Assignment Question “Performance improvement is high on the agenda of many companies around the world and with the growing number of improvement models now available care has to be taken to adopt an approach that will yield the most attractive return on investment……… Over the past decade, a rapid increase in global competition brought about by technological change and product variety proliferation has accentuated the role of continuous performance improvement as a strategic and competitive requirement in many organizations worldwide”. S. Wongrassamee, J.E.L. Simmons, P.D. Gardiner, (2003) “Performance measurement tools: the Balanced Scorecard and the EFQM Excellence Model”, Measuring Business Excellence, Vol. 7 Iss: 1, pp.14 29 This assignment requires you to: (1) Compare and contrasts two widely known and wellpublicized improvement models: Kaplan and Norton’s Balanced Scorecard and the EFQM Excellence Model. (2) Decide which improvement model you would suggest to your employers that they adopt. You will need to review the frameworks you have been taught and read about, to describe the key issues facing the organisations managers, and to comment on the appropriateness and effectiveness of the selected model, stating how it would benefit the organisation. In order to develop a sound argument and discussion of the proposed topic / issue, you should use relevant academic literature, to support the recommended readings supplied on the LMS. Your terms of reference: • Critically evaluate the Balanced Scorecard and EFQM models and practices to comment their structures, strengths and weaknesses. Review academic papers to support your analysis. • What does ‘quality’ mean in the organisation you have chosen, why, and what are the implications for the organisation, its operations and the way they need to be structured. • Discuss how the Balanced Scorecard or EFQM may improve the quality of the organisation’s outputs and recommend one to your organisation, justifying its selection, and giving reasons why you have not selected the other. Key issues: Because of the diversity of operations that may be chosen for this assignment, it is not possible, and certainly not desirable, to be prescriptive about what you should or should not consider in the report. Your terms of reference: • As a GUIDE ONLY this section outlines some of the aspects you may consider to be significant given the brief shown above. Your report should include: • An overview of both the Balanced Scorecard and EFQM models. • Consider the priority quality issues for the organisation, why, and what are the implications of adopting the Balanced Scorecard or EFQM for the organisation, its operations and the way they need to be structured. • Evaluate what does ‘quality’ mean in the organisation, and use the tools and frameworks you have been taught or read about, to describe the key quality issues facing its managers.
Assignment Critieria • Your final report should be approx. 2000 words, (1500 would probably be inadequate, over 2,500 too long and needlessly verbose. Put the word count on the cover page. • The report should be typed and clearly laid out, preferably 12point font, 1 1/2 line spacing • Spell/grammar checked • Submitted on the LMS • The key to success is analysis: Why? So what? Specific recommendations, resulting from use of the theory. Not simple description of what you have seen without thinking about it. • It is essential that you conduct your analysis making explicit and acknowledged use of the theory. • There must be a bibliography and all references must be correctly cited. • It should be written in a report style, not a long essay. Assignment: Useful Hints This is a practical project! You really do have to go and research the organisation you select. You need to be balanced in your approach, give a critique, good and bad aspects, and use the models to make your choices clear. This will help ensure you conduct a thorough analysis and derive valuable recommendations. Using your background critique of the models will help you identify why they are (or are not) a good fit for the organisation It is vital that your assignment demonstrates a number of elements. This is a practical assignment, and so should show those characteristics. It is important that you break your report down into a logical sequence with a series of headings and subheadings. In the introduction, set the scene, state the aim of the paper and the approach you are taking to the assignment. The literature review section should give a clear overview evaluation of the two models. The next section will introduce the organisation you are using for the assignment, and should show the implications for the organisation of each of the models. Finally, you should discuss which model you would recommend the organisation adopting and why. The recommendations as with all assertions that you make as a result of your analysis should be backed up with supporting evidence and a discussion of why they have been made, it would be useful to acknowledge what advantages would they have for the organisation if implemented. Avoid bland generic statements such as ‘Implement EFQM’. This is of no help. What aspects are key, how would you implement it specifically why etc. This is also an academic report so it should have the relevant academic underpinning. You need to use academic models, and references. There is no absolute number, but NOT counting the lecture notes and recommended textbooks, it should be relatively simple to collect about 10 good academic journal papers to which you can refer and compare and contrast your results. Make sure that you apply them in a meaningful way to ask suitable questions, get useful answers that you can analyse, discuss The report should show three stages of academic/practical analysis: A) Knowledge: demonstrating that the relevant models and frameworks exist. B) Understanding: You know what these models are and the benefits to the organisation C) You must be able to demonstrate that you have made a rational selection based on facts. This is coupled with the balance between description and analysis. Some of the former is necessary, but it is the latter that is vital. This demonstrates your understanding and particularly your ability to apply the theory and derive useful practical results, understanding and recommendations. It is these analytical aspects which represent the higher levels of learning that can be used a transferable skills valued by both academia and employers. Assignment Marking Scheme: With reference to the marking requirements, we are looking for knowledge, understanding and application. Knowledge of the subject, the concepts, models and frameworks. Understanding of their use, interpretation etc. The ability to apply them, ask appropriate questions, get useful answers and from this derive meaningful recommendations for the organisation.