Center for Organizational Excellence: Logic Model

Introduction

The Research and Development sectors of a corporate are crucial to its success, or failure. Especially this is true if the company, or corporate, is competing, or willing to compete, in international markets. Having a highly organized and structured company helps in achieving long term goals of development and profit maximization. So it is very important for companies to have strong human resource and organizational units in order to be successful. The company we are speaking off, AHR, during the Fiscal Year of 2008, created the Center for Organizational Excellence (CORE) as part of the Office of Corporate Learning and Development. The creation of the Center is part of an effort to develop a stronger AHR organizational structure that focuses on a strategic approach to pursuing excellence and meeting customer needs. In order to achieve this results the Center will focus on certain objectives and, by doing so, help AHR define sound strategies and navigate a clear path to success. These objectives include:

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  • Building Next-Generation HR-Line Partnerships
  • Promoting a Culture of Excellence
  • Building Organizational Capability
  • Aligning Strategic Priorities with Customer Needs
  • Talent Management

In order to achieve these goals, objectives, the Center is designed according to a certain “logic model”. The ultimate goal is to have a “cash cow” position on the market and have a substantial market share so that your brand name is well recognized among existing and potential customers (Mayeske & Michael, 2001). This is also the founding principle lying underneath the logic model upon which the Center for Organizational Excellence is built.

The logic model is made of the following:

  • Inputs: which are the resources made available for the Center. The staff, employees, the technology and training available for this staff, the contracts, and, most importantly, the funding for making this unit operational;
  • Activity outputs: which are the products, or services, the company offers to the market. In order to have them more efficiently the Center has to create a business intelligence system for performance management, institute the Sic Sigma culture for the improvement of work processes, and use the Baldrige criteria for organizational excellence if the seven areas that drive performance excellence. This is the part of how the things should be done;
  • Customers: or the outputs that are presented to the consumers. Assessments and evaluations should be made for the final product, or service, offered to the consumer. The Center should make three types of report, executive (on the strategy used), managerial (the tactics used) and employee report (the operational aspects). The conclusion should be recommendations and increased knowledge to be used for future improvements. Of course this is part of the larger BI (business intelligence) strategies used to further improve the market position and brand recognition by part of the consumers.
  • Short term outcomes: which are the short term goals, the intermediate outcomes seen on the market. The first two things to come in mind are cost efficiencies and performance reporting. We have the passing from the output culture to the outcome culture. Here the “voice of the customer” is to be noted. This is the part where the company Center checks what has happened when the final product has impacted the target audience of consumers and what is their feedback. Of course that it is the duty of the business intelligence system to monitor the situation and performance in order to have better decision making in the future;
  • Long-term outcomes: these are the impact outcomes, those that leave a longer mark of the market and of which the company should be particularly aware. This is why our description will begin from this sector. This long term outcomes have to do with the company’s vision, mission, vision for the future and business objectives. The Center will assess the customer satisfaction for the company, brand recognition, organizational performance, service quality and, very important, service efficiency;

Long-term outcomes

As mentioned above the long-term outcomes (known as the impact outcomes) are the ones to be kept in mind from the Center when organizing their work. The way which a company presents itself before the audience of the public is crucial for the future of the business. The way consumers perceive your company and its final products, or services, determines the revenues you are going to have and ultimately, your profit (Christ, 2008). Consumer satisfaction and brand recognition are the two factors that help you achieve a good perception of your company before the public. The business objectives and mission that you have will affect this perception. It is the duty of this Center for organizational Excellence to survey the consumer public perception, gain the feedback, and quickly transmit it into the other departments of the company in order to make the necessary improvements as soon as possible. It is also the duty of this Center to adequately advise on the promotion of the company’s mission and business objectives. For example, this Center has to advice the company that it cannot have business objectives or mission that are perceived as environmental hazardous in a public which is extremely sensible about environmental issues. This would be a “suicide” because the perception will be negative and your product and services will not be favored by that portion of the consumer public which is very sensible to these kinds of issues (Christ, 2008).

Other duties for the Center regarding the impact outcomes are the focus of workforce, knowledge management, process management and strategic planning. The first thing was to have the customer in focus but you cannot forget to focus on your workforce too. The “wellbeing” of the workforce is quite as important as the customer satisfaction (Chompy and Hammer, 1993). A not-satisfied workforce could lead to production and planning disorders which will immediately affect the output products of the company, which, on their turn, will impact negatively on the consumer choice of your final products (Chompy and Hammer, 1993). Strategic planning and process management are also crucial to the success of a company in today’s business environment.

The synchronization of processes and their adequate management is the key to having a final product that has a competitive advantage toward the competition in the market. Strategic planning is also what gives your company the necessary vision to “predict” the future ongoing of the market and furnish it with innovative products and services that further consolidate your position as leader of that sector of the market (Chompy and Hammer, 1993). As many would say: Innovation is the key to success! This is why the Center for Organizational Excellence has to lead the way for the company in innovation.

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Short-term goals

The intermediate outcomes are the first outcomes to be measured by the Center in order to assess the impact of the company’s final products. These intermediate outcomes are the ones that require faster action. This in the case there is something to be improved before passing to the long-term goals. You want to “repair” what has gone wrong immediately so in the long term the negative impact on the consumer public will diminish, or better, vanish at all. Thus the Center has a Voice of the Customer Tool on which it “records” the feedback from the customers. This is the start where a first evaluation os made on if there is something “wrong”. Further it comes the phase of “what” has gone wrong and how to fix it. This process can be made through surveys of the existing clients of the final products and services but even with potential customers. it is important for this process to be fast and to record all the different voices of the customers in their feedback.

Thus, the second phase comes. Here the Center runs a “diagnostic type” test to explore what has “gone wrong” to cause this negative feedback of the customers. Here the Center controls the cost efficiencies of the company and also the performance. The cost efficiency part is important because companies today have to find ways of reducing their costs the minimum they can and while remaining at a high quality final product. This is not easy to achieve but it is not impossible either. It is important to note that here is where the business intelligence process takes much of its information to be then processed. Is by using these new informative technology techniques that the Center will use in order to evaluate the company’s efficiency and further try to improve it. In the technology-based economy today, the process of technology development and implementation from research laboratories to dynamic markets has become a key competitive edge of the engineering profession in industrial organizations. A well-developed technology in the laboratory without a successful commercial implementation will not lead to any economic returns. Hence, technology development and implementation must be seen as an integrated subject between technology and market. These techniques are considered to be the core of the CORE.

“BI (business intelligence) is an interactive process of analyzing and exploring structured, domain-specific information (often stored in a data warehouse) to discern trends or patterns, thereby deriving insights and drawing conclusions. The BI process includes communicating findings and effecting change. BI domains include customers, products, services or competitors” (Kirkpatrick, 2002).

According to the definition, business intelligence is basically the sum of all the data, information and knowledge that a company has. But they do not only store the data. Their focus is on the processing of data. By processing data business intelligence can then be used for supporting decisions, forecasting future events or discovering trends within a set of information. By this description it gets clear that it is not only for use by service related businesses but even by manufacturing companies. This information is nothing more than the raw numbers generated from the everyday activities that every business has. The main point is to analyze performance of the company, to watch the status of the supply and that of the demand and to try and find trends that can help predict future behaviors. This information is crucial especially to managers that take it and determine the strategies and tactics that their company should implement in order to be ahead of the competition. This is why technology is so needed in processing fast the information. In the words of a specialist like Mike Schroeck, managing partner of the iAnalytics practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, on business intelligence and knowledge management:

“Analytics can help companies identify areas to pursue, which customers to target. And most important, it can show them the impact or payback from introducing a new service in a manner timely enough that they can refine and adjust their strategies.” (Kirkpatrick, 2002: p.2).

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Outputs

Here we come at the stage where the final product is ready for delivery to the market and for the general consumer public. It is the end of the productions line processes and the first evaluations and assessments can be made. The CORE has the duty to make this preliminary evaluations and assessments in order to avoid having a negative customer feedback as much as possible. The information for evaluating has come from the previous processes we described above and the CORE makes sure that the company does not repeat the same errors that have brought this negative feedback from the part of the customers.

Thus it releases three dashboard reports. One report is related to employees or the operational part of the company. Another report relating to the managers and the techniques they have used. This is sort of the evaluation of the tactics used during the processes. The third is a report relating to the strategies implemented by the company’s executives. The three reports are made to acknowledge the best practices and give recommendations for further improvements.

Products and services

Here is the part of what products and services the company will offer to the market. The duties of the CORE here are to use the Baldrigde criteria for organizational excellence and develop a five-phase approach, which will be achieved from fiscal year 2008 to fiscal year 2010. The CORE will be using the criteria which includes a self assessment, action plans to address opportunities for improvement, and submission of an application for consideration. Selection is driven by a strong business model that has in place: (1) effective leadership, (2) strategic planning, (3) customer and market focus, (4), measurement, analysis and knowledge management, (5) workforce focus, (6) process management, and (7) results. The end result will be the creation from the CORE of a dashboard, a use interface, of information technology. This is what we have called business intelligence before. It is here at this step that this innovative informative technology is formed. Ultimately, the company will migrate to an application based business intelligence system for better decision making. This because business intelligence organizes and presents information in a way that is easy to read and implement.

But here other informative techniques can be used by CORE in help of this system. Business intelligence gives us the necessary information but for process improvements the company has chosen the Six Sigma process. Usage of the Six Sigma set of quality management tools, including statistical methods, and creation of a special infrastructure of employees, who are experts in these methods will contribute to company’s pursuit of organizational excellence. Each Six Sigma project carried out within an organization follows a defined sequence of steps and quantified targets. Initial efforts will begin with selection of CORE staff that will be trained and selection of projects (core process improvements) linked to the company’s mission and business objectives. All of this related to the vision of the company: To become a dynamic, streamlined entrepreneurial enterprise that customer’s first choice and a model for the competition in the market.

Inputs

Inputs, or resources, are the efforts and materials that the company is going to put into creation of this Center for Organizational Excellence.

The starting point here should be the funding that the company will make available for this office. This is important since if not properly supported by funds the Center could not serve the ultimate purpose of its existence: to make the company a leader in the market and increase its profits. The second important asset to be made available to this Center, the CORE, is the adequate leadership team who will run the Center. This leadership team will then have the duty to choose the adequate staff for the CORE. In order to attract the highest quality of professionals’ adequate contracts with the best conditions and payrolls should be offered. The last, but not least, condition that should be provided to the Center is technology. We have to remember the fact that CORE has the duty of running and implementing the findings of the business intelligence system. In order to have the system most efficient system possible then the latest technology should be used.

So, this is the logic model of the Center for Organizational Excellence. This Center is a very important office of a company. It is the office that deals directly with the “wellbeing” with the company. As the logic model described above shows, it is a Center that has to be run from the best staff and team that the company has and it must have all the necessary funds in order to make the proper investments on this office. If the logic model as described is followed correctly then this Center can help very much the company in achieving a leader position in the market.

References

Mayeske, George W. and Michael T. Lambur (2001). How to Design Better Programs: A Staff Centered Stakeholder Approach to Program Logic Modeling. Crofton, MD: The Program Design Institute.

Christ, P. (2008). Principles of Marketing. Web.

Hammer, Michael and Champy, James (1993), Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution. Harper Business Review.

Kirkpatrick, T. (2002) Analysis: Business Intelligence. Web.

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