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BENCHMARKING FAQS
1. What is Benchmarking?
 
Benchmarking is a business practice which stimulates process improvement by determining best practices across organizations, through performance measurement and understanding those factors which enabled higher performance of the leading organizations.
2. What are the advantages of benchmarking?
  i.
Benchmarking provides an independent assessment of how well a process is operating, by evaluating performance of similar processes across different organizations. This enables setting of an objective baseline for realistic, quantitative performance goals for your own organization.
(for more details refer to BestPrax Benchmark)
  ii.
Benchmarking broadens an organization’s experience base. By looking at the experience of other organizations it gives examples of behaviors, systems and methods which enable better performance – as well as insights into those things that do not work so well. In this sense it supports a learning organization.
(for more details refer to BestPrax Conclave)
  iii.
Benchmarking provides a stimulus for making breakthrough change initiatives a reality by enhancing the creativityand innovation of teams who are working on process improvement. Their source of innovative ideas is expanded to include all of the benchmarking partner organizations.
(for more details refer to Creativity Labs) (for more details refer to Creativity Labs)
3. What role does benchmarking play in a learning organization?
 

Benchmarking facilitates cross-organizational learning. It is an efficient vehicle for transferring “learning” across organizational boundaries. It is, in fact, a learning process – taking lessons from one organization and translating them into the unique culture and mission orientation of a different organization.

4. What do you mean by process benchmarking?
 
Process benchmarking is benchmarking that uses the discovery of process performance information to identify ways to improve an organization.
5. How do you distinguish between strategic and operational benchmarking?
 

Strategic benchmarking studies influence broad-based change and have the ability to shift the entire focus of an organization – restructure, goals realignment, reengineering core business processes, etc.
Operational benchmarking studies are smaller in scope. They are targeted at improving specific manufacturing and service delivery practices, as well as business and support processes.

6. What are the outcomes of a benchmarking study?
 
The primary outcomes are the measurement comparisons among the participating organizations and the set of best practices which are “enablers” of the leading organization’s performance.
7. What are some of the pitfalls to avoid when you begin benchmarking?
 
At the initial stage of benchmarking it is very possible to let excitement about the ability to visit other organizations create a high level of enthusiasm and involvement in benchmarking. It is improvement to make sure that initial studies not only bring back the information that is significant to the business, but also that the initial studies teach the teams how to do benchmarking so that the organization develops to own competency in the field.
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