Knowing what your organization wants to achieve is not enough.

You also need to know where you are now — in other words, where your current levels of exceptional performance end. Only by knowing those two items can you identify your strengths and opportunities for improvement and achieve your mission and vision.

But how?

woman in suit selecting reversed words Strategic Management Assessment Review ToolSMART — the Strategic Management Assessment Review Tool — is a leadership and organizational assessment adapted by the University of Missouri Extension Business Development Program’s (BDP) Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers (SBTDC) from the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. These criteria are world-class standards adopted by many global corporate entities to drive efficiency but can easily be used by any size and type of organization. Here in Missouri, MidwayUSA is a multiple Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winner. (See article on MidwayUSA.)

We offer this unique assessment in two forms, SMART and QuickSMART. The only difference is the scope of the interaction; the benefits are the same.

At the conclusion of this assessment, you will receive detailed feedback that identifies your strengths and opportunities for improvement. These opportunities are the next steps in achieving true world-class performance. Your local MO SBTDC counselor will then provide the assistance to help you successfully take those next steps.

QuickSMART, as the name implies, takes less of your time than SMART. One of our expert counselors will meet with your organization’s senior leadership to conduct an assessment. This interview will take about three hours. The counselor will then prepare a report and send it to leadership for review. After they have reviewed the report, the counselor will meet with senior leadership to discuss the findings, review suggestions for improvement and answer any questions.

SMART is a more in-depth process. It involves a team of counselors, more detailed interviews with senior leadership and, if requested, interviews with other members of the organization. Our team will focus on specific results in seven key areas:

  • Customers and markets
  • Leadership
  • Strategic planning
  • Process management
  • Work systems
  • Measurement and analysis of company performance
  • Business results

This process will take an entire day if senior leadership is interviewed, multiple days if interviews with others occur. Our counseling team will then prepare and deliver the report, which will include noted strengths, opportunities and suggested next steps.

Sound daunting? SMART and QuickSMART may seem overwhelming at first, but these proven tools will help you respond to the everyday and extraordinary challenges that go with your business. Companies that embrace these criteria for performance excellence and incorporate them into business practices can expect to achieve more than competitors in the long and short run.

To help you get started, review the SMART criteria for performance excellence.

For more information on SMART or QuickSMART, contact your local BDP counselor today.

– Contributed by Chris Thompson, business development specialist, Cole County Extension SBTDC