Benchmarking (Part 3)

Benchmarking (Part 3)

A strategy for benchmarking

Though benchmarking can be a complex process in practice, in principle it is quite simple. A strategy for benchmarking can be set out as follows.

Assign responsibility for benchmarking to a key individual - and, if appropriate, set up a team or taskforce to carry out the work.

Learn from others – do some basic research into organisations like yours (though perhaps in different sectors) who have tried benchmarking and might be willing to share their experience (rather than their data). Visit them; talk to them; learn from them.

Decide on the key areas you wish to benchmark – probably your critical success factors. These should be clearly signalled in your existing strategic planning and performance management processes.

Identify which of these might be supported by:

· internal benchmarking (INT areas);

· industry benchmarking (IB areas);

· competitive benchmarking (CB areas).

For INT areas, establish measurement and comparison processes and timescales.

For IB areas, investigate existing datasets/services that might contain useful information.

For CB areas, identify sub-areas where publicly available data might be useful and identify data collection strategies for other areas (whether formal or informal).

Set data collection and review schedules so that the benchmarking data integrates with other performance management and planning/control activities.

Present the benchmarking data – and your own performance data – in ways which make comparison simple.

Above all, analyse your own performance data against the benchmark data to understand performance gaps – and then set in place action plans (with clear goals and milestones) to address those gaps.


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