine and improve process requirements, encourage innovation, and manage supplier relationships (Framework, 2017)?
With consistent metrics being tracked relative to the organization’s strategy, customers, workforce, and operations with the SES, organizations now have access to easily identify opportunities for improvement.
Innovation is usually driven by recognizing a gap in the current market – either known or unknown to customers. Consistently missing target metrics can significantly stimulate innovation when coupled with a Lean Six Sigma management culture.
Finally, it is important to note that no organization functions in a vacuum. As mentioned in the section above ( Organizational Hierarchy of Needs,Organizational Effectiveness) partnerships are a valuable source to expand access to the market, improve efficiency and effectiveness, and create collaboration opportunities.
2. The Operations Domain: Operational Efficiency, Effectiveness, Safety, and Data Systems
How do leaders and team members ensure effective management of the operations (Framework, 2017)?
Lean refers to maximizing customer value by eliminating wastes and inefficiencies, while Six Sigma is also a quality management system aimed at reducing variation to increase quality.
These two systems operate hand-in-hand by maximizing both quality or effectiveness and efficiency. Of course, there can be a tension between these two results, in which it is important for the organization to identify the allowable tolerance of both.
Alternatively, this tension can spur creativity and innovation for new ideas, processes, products, or services. Lean Six Sigma applies to every aspect of the organization, including data systems (e.g., reducing defects may be reducing data errors or security threats), safety incidents (e.g., ensuring zero defects in employee or customer accidents), or emergency preparedness situations (e.g., optimizing preventive maintenance and effective planning for efficient emergency reactions).