Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

Irving Receives 2012 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

The City of Irving was notified by Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank that it was named a recipient of the 2012 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award — the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence.

Irving is the largest city to ever receive the Baldrige Award, and is only the second municipal recipient in the program’s 25-year history.

“This is an historic day for the City of Irving." said Irving City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. "To have our city declared a national model of performance excellence after the national board of examiners conducted a comprehensive and rigorous management evaluation is a validation of the strategic operations plan we have implemented. Considering we are the first city in the State of Texas and only the second municipality to receive the award in the program's 25-year history underscores the value of Irving's deliberate approach in increasing customer satisfaction by double digits, streamlining our operations, and strong fiscal management leading to more than $40 million in savings and 50,000 staff hours saved.”

Irving was selected from among a field of 39 applicants, including five in the nonprofit category in which municipalities are assessed. All of the applicants were evaluated by an independent board of examiners in seven areas defined by the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results. The evaluation process for each of the recipients included hundreds of hours of review and an on-site visit by a team of examiners to clarify questions and verify information in the applications. Only four applicants, including the City of Irving, were selected as Baldrige Award recipients.

“The four organizations recognized today with the 2012 Baldrige Award are leaders in the truest sense of the word and role models that others in the health care, nonprofit and business sectors worldwide will strive to emulate,” said Acting Secretary Blank. “They have set the bar high for innovative practices, dynamic management, financial performance, outstanding employee and customer satisfaction, and most of all, for their unwavering commitment to excellence and proven results.”

“We are elated to have received this distinguished award,” said Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne. “I’ve always known Irving was a dynamic city. I’m proud to be part of an organization that values the feedback of its residents, businesses and employees, and uses this feedback to enhance the quality of life for our entire community.”

For the first time in history, Baldrige Award applicants were required to have previously received a state-level award for performance excellence. The City of Irving received the Texas Award for Performance Excellence (T.A.P.E.) in 2011, which qualified the city for consideration of the 2012 Baldrige Award.

Highlights from the City of Irving review include the following practices (see attached profile for more details):

  • The City is a Lone Star model of fiscal achievement. The Irving tax rate remains the second-lowest in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Irving is one of only 89 cities in the nation with AAA ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, ratings it has maintained during the worst recession in U.S. history.
  • Citizen feedback is a high priority. Through the use of annual resident surveys and point-of-service surveys, the City has been able to obtain and promptly respond to customer feedback, which has resulted in double digit increases in key service areas. Satisfaction with the overall quality of life in Irving has increased by 37 percent since 2006. Satisfaction with code enforcement has increased 88 percent. Appearance of the city has increased 55 percent.
  • Irving’s consistent results are driven by a team culture. Irving’s strong collaborative culture includes the use of 50 cross-functional teams for accomplishing its strategic goals. Employees give the City high marks as an employer: 95 percent say the city government is a good place to work, 97 percent say they know exactly what is expected of them, 85 percent say they are recognized for the work they do, 94 percent say teamwork is encouraged and 81 percent say they have opportunities for growth and development. In addition, employees are motivated by incentives, such as the City’s “I Win” wellness program, which has helped the city address rising health care costs and employees reduce health risks.
  • Irving is highly focused on strategic planning and process efficiency. The City fully deployed a strategic planning process that is integrated with key customer requirements and includes input from residents, businesses, visitors and employees. Irving’s process efficiency has resulted in more than $44 million in cost savings and efficiencies since 2008. Key work processes are managed using the performance measurement system and improved using Lean Six Sigma process improvement methodology. This has reduced variation, eliminated waste, increased workforce productivity by 50,000 hours, and saved or avoided costs.
  • The City is successfully making its community safe and environmentally friendly. Irving’s police are implementing best practices, such as community policing, a problem-solving team and Twitter-based community watch groups, to make the city a safer place to live. Violent crime has decreased from approximately 700 incidents in 2007 to 500 in 2011; property crime has decreased from 9,000 incidents in 2007 to 7,000 in 2011. In addition, Irving’s emergency responders have improved their response time, arriving in less than five minutes 75 percent of the time, a 38 percent improvement since 2007.
  • Establishment of a Green Advisory committee and an enterprise-level environmental policy ensures the City is using environmentally friendly practices. Since 2008, energy consumption by the city government has decreased by 5 million kilowatt hours; natural gas use has decreased by almost 3,000 cubic feet–creating a total savings of $11.1 million.

Representatives from the City of Irving received the Baldrige Award during a ceremony in Baltimore, Md. in April 2013.