Business Excellence Frameworks - My Business Excellence

Implementation approaches advocated by national Business Excellence Frameworks have major weaknesses in relation to SMEs

In spite of 40 years of evolution and convergence, the 76 active national Business Excellence Frameworks still overly reflect the ‘big business’ origins of the past gurus of quality management – Deming, Crosby, Juran and Feigenbaum. Consequently, the national take-up rate by SMEs continues to be miniscule (typically less than 1%).

The main weaknesses of the national Frameworks in relation to SME take-up may be summarised as follows:

  • The associated language and certification requirements are regarded by SMEs as too complex and formal, labour intensive and time consuming
  • They rely on a labour intensive and lengthy self assessment ‘up front’ against the criteria for excellence before any action is taken
  • There is no recommended implementation sequence to address all the criteria
  • It is not clear how the criteria for excellence can be intimately linked together to form a cohesive whole (e.g. directly linking knowledge to processes)
  • There are no detailed instructions for a comprehensive step by step implementation, with all these Frameworks being advocated as “non prescriptive”
  • Implementation takes too long (several years to get through the first pass at all the criteria)
  • Seeking an Award for outstanding performance against the criteria can be a major distraction from the main game of building excellence capability

SMEs have unique characteristics which mean they CANNOT be treated simply as small versions of big businesses

  • Lack of financial resources to invest in new ways of doing things
  • Unstructured approaches to training and employee development – with little or no professional support staff for HR or IT
  • Owner / CEO tending to work almost exclusively IN the business, with little time to work ON the business
  • Owner / CEO trying to control every aspect of the business – not delegating enough
  • Immature processes and IT support systems, resulting in ‘fire fighting’ when things go wrong

Changing from a reactive culture where fire fighting prevails to a new culture of proactive intervention is a major undertaking. What is needed is a complete rethink of how the international Frameworks should be amended and delivered to appeal to large numbers of SMEs.

Specification: Business Excellence Frameworks designed for SMEs should have the following features

  • Be simple to understand and as simple as possible to implement
  • Specify how all the essentials of business excellence can be linked
  • Present a detailed ‘how to’ road map for first pass comprehensive implementation within a relatively short timeframe
  • Generate early ‘wins’ and hence yield substantial net benefits within the first 12 months
  • Visually track the resultant business improvements
  • Be affordable

The My Business Excellence Framework and Approach has been developed from the ground up to provide clarity and visibility on the path to excellence for an SME

This is achieved by providing you and your people with step by step support that enables you to maximise the value of the Framework in delivering huge savings for your business over the next 5 years.

Click here to understand more about the My Business Excellence approach.

Feel free to compare the practicality of the My Business Excellence Framework against any of the world’s best known Frameworks

Wishing the best for you and your business,


Dr Mark Rehn, Creator ‘My Business Excellence’ BE PhD MBA FAICD FIEAUST CPEng FIMC CMC