Thursday, January 27, 2005

Baldrige Criteria on Process Management

Business Times p.B.1
Thursday, January 27, 2005

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Baldrige Criteria on Process Management

Harry S. Hertz, director of Baldrige National Quality Program, says that for 16 years the Baldrige Criteria have been used by thousands of US organizations to stay abreast of ever-increasing competition and to improve performance. “For today’s business environment, the Criteria help organizations respond to current challenges: openness and transparency in governance and ethics, the need to create value for customers and the business; and the challenges of rapid innovation and capitalizing on knowledge assets.” The Criteria can be used by small or large organizations involved in service or manufacturing as a valuable framework that can help organizations plan in uncertain environment.

Baldrige Criteria and Balanced Scorecard are definitely complementary. One common area is Process Management. Both give big emphasis on value creation processes. These are product, service and business processes that aim to create value for your customers and other key stakeholders, and to improve a company’s marketplace and operational performance.

Baldrige 2004 Criteria for Performance Excellence asks how your processes contribute to business profitability and success and how they address key factors in design effectiveness, including cycle time, productivity and cost control.

Baldrige calls attention to key requirements for your products and services for those processes to achieve efficiency, as well as to meet changing customer requirements.

These factors could be safety, long-term performance, environmental impact, “green” manufacturing, measurement capability, process capability, manufacturability, maintaina­bility, variability in customer expectations requiring product or service options, supplier capability and documentation.

Your key business processes, according to Baldrige Criteria, are those nonproduct and nonservice processes that you consider most important to business growth and success. Baldrige enumerated the following diverse key business processes: processes for innovation, research and development, technology acquisition, information and knowledge management, supply chain management, supplier partnering, outsourcing, mergers and acquisitions, global expansion, project management, and sales and marketing.

BayanTel’s corporate planning expert Marlon Arada says, “our performance to-date would have not been possible without effective processes that we’ve put in place or at least set in motion. These key processes support the only 3 jobs most important within Bayantel: 1) selling 2) delivering 3) collecting. Internally, it’s a well known and an accepted fact that if your job does not fall in any of the 3, nor support even one of them, then, you have a problem.”

Bayan Telecommunications Inc. (BayanTel) is a telecommunications company offering an extensive breadth of traditional links and circuitry as well as cutting-edge data and voice applications to their service areas in Metro Manila and Bicol and local exchange service areas in the Visayas and Min­danao regions. They serve a combined population of more than 25 million, nearly 33 percent of the population of the Philippines

Mr. Arada says that their key processes under these three jobs include:

1. Customer understanding—perceiving customers needs and preferences through research, documentation and analysis of all points of customer interactions, and electronic processing of customer information
2. Alignment process—done through identification and documentation of Key Performance Indicators across the whole organization to ensure that KPIs directly support corporate objectives, including a check of skill-set against job requirement.
3. Focus and prioritization—limiting company and individual objectives to just 3-4 for both business and support groups.
4. Cost management—opti­mizing and systematically allocating resources, particularly people
5. Strategic action programming, not just planning, including capital budgeting
6. Productivity improvement
7. Quality improvement—going by the Baldrige Criteria
8. Project and process management for network and product development/technology adoption process

(Moje, president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp., designs and facilitates programs and initiatives for organization excellence. Her e-mail addy is

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Aklan’s Ati-atihan and Quiapo’s Sto. Niño festivities

Business Times p.B1
Thursday, January 20, 2005

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Aklan’s Ati-atihan and Quiapo’s Sto. Niño festivities

WE were moving toward the Kalibo town plaza, dancing our merry way through a maze of Sto. Niño devotees, Ati-atihan celebrators, vendors, policemen, onlookers, tourists, pickpockets, cars, tricycles and abernano (whatever), when people scampered away in all directions; then, our host, Nancy Uy, received text instructions from her Mommy Nilda Nene Ang not to proceed to the church anymore, but to go back to Queen’s Inn pronto!

We stayed where we were and I asked around for some news. The provincial police chief and his two bodyguards plus an identified young girl were gunned down by still unknown person/s right in front of the municipal hall/police HQ. A number of civilians were wounded. A vendor near the scene said she didn’t know what happened. She heard gunshots; saw people, including policemen, running or hiding from she didn’t know what and she herself hid under her table of goodies.

I am sure you read several versions of the shooting in different newspapers and tabloids the next day. Newspaper dealer Toto Ang said only one version was accurate. One TV newscaster even called it a “massacre.” Of course, he wasn’t there. Mommy Nene and her balik­bayan sister Elma Ang were in front of the church when they heard the shots and took cover between parked cars. It was from Radyo Bombo that they later heard details about what actually happened.

Meantime, the final revelry that should have started as soon as the Mass ended and the drums rolled came to a sudden stop.

The streets were not so crowded anymore. There was even an eerie quiet that enveloped the whole place. People walked cautiously. Children were instantly whis­ked away to safer places. The shooting area was off-limits to ordinary mortals.

Nobody knew what exactly happened especially now that the alleged gunman is dead. No witness has come forward to categorically say that he or she saw what happened.

We were a group of enthusiastic first-time Ati-atihan merry­makers looking forward to nonstop dancing in the streets, shouting, “Viva Sto. Niño,” prodding other dancers, “Hala bira! Puera pasma!” and “Sad­sad!” In our group were honeymooners Gigie and Roddy Peñalosa and balikbayan Virgie David. The whole day and evening of the previous day, Saturday, there was no empty place on the streets to stand.

Then the shooting occurred.

As a precaution, the Ati-atihan parade started earlier at 2 p.m., instead of the usual 4 p.m. Still, there was only half the Saturday crowd. By five, six in the afternoon, the vendors have outnumbered the revelers in the streets. The Ang family and their Aber­nano tribe continued the merrymaking in the palatial house of Baby Ang away from possible harm’s way.

What went wrong with the Ati-atihan feast process? The procession in honor of Sto. Niño in Quiapo, Manila, attracted a surge of devotees in spite of rumored threats and destabilization.

Business Process Mapping authors J. Mike Jacka and Paulette J. Keller claim that for a process to be truly effective, some transformation must occur. “Transformation implies a change to an input. If there is no change, why does the process exist?”

Why do people join the Ati-atihan? The Quiapo procession? The Sinulog in Cebu? The reasons are very personal and not exactly the ones the organizers intend them to be. They are supposed to be religious processes of worshipping, honoring and celebrating Baby Jesus and asking for His intercession for fervent wishes to be granted.

I must confess that I went to Kalibo with no particular religious agenda. For me it was like another fiesta—time to get together with friends and make merry. I had no particular wish to make.

Is the Ati-atihan simply an oral tradition that was passed on from someone, sometime ago and has no religious basis and, therefore, is not a transformational process? We’ve heard of many people “converted” or “healed” after visiting Sto. Niño in Quiapo.

If these are meant to purely lure tourists, local and foreign, let it be or, better yet, enhance the process and make it really spectacular a la Carnival of Rio.

Likewise, do you continue to do certain processes and procedures in your business simply because you have been doing the same thing again and again since time immemorial? These processes are the actual way your business world works. There might be a need to eliminate that process.

What if we do a Balanced Scorecard for these “religious” processes?

(Moje, president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp., designs and facilities programs and initiatives for organization excellence. Her e-mail addy is

Friday, January 14, 2005

Input --> process --> output

The Manila Times
Business Times p.B1
Thursday, January 14, 2005

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Input --> process --> output

I.P.O. Remember that theorem?

The third perspective in a Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is Internal Process. It is the body of activities and actions that enables you to transform whatever it is that you put into your business into whatever you want to get out of your business and whatever you want your business to go and to be (vision, mission and strategic goals). Your inputs will be money, knowledge, skills, machine, method, technology, material, information, dreams, vision, mission, strategic goals, values, customer needs and preferences, regulatory requirements and others. And your desired output is the realization of your dreams, vision, mission and strategic goals.

What you input is what you get? Garbage in, garbage out?

Yes and no depending on your process.

J. Mike Jacka and Paulette J. Keller gave the example of the process of making breakfast in their book, Business Process Mapping: improving customer satisfaction.

“The input is the ingredient that go into making breakfast, e.g. eggs, milk, coffee, bread, butter, bacon, plates, utensils and pans. These ingredients go through a transition we call making breakfast. The output is the finished breakfast—scrambled eggs, toast, crisp bacon and freshly brewed coffee or hot milk. [This is not a particularly healthy breakfast].”

“The process of making breakfast is probably best understood based on the stages of the process.

These stages might be preparing the ingredients, cooking the ingredients and serving the final product. The input for cooking the ingredients is the prepared foods [the output from the prior process of preparing the ingredients], the transformation is the application of heat and other stimuli to the prepared food, and the output—edible food—becomes the input for the final process, serving the final product.”

“Any process must add value to be a true transformation. In this instance, value is added by taking raw food and making it edible.”

Yet, there are bits of action we did during the preparation that spelled the difference among a good breakfast, a scrumptious breakfast and an ordinary breakfast. For example, if we overcook the bacon, it will be seared, instead of crisp. If we undercook the eggs, you’ll have raw, soggy scrambled eggs. If you simply boiled the coffee bean powder in a kettle, instead brewing it in a coffee maker, you’ll have very strong coffee and might need more milk and sugar to temper it.

As they say, it is not only the size and amount of your input, it is also the quality of your process that determines the output.

Let’s take a look at some of the common processes employed by business.
• Plan
• Organize
• Lead
• Control
• Hire people
• Develop people
• Fire people
• Reward people
• Order materials
• Receive materials
• Return materials
• Move materials
• Store materials
• Pay for materials
• Cut cost
• Produce products and services
• Continuously improve processes
• Deliver products and services
• Enhance quality of products and services
• Etc.

Again, naming the process is just one decision. Actually doing the process to produce desired results is what makes the difference between customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction and that is what a BSC measures. The integrity of the process is always suspect and must be protected.

(Moje, president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp., facilitates the processes in planning, organizing, leading and controlling. Her e-mail addy is

Thursday, January 6, 2005

Your business is what your business does

The Manila Times
Business Times p.B1
Thursday, January 6, 2005

By Moje Ramos-Aquino
Your business is what your business does

MS. Elaine Dundon, author of Seeds of Innovation, sends me this article from her Seeds of Innovation Insights:

“We thought the Echo story might be a great way to start the new year!

“A son and his father were walking in the mountains. Suddenly, the son falls, hurts himself, and screams: ‘AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!’ To his surprise, he hears a voice repeating, somewhere in the mountains: ‘AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!’ Curious, he yells out: ‘Who are you?’ He receives the answer: ‘Who are you?’ And then he screams to the mountain: ‘I admire you!’ The voice answers: ‘I admire you!’

“Angered at the response, he screams: ‘Coward!’ He receives the answer: ‘Coward!’ He looks to his father and asks: ‘What’s going on?’ The father smiles and says: ‘My son, pay attention.’ Again, the man screams: ‘You are a champion!’ The voice answers: ‘You are a champion!’ The boy is surprised, but does not understand.

“Then the father explains: “People call this ECHO, but really this is LIFE. It gives you back everything you say or do. Our life is simply a reflection of our actions. If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart. If you want more competency in your team, improve your own competency. This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life. Life will give you back everything you have given to it. Your life is not a coincidence. It’s a reflection of you!”

Indeed all your processes, systems, procedures, programs, projects and other business activities will eventually add up to how successfully you run your business and fulfill your customer-value proposition.

These goings-on will reflect the kind of business you have, the culture of your organization and the style of your leadership. What you do and say is what you are.

All your internal processes would fall under two categories: key and support. This will tell you where to put your resources most. Let’s dwell on this next column as we continue to discuss the Balanced Scorecard.

New Year’s wishes from our readers:

Venus Tiamson, Virginia, USA: “My wish list, I guess, for the new year is to get employed. My big wish for last November during the presidential elections here in the United States was for John Kerry to win the election. Unfortunately, it is still the dumb ass that won.”

Dr. Marcia Bautista: “I am a Family Medicine Consultant at the Dr. Fe del Mundo Medical Center. Dra. Fe del Mundo is 93 years old and is still a practicing pediatrician. “The hospital is her legacy to the children of our land. . .” Her wish is to have a charity wing (re-) built for indigent patients, mostly pediatric ones, but hopefully will include adult patients as well, since the hospital has been a general hospital since 1998. So, that’s the wish of this National Scientist, Dra. Fe.”

Naoko Nagano, Chiba, Japan: More Japanese and Filipinos will know the life of Christ and be inspired by Him, especially during this season. For the many thousands of casualties of recent tsunami in Asia and Niigata earthquakes last October to get help, comfort and courage to carry on with life. My students at Mimomi HS and all the high-school students of Japan will grasp dreams and achieve their own goals.

Arlene Mandia, Digitel: “For parents, especially those busy at work, to spend more time with their children, so we will have a better future generation. For employers to share their blessings with their employees. For the employed to share their blessing with the less fortunate. For the people to patronize the products and services of companies who do well by their employees.”

Ning Santos, author and advocate: “My Christmas wish is that the mass media of communications (radio, TV and print) are free, by the year 2005, of Liars, Intimidators and Extortionists. It is a wish which God Himself, for all His Might, will be powerless to grant if human beings like the owners of mass media, do not cooperate with Him in dissemination of truth to the Filipino People, instead of the lies propagated by the media men identified in my book.”

(Moje’s e-mail addy is