The Baldrige Criteria

The Baldrige Criteria have become the world's most widely accepted model for running an effective organization. The criteria cover almost everything that impacts on running a successful organization.


Strong leadership and direction are keys to becoming a great organization. This first category asks how the senior leaders of an organization define its mission or purpose, the future vision, and the code of ethics or values by which the organization will be managed.

Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning asks how an organization does planning and what its plans are. A description of the planning process and a summary of the major objectives or goals. How plans are communicated, what action plans or initiatives will be used to achieve the goals or objectives, and how the organization changes its goals and plans when necessary.

Customer Focus

Customer Focus asks you to identify customers and their requirements and manage relationships that keep them satisfied. How you identify customers and define their needs. How you win and keep customers and addresses customer satisfaction measures.

Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management

This criteria is a core part of the Baldrige criteria that asks how you measure the performance of the organization and how you analyze performance data to make decisions. Identify the set of metrics you track - many organizations refer to this information as a scorecard. How the measures link back to goals and other important factors for overall success. Use of information technology and how you manage organizational knowledge.

Workforce Focus

How you build a strong workforce, slot people in the right jobs, train them, and keep them motivated or engaged so they consistently achieve high performance. 

Operations Focus 

Completing work, managing control, and improving major work processes. Breaks down into two items: Work Systems that constitute a collection of processes that may be performed within or outside the organization; and Work Processes, how they are controlled and improved.


All the important results an organization tracks and asks you to sort results into five items: Product and Process Outcomes, Customer-Focused Outcomes, Workforce-Focused Outcomes, Leadership and Governance Outcomes, and Financial and Market Outcomes.