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1. Definition and Background
EFQM stands for the European Foundation for the quality management, According to Hakes (2007) it is the non -prescriptive framework for the Total Quality Management, this model was introduced in 1992 as the framework on which the organizations could be assessed basing on the European Quality award, the model is based on the nine element criteria , five of this elements act as the enablers while the remaining elements are result oriented , the enablers are mainly used to describe what the organization does while, the results on the other hand measures what the organization can achieve,
a) Enablers include the following; leadership elements, the people or society, the organizational policies and strategies, the partnerships and the resources and the processes. This defines how a given organization conducts its activities, the way in which it manages its staff and the resources, the way it plans its strategy and how the organization reviews and monitor its processes.
b) The results include those that are based on people, the customers, the society and the key performance. These are mainly the achievements of the organization; they measure the level of satisfaction of the employees and the customers of an organization. The results are highlighted basing on the impacts to the wider community and the performance indicators of an organization.
Generally there exists a mutual relationship where the enablers lead to the results while the feedback from the results is used to modify the enablers.
The EFQM model provides the platform on which the approaches to achieving the sustainable excellence are grounded (Kanji, 2002).The sustainable excellence is linked to all aspects of performance, it also dictates that the excellent results which are achieved with respect to the performance, the customer's needs, peoples preferences and the society can only be achieved through the effective leadership driven by the policy and the strategy, this is delivered through the partnerships created by people, the resources and the processes. This model is the most favored and widely used by most organizations across Europe.
2. Implementation strategy
This model is used by most organizations because of its wider applications irrespective of the organizations sectors, size and the stages of development. The excellence model requires the following resources; leadership, proficiencies or the skills, time (staff time), the courses, support and the information.
The implementation strategy of this framework depend s on the type of the organization, each organization is required to find its own suitable strategy for implementation. However, most organizations have implemented it using the questionnaires which are based on the model; other organizations have employed the workshop approach by gathering information across the organization basing on the nine element criteria and how they are being achieved. Some organizations use the approach which whereby the organization produces the detailed documentation which describe the undertakings of the organization in the nine element criteria. The organization can also make use of the small teams within it in short sessions to work through the model in order to develop a picture reflecting where it stand s and the various criteria to be used. After carrying out the self assessment exercise the organization takes appropriate actions to improve on its performance basing on the guidance provided by the model.
The EFQM excellence model provide the practical means for use in the organizations in a number of ways, it acts as the tool for self assessment, as a means of bench marking with other organizations, it is also a guideline for identifying various areas for improvement, it also provides the platform for brainstorming and acts as the structure for the organizational planning and management (Watson, et al. 2005).
When implemented the EFQM model has a lot of benefits to the organization, it is a holistic framework which addresses a thorough range of qualities of the organizations, and it also makes use of the feedback from the organizational results criteria. The model also provides the clear diagnosis for the organizations activities thus forming a very useful basis for planning by linking the activities and the achievements. Since it does not require the external validation it is applied as the internal driving factor for self-assessment and the tool for gauging the organizational performance thereby instilling a culture of continuous improvement. Apart from being applied to external benchmarking and comparison purposes in the organization it is also amongst the organizations for assessment of the strengths and weakness for improvement purposes (Stockmann, 2008).
However the EFQM model has its own potential limitations when implemented in an organization's management strategy. It was traditionally invented with an option for scoring and coupled with the recognition scheme with the European award, such arrangements are not suitable in the business sector since they might be seen as being biased towards the small enterprises by logging them out of the award scheme. This model also has limitations since it is not based on any formal mark as a form of accreditation; this renders it invisible to the most important business participants such as the customers or the service users and the stakeholders.
Though this model has been used successfully by a number of organizations which are both medium and large or the voluntary organizations, it is evident that the model was initially developed for use by the commercial sector. in addition to this some of the language of the EFQM Excellence Model cannot be translated easily into the social enterprises or the voluntary organizations ( Hendricks & Singhal,1996).