Glossary

The following is a list of terms used throughout the EFQM Excellence Model guidance material - it has been compiled in order to help understanding of and use of the Model:

Approach - the overall way by which something is made to happen - an approach comprises of processes and structured actions within a framework of principles and policies.

Benchmarking - a systematic comparison of approaches with other relevant organisations that gains insights that will help the organisation to take action to improve its performance.

Benchmark - a measured achievement for comparison and target setting purposes.

Business Model - the elements of the business that create and deliver value; these elements normally include the value proposition, the profit formula, key resources and key processes of the organisation.

Change Management - the approach during which the changes of an organisation or system are implemented in a controlled manner by following a pre-defined framework or processes, to support the achievement of the strategic goals. Change management enables the transition from a current state into a desired future state.

Continual Improvement - the ongoing improvement of processes that leads to achievement of higher levels of performance through incremental change.

Core Competence - a well performed internal activity or capability that is central to the organisation's competitiveness, profitability or efficiency.

Corporate Governance - a framework of authority and control within an organisation used to help it fulfil its legal, financial and ethical obligations.

Creativity - the generation of ideas for new or improved products, services, processes, systems or social interactions.

Critical Success Factors - limited number (usually between 3 to 8) of characteristics, conditions or variables that have a direct impact on the effectiveness, efficiency and viability of an organisation, programme or project.

Culture - the specific collection of Values and Norms that are shared by people and groups in an organisation that control the way they interact with each other and with stake holders outside the organisation.

Customer - the recipient of products or services provided by the organisation.

Empowerment - the process by which individuals or teams are able to take decision making responsibilities, and operate with a degree of autonomy in their actions.

Equal Opportunity - the practice of ensuring that all people receive fair and equal treatment regardless of gender, age, race, religion & belief , disability or sexual orientation.

Fundamental Concepts of Excellence - the set of key and proven principles upon which the EFQM Excellence Model framework is based.

Good/Best Practice - superior approaches, policies, processes or methods that lead to exceptional achievement. Since it is difficult to find out what is best, the term "good practice" is preferred by most organisations. Ways to find good practice outside the organisation can include benchmarking and external learning.

Innovation - the practical translation of ideas into new products, services, processes, systems or social interactions.

Intellectual Capital - the value of an organisation that is not captured in its traditional financial accounts. It represents the intangible assets of an organisation and is often the difference between market and book value.

Key Processes - the processes that are of the utmost importance for the organisation since they deliver and support the strategy and drive the value chain.

Knowledge - knowledge is expertise and skills acquire d by a person through experience and education, involving the theoretical and/or practical understanding of a subject. While data are raw facts and information is data with context and perspective, knowledge is information with guidance/ability for action.

Leaders - the people who coordinate and balance the interests and activities of all who have a stake in the organisation.

Management System - the framework of processes, related performance / result indicators and process management and Improvement systems used to ensure that the organisation can fulfil its Mission and Vision.

Mission - a statement that describes the purpose or ‘raison d'etre' of an organisation, confirmed by its stake holders.

Mobility - the willingness and capability of people to change their job or the working location.

Organisational Agility - the ability to respond and adapt, in a timely way, to an emerging threat or opportunity.

Partner - an external party the organisation strategically chooses to work with, to achieve common objectives and sustained mutual benefit.

Partnership - a durable working relationship between the organisation and partners, creating and sharing added value for both parties. Partnerships can be formed e.g. with suppliers, distributors, educational bodies or customers. Strategic partnerships support the strategic objectives of the organisation in a particular way.

People - all individuals employed by the organisation (full time, part-time, including volunteers), including leaders at all levels.

Perception - the opinion stakeholders have of the organisation.

Process - a set of activities that interact with one another because the output from one activity becomes the input for another activity. Processes add value by transforming inputs into outputs, using resources.

Products - commercially distributed goods as a result of a fabrication, manufacturing, or production process that passes through a distribution channel before being consumed or used. In a broad sense, products include a wide range of goods, from commodities to complex installations such as facilities, plants or factories.

Stakeholder - person, group or organisation that has a direct or indirect stake or interest in the organisation because it can either affect the organisation or be affected by it. Examples of external stakeholders are owners (shareholders), customers, suppliers, partners, government agencies and representatives of the community or the society. Examples for internal stakeholders are people or groups of people.

Society - the social infrastructure outside the organisation that can be affected by the organisation.

Strategy - a high level plan describing the tactics by which an organisation intends to achieve its Mission and Vision.

Value Proposition - the differentiating value the organisation's products and services offer to customers.

Values - operating philosophies or principles that guide an organisation's internal conduct as well as its relationship with the external world. Values provide guidance for people on what is good or desirable and what is not. They exert major influence on the behaviour of individuals and teams and serve as broad guide lines in all situations.

Vision - description of what the organisation is attempting to achieve in the long-term future. It is intended to serve as a clear guide for choosing current and future courses of action and, along with the Mission, it is the basis for strategies and policies.