Benchmarking

Resources - Benchmarking

The DON Benchmarking Model for Conducting a Benchmarking Study: The 10 Steps

Step 8. Establish functional goals.

"Benchmarking may drive a change in emphasis on which goals are most important. A prioritization may be revealed that was not perceived before . . . the most thorough use of benchmarks would change the absolute value of the goals. metric." (Camp, 1995)

Input to Step 8: The input to Step 8 is the output from Step 7

  • Feedback on the recommended process changes.

A. Write functional goals necessary and sufficient to achieve vision using best practices.

Since benchmarks are statements of an industry's best practices, finding them will require a reexamination of an organization's existing functional goals within the context of this new-found information. Functional goals need to be established as a way to translate the benchmarking findings and recommendations into specific statements of how the organization needs to change to meet or exceed the best-in-class. A goal is a statement of a result to be achieved representing a major accomplishment (DON TQL Glossary, 1996). Benchmarking goals, based on the findings of the benchmarked practices, will set the stage for changes in the strategies, objectives, and tasks of those who actually work in the process.

The organization should now have specific quantitative and qualitative statements from the benchmarking study, and can work on establishing methods for improvement with the specific information, numbers, and standards extracted from studying the best-in class. The world-class target in the process is now known.

Considerations to incorporate benchmarking findings may include:

  • revising and rewriting functional goals.
  • incorporating the benchmarking findings into the organization's strategic goals, strategies, and objectives.
  • ensuring that there is no need to adjust the strategic plan itself based on the new knowledge gained from the benchmarking study.

In writing functional goals, the ESC and QMB should:

  • specify short-and long-term goals.
  • prioritize improvement areas as high, medium, or low levels of significance in scale. Discuss the possible affects on budgets, organizations, and positions.
  • explore implications that new goals may have on the mission and resources of the larger organization.

B. Have performance standards and budget allocations reflect new organizational goals.

Change the performance standards, especially those of the process owners, to reflect the new goals and the desired outcomes of the benchmarked process. Those managers and employees who are contributing to attaining these goals and changes should be rewarded through the organization's performance process. Budget allocations are also a reward and can serve as motivation and incentive for others.

Output of Step 8: The output of Step 8 is the input for Step 9.

  • Functional goals necessary and sufficient to incorporate benchmarking findings and recommendations into the organization.
  • Performance standards that reflect functional goals.
  • Budget allocations that reflect functional goals.

Quality Advisor's Checklist

Before moving to the next step, the quality advisor should review the following checklist:

  • Are all the benchmarking goals necessary to become a best practice in this process?
  • Are the benchmarking goals sufficient to make the changes necessary to become a best practice in this process?
  • Are the benchmarking goals leading toward the vision of the organization?
  • How will the benchmarks be considered and incorporated into future strategic planning?
  • How will the benchmarks be considered and incorporated into the future budgetary process?

Source: USN Benchmarking Handbook

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