Swedish competitiveness will strengthen by more focus on continuous improvement
SIQ is a National centre for business excellence in Sweden. It is a non-for profit organisation founded in 1990. Founders are the government and the supporting members association, today represented by a cross industry group of about 100 companies and organisations.
The SIQ mission is to stimulate and contribute toward continuous improvement with a wide perspective in all kinds of organisations.
SIQ is running the Swedish Quality Award, aiming at finding good role models as well as providing detailed feedback to all participating organisations to help them in their journey towards success. It is awarded in two classes, large organisations with 200 employees or more and small organisations with fewer than 200 employees.Recognition is given to organisations in which site visits have verified a good level.
SIQ is also running the Quality Award, ”A Better School”, in close cooperation with the Swedish School Board on behalf of the Ministry of Education. The purpose of the award is to support the development of systematic quality work in Swedish schools and nursery schools.
In order to better safe guard the interest for the award among companies and organisations and to support their commitment, we invite them to participate in a network called ”The challengers network”. The network is about giving a forum to share experiences and challenges for management in such organisations that have stated their commitment to participate in a future award process. This way of working has proved to be effective, especially among principals in schools.
The Award process in 2011
This year we received seven applications for the Swedish Quality Award, three of those categorised as large organizations. We also received eleven applications for the School Award.
The applicants participate by making a self-assessment, either as a “proforma process”, or if preferred, based on a process incorporating a web survey with a management analysis. The web survey – called ”inSIQt” (freely translated as ”insight”) - is based on the EFQM excellence model criteria and comprised of about ninety statements. These are responded to both by management and staff.
Each year SIQ train a large number of new assessors. This year approximately 100 people qualified for the training. By mixing more experienced assessors with new ones we safeguard a high quality standard. At the same time we can reach new organisations, as the assessors become ”ambassadors” for business excellence. The Swedish Quality Award is presented by the end of the year through a ceremony where the king of Sweden is handing over the prize. The ceremony is in most cases located in the premises of the recipient, making it possible for many of their staff to participate.
Quality Innovation of the Year
In 2011 SIQ is running ”The Quality Innovation of the Year Award” for the first time, aiming at stimulating more innovations of high quality. It is a joint arrangement between SIQ, Excellence Finland and Estonia. The award process offers an organisation the opportunity to measure them and get feedback on both quality and innovativeness. We received no less than thirteen qualified applications. The prize for 2011 was awarded to three Swedish organisations during a ceremony in Helsinki on the 10 th of November.
Swedish Quality Management Academy
The basic idea of the Swedish Quality Management Academy (SQMA) is an investment in research and on collaboration between universities in Sweden, which conducts research in the quality field. Sustained competitiveness requires continuous improvement of products, services and processes. Today´s quality defect costs in both industry and the public sector indicates a significant potential for improvement. In order to be able and exploit this improvement requires new knowledge and advanced methods. Research in the quality field is fragmented and requires a joint effort of several universities to create a focus to find solutions. The establishment of the Swedish Quality Management Academy aims at accomplishing research based on organisational identified needs and to serve as a bridge between science and application in the quality field. The platform offers a close research collaboration and the formation of a cross-sectorial innovation system in which business, public sector and academia are linked through SIQ. By establishing the platform, the Swedish research in this area becomes a critical resource for knowledge about successful Total Quality Management.
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