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How to use the EFQM Innovation Framework as an assessment tool

It provides indicators against all criteria and can be used to assess an organisation’s level of innovation maturity
Diagram of the EFQM Innovation Framework

The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Innovation Framework can be used as an assessment tool. It provides indicators against all criteria and the maturity profiles for each criterion can be used to assess an organisation’s level of innovation maturity.

If you are considering conducting an assessment of your organisation’s innovation maturity, it is helpful to take the following steps:

Step 1 — Develop and retain management commitment

Involve the leaders of the organisation in creating a shared vision for innovation.

Step 2  Develop a communication strategy

What information needs to be shared about the innovation approach and the assessment? Who needs to know? What is the best way of communicating the messages?

Step 3  Plan for the self-assessment

How will the assessment be conducted? When is the best time to do it?

Step 4  Select and educate employees who will be involved in the process

Aim for a mix of roles, experience and personalities.

Step 5  Conduct the innovation assessment 

Gather your data.

Step 6 — Consider the outcomes of the assessment

What have you learned? What are the priority actions?

Step 7  Establish and implement action plans

Who will take responsibility for each action? What are the timescales?

Step 8  Monitor progress and review the assessment process

There are two ways to conduct a maturity assessment using the EFQM Innovation Framework:

  1. Use a questionnaire based on the criteria. The questionnaire asks the fundamental questions about an organisation’s innovation activity. It provides a snapshot of the current level of innovation maturity. The output from the questionnaire can be used as the basis for developing an innovation strategy and action plan.
  2. Conduct a full assessment against the detailed criteria of the framework. The full assessment is a more detailed approach. The maturity profiles for all criteria are used to assess an organisation’s progress. This full assessment provides a detailed and structured format for identifying and prioritising innovation ideas.
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