When the mean becomes a goal, we lose the goal and we only focus on the mean

Global, regional, national and internal excellence programs around the world aim to achieve one goal: To raise the effectiveness and efficiency of organizations, departments and individuals while encouraging them to move forward in the journey towards excellence. This goal must be clear and shared with all stakeholders, it must also be promoted at all occasions and throughout all stages of the Award starting from its announcement and until the Announcement of results and distribution of awards.

Excellence Programs strive to embrace concepts and culture of excellence and take them into account at all stages, these programs also take into account the RADAR logic and focus on developing clear objectives for each phase through clear and measurable indicators in order to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the approaches used and how to apply them in achieving the desired goals. Outcomes enable participants to learn from their experience, set improvement goals, and develop the approaches used.

In order for Excellence Programs to achieve the desired results, they must have clear reasons and objectives to drive the development of strong programs that will enable organizations to empower the stakeholders in driving change. They must also adopt a clearly defined vision that is shared and embraced by all employees, a vision that is able to meet the expectations of all stakeholders.

Excellence Programs identify all the relevant stakeholder groups and segment them accurately to get to know their expectations and needs, as they are always seeking to meet or exceed the expectations of all stakeholders which is accomplished by measuring the perceptions of stakeholders, holding stakeholder meetings and conducting interviews and focus groups. The process of stakeholder management has long been considered one of the most important success factors of any excellence program and should be a priority for any organization that wishes to excel.

When it comes to assessments, Excellence Programs must set a transparent selection criteria for the assessors, team leaders and jury members and select the most appropriate candidates through personal interviews. Assessors must then be provided with adequate training and ample opportunities to meet and get well acquainted with the teams they will be working with before the site visits in order to achieve full understanding and homogeneity. This way, assessments are more likely to be smooth, transparent, and participative. Before starting the assessment, it is important to engage the award participants through orientation and awareness sessions to ensure that the assessment goals and the assessment process are clear from the first day. This is an integral step to kick start any assessment project.

Select, Train, Assess, Trust, Empower, and Delegate.

Excellence Programs create a motivating work environment for the assessment teams, technical and administrative committees, away from all pressure. Efficiency is key to the success of any assessment mission. Therefore, it is important to ensure that 80% of the Assessors team’s energy is focused on preparing for the site visit, executing the site visit and the final feedback report and only 20% is spent on submission assessment. This will result in an effective site visit and a high-level final feedback report that will add value to the organization and enable it to achieve a higher level of efficiency and effectiveness which is, essentially, the main objective of the awards process. An effective Assessment process will also add value in the form of a learning and development experience for the assessment teams, technical committees and for the award team.

Always remember that unsatisfied teams or teams working under extreme pressure will only be able to deliver meager results.

Moreover, it is imperative to have a competent technical and management structure in place, one that is able to develop a seamless action plan for the assessment process, the ability to assign roles and delegate authority to concerned persons. The management structure must also be able to respond quickly to variables as well as stakeholder expectations in addition to being prepared for timely interventions to resolve any issues that may arise during the assessment process to ensure that the final results are not affected.

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