Benchmarking - Uncovering Best Practices and Learning from Others

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Benchmarking What is it?
"... benchmarking ...[is] ...'the process of identifying, understanding, and adapting outstanding practices and processes from organizations anywhere in the world to help your organization improve its performance.'"

—American Productivity & Quality Center
"... benchmarking ...[is]... an on-going outreach activity; the goal of the outreach is identification of best operating practices that, when implemented, produce superior performance."
—Bogan and English, Benchmarking for Best Practices
Benchmark refers to a measure of best practice performance. Benchmarking refers to the search for the best practices that yields the benchmark performance, benchmarking 1 of 6 9/23/2008 12:13 PM

with emphasis on how you can apply the process to achieve superior results. All process improvement efforts require a sound methodology and implementation, and benchmarking is no different. You need to:

Set objectives 1. and define the scope of your efforts
2. Gain support from your organization
3. Select a benchmarking approach
4. Identify benchmarking partners
5. Gather information (research, surveys, benchmarking visits) 6. Distill the learning
7. Select ideas to implement
8. Pilot
9. Implement
The Code-of Conduct
Benchmarking can be fraught with potential problems, ranging from simple misunderstandings to serious legal problems. To minimize the likelihood of these types of difficulties, we strongly recommend that teams follow the simple Code-of- Conduct scripted by the International Benchmarking Clearinghouse. Legality

Don’t enter into discussions or act in any way that could be construed as illegal, either for you or your partner. Potential illegal activities include, for example, such simple actions as discussing costs or prices, if that discussion could lead to allegations of price fixing or market rigging. The process of how you arrive at prices may be acceptable, while discussion...
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