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WHAT IS BENCHMARKING?

PERFORMANCE PROCESS
BENCHMARKING BENCHMARKING

STRATEGIC
BENCHMARKING
INFORMAL
BENCHMARKING

WHY DO IT?
Achieve
‘Best Practice’
rather than just
‘improve’
Provide
Determine where
a catalyst for
the greatest
effective
improvements
change
can be made
Link to:
- planning
- budgeting
- ‘Quality’
PROCESS BENCHMARKING

Step One
Decide What
to
Benchmark

Step Five Step Two


Improve Plan Project
Practice

Step Three
Step Four
Conduct
Analyse
Project
Results

PROCESS BENCHMARKING
Step1: Decide What to Benchmark

A. Make Initial B. Refine Choice


Choice

It is important to spend time Refine your initial choice to


deciding which practice you identify aspects of the practice
want to benchmark you want to benchmark

PROCESS BENCHMARKING
Step 2: Plan Project
Set clear objectives,
boundaries and a realistic
timescale for your project.

B. Identify Scope

D. Manage
A. Establish Team Project

Select a benchmarking Manage the project so


team with the most that it is completed on
C. Plan
appropriate skills. time and within
Compari
budget.
sons

Select the most effective


ways of comparing your
practice with that of
benchmarking partners.

PROCESS BENCHMARKING
Step 3: Conduct Project

A. Train Team B. Analyse C. Choose Partners


Practices

Train team members at A thorough analysis of Decide who to


appropriate stages in the your current practices benchmark with
project according to is a key step in process and why.
individual needs. benchmarking.

D. Design E. Make
Questionnaires Comparisons

Make effective comparisons


Careful choice of tools and according to your plan and
methods of collecting be sure to debrief after each
information means that that benchmarking visit.
questions are asked in the
appropriate way.

PROCESS BENCHMARKING
Step 4. Analyse Results
B. Identify Best
A. Analyse
Practice
Gaps

Compare the analysis of current Develop a best practice


practices with the outcome of template, your ideal of
the benchmarking comparisons how the process should
to identify areas for operate.
improvement.
PROCESS BENCHMARKING
Step 5: Improve Practice

A. Plan B. Manage
Implementation Implementation

Develop a draft Manage


implementation plan for implementation
consultation and refine to against your agreed
incorporate feedback from plan of action.
those who will be affected by
proposed changes.
Process Benchmarking
Decide What to Benchmark

Contents

PERFORMANCE VS PROCESS BENCHMARKING 9

PROCESS FLOW DIAGRAM 11


Performance vs Process Benchmarking
Overview of the Key Differences

ISSUE PERFORMANCE PROCESS


BENCHMARKING BENCHMARKING

What is being compared Only compares performance. Essential Compares process (how things are
to have a clear definition of what is done) and performance (how well the
being compared, so that results process is done).
compare “apples with apples”.

Degree of focus Generally compares a number of Always compares one process at a


performance indicators. These could time.
measure the performance of just one
process, but often cover a wider
spectrum of the organisation’s
processes.

Benchmarking partners The most success approach is to Not advisable to choose


organise a quorum of benchmarking benchmarking partners before
partners as soon as the broad undertaking a thorough analysis of
parameters of the project have been your own practices (process,
decided. procedures) – particularly if best
practice is the goal.

Form of comparison Generally by circulating a report Best done through physical visits to
containing all partners' data. This data partners' places of business, although
has been gathered from each partner other forms of comparison can be
against a predetermined set of appropriate.
performance indicators.

Confidentiality of The identity of the partners as a group Because the identity of partners is
partners’ identity and of is generally known, but each partner’s known, benchmarking partners are
the information being data in the final report can be masked either not competitors or the
shared by a code letter for each partner. information being shared is not
Therefore, benchmarking partners may confidential to the other partner.
be competitors but information shared
remains confidential.

Outcome from analysis Generally to decide on one or more Should be to implement


of findings process benchmarking projects or ‘in- improvements to the process that was
house’ process improvement projects. benchmarked.
Process Flow Diagram
A consortium of organisations decided to benchmark on-the-job training. The START and END
lines on the flow diagram show how they refined their choice by setting clear boundaries to the
scope of the project.
Initial Contact
Mgt. HOD
Consultant
START

Departmental
Program Planning

Costing &
Preparation of
Training Proposal

Present
Training
Proposal to
Appoint
Coordinator/
Teacher

Client Feedback
Teacher/client
Meeting
Dates & times
organised

END
Enrolment
Competency
Details to Student
Assessment
Administration
(RPL)

Registration & Class


Lists
Student Admin.

Delivery of
Training

Recognition
of Training

Client Follow Up
Process Benchmarking

Plan Project

Contents

DATA COLLECTION METHODS: ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES 13


Data Collection Methods: Advantages and Disadvantages1

Method Advantages Disadvantages


Telephone interviews  Easy to plan and conduct  'Cold calling' can be time
 Enables contact with a consuming
large number of people  Difficult to get return calls
 Can be conducted at  People are less likely to
almost any time spend a lot of time on the
 Relatively inexpensive telephone
Personal meetings/  Establishes personal and  Expensive (travel costs)
organisational visits professional relationships  Time-consuming
 Provides more quality  There can be scheduling
time difficulties
 Likely to produce a good
deal of information
Surveys  Ability to collect  Low return rate
information from a large  Impersonal
population  Questionable validity of
 Relatively inexpensive some information
 Easy transfer of  Must be relatively brief
information for analysis  Little possibility for
detailed response
Publications/media  Provides background  Overabundance of
information information in some
 Ease of collection / industries
access  Need to validate sources
 Variety of resources /statistics
 Assistance available  Many obscure references
from data sources  May be time-consuming
 Inexpensive to collect
 Access to information
 Large quantities of
information produced for
many types of industries

Note: Because each method has advantages and disadvantages, it is advisable to use multiple
methods where possible.

Process Benchmarking

Conduct Project

1
Adapted from Spendolini, M. (1992), The Benchmarking Book, Amacom, New York, p.154
Contents

CRITERIA FOR SELECTING BENCHMARKING PARTNERS 15

SAMPLE AGENDA FOR BENCHMARKING WORKSHOP 16

SAMPLE FLOWCHART: STUDENT JOURNEY 17

SAMPLE FLOWCHART WITH HOTSPOTS: STUDENT JOURNEY 17

CLIENT NEEDS AND LINK TO KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS 19

HOT SPOTS: TABLE FORMAT 19


Criteria for Selecting Benchmarking Partners
Online Teaching and Learning

Selection Criteria
Conducting Participatin Offering Partnership Reputation
Benchmarking
Online g in Online Online Arrangements in Online/
Partner
Delivery Delivery Delivery with ACFE for Distance
Online teaching Learning
& Learning
Organisation A    
Organisation B     
Organisation C   
Organisation D   
Organisation E   
Organisation F   
Organisation G   
Organisation H 
Sample Agenda for Benchmarking Workshop
Venue:
Date:

Item Presenters Times


Morning Tea on arrival 9.45
Welcome and introductions 10.00
Introduction to benchmarking including: 10.15 - 12.30
-What is it?
-Differences between Performance
Benchmarking and Process Benchmarking
-Benefits
-Pitfalls to avoid
-Choosing partners
-Planning required
-Actioning the findings
Lunch 12.30 - 1.00
Concise presentation of project which may 1.00 – 2.45
include:
-Background to the project
-Area for benchmarking and reason for choice
-Benchmarking partners and reason for choice
-Conduct of the project
-Objectives
-Intended outcomes
-Any anticipated problems
-Timelines
-Responsibilities
Presentation of the online benchmarking 2.45 – 3.15
manual
-Structure
-Navigation
-Content
Using the manual, participants will work
through a benchmarking exercise to gain
further knowledge of benchmarking and the
manual.
Closing remarks 3.25 -3.30
Afternoon tea
Sample Flowchart: Student Journey
Flowchart Action
1. Approach training provider Receive offer of place if choosing to study full-
with the intention of enrolling time or enrol in part-time study

2. Student and Enrolling Officer discuss options and


Discuss options and choose then complete enrolment details
modules/course

3. Proceed to Student Services to Collect enrolment form and pay fees at Student
pay fees Services Centre

4.  Accept fees paid, ensure enrolment form is


Process Enrolment receipted and retain Office Copy of Enrolment
Form and AVETMISS Data Sheet
 Enter details onto CMIS
5. Capture attendance information for all students
Deliver Training

6. Process withdrawals, transfers, refunds etc. if


Process Enrolment applicable.
Amendments

7. Ensure all assessments are complete and record


Conclude Delivery of Training results.

8. Process Results and Awards Ensure these are issued to student promptly.

9. Proceed to re-enrol? Student chooses to either exit course or re-enrol


into further modules.

Sample Flowchart with Hotspots: Student Journey


There appear to be significant points during the student journey where attrition may occur.

Flowchart
1. Approach training provider
with the intention of enrolling

2. Hot Spots
Discuss options and choose
modules/course
3. Proceed to Student Services to
pay fees Attrition Point
 Student may be offered a place by another
4. training provider
Process Enrolment  Work Commitments become apparent
 Student rethinks enrolment

5. Attrition Point
Deliver Training
 Gain Employment
 Illness
6.
Process Enrolment  Mismatch between course & student
Amendments  Dissatisfied with teaching and/or services
 Financial/Personal Reasons
7.
Conclude Delivery of Training

Attrition Point
8. Process Results and Awards  Student may fail and choose not to
continue studies
 Student may successfully complete
9. Proceed to re-enrol? module, but not choose to complete course
Client Needs and Link to Key Performance Indicators
In this example there are two clients of the one process. Each client has different needs.
Customer Key Needs
The organisation Individual skills that are in line with organisational strategy /
objectives.
Rapid and comprehensive deployment of training to achieve
required competencies in the designated individuals.
Low deployment cost or cost effective deployment.

The individual Increased pay.


Improved job security.
Transportable skills / recognised qualifications.

Source: The Grocor Group case files

Key Customer Needs Key Performance Indiciators*

Individual skills / competencies The % of designated individuals assessed as


that are in line with competent in the relevant skills, as identified in the
organisational strategy / strategic plan or strategic skills profile developed
objectives. for the purpose.
Rapid and comprehensive Cycle time (i.e., elapsed time) for the process,
deployment of training to especially the ‘lengthy’ steps.
achieve required competencies The % of those who need the training. That actually
in the designated individuals. participate.
The % of designated individuals assessed as
competent in the relevant skills.
Low deployment cost or cost The effective cost per head of developing the
effective deployment. required skills in the identified individual.
* Key performance indicators or KPIs:
KPIs measure the performance of processes or procedures. As the term implies, a KPI is meant to focus only on the
key / important / critical aspects of process performance. One important way of ensuring this occurs, is to focus on
the customer of the process and their most important needs.
KPIs are best stated in terms that allow quantitative measurement and measurement of a range or scale of results.
The table provides some examples.
Qualitative measures are acceptable if quantitative measures cannot be conceived.

Hot Spots: Table Format


Key customer needs and performance issues often identify areas that have a greater bearing on
overall system performance. These are ‘hot spots’, areas of the process which warrant a more
detailed analysis and reflection.

Key Customer Needs Hot Spots


Individual skills that are in line with Training Needs Analysis
organisational strategy / objectives.
Also maybe aspects of:
 Training Programs Developed;
 Training Schedule (Flexibility /
accessibility)
 Program Delivered (effectiveness)

Rapid and comprehensive deployment of We would be in a better position to know


training to achieve required competencies what the hot spots are in this regard if some
in the designated individuals. rough preliminary analysis of the elapsed
time for each of the steps in the process are
undertaken.

Low deployment cost or cost effective Training Programs Developed (on the
deployment. assumption that the cost is often locked in
at the program design stage).

Source: The Grocor Group case files