Baldrige and Lean don’t conflict. They complement.

Baldrige consists of questions that ask how you do things, how well are these things implemented, and what resulted from those actions. The questions are based on currently accepted business theory; are comprehensive for any organization whether educational, non-profit, or for-profit; and focus on performance improvement. The Baldrige criteria does not tell you how to do anything. The questions of the criteria make you think about how you do things or recognize that maybe you don’t do things you should. But, it doesn’t tell you how to do them.

Lean can give you a clear idea of how to do things. This complements Baldrige. An organization can easily use the criteria to identify the things that need improvement (opportunities for improvement or OFIs in Baldrige speak) and then use all of the Lean tools to make the improvements.

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