Continuous Improvement & Benchmarking

Identify what to Benchmark - Guide
Introduction
From the preceding phase Analyze, your CIB team will have:        Defined the service and processes to improve; Observed the current process; Mapped the current process; Measured the process performance; Surveyed the customers of the process; Consulted the community on the process; and Analyzed the core problems of the process or poor performance to determine their root causes.

With all of this information, the items that need to change should be obvious, and the solutions to these issues should be apparent. However:     Some aspects of the process may appear “normal” and “acceptable”, and in fact they may not be; Some performance measure values may appear “normal” and “acceptable”, but other municipalities may be doing much better; Some core problems and their root causes may not have an obvious solution to you and you may be struggling to find the solution; and Some service policies and standards may be acceptable to the community and customers but these may be quite different to other comparable countries or communities.

Benefits of Benchmarking
When you Benchmark your service or process with other Benchmarking partners, you may discover:   Their comparable processes are performed quite differently to the way you perform them; Their comparable service performance is “better” that your own performance;

124055008.doc.ms_office

Created: 9-Nov-04

Revised: 14-Jan-13

© 2004 ADB Institute

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Continuous Improvement & Benchmarking   Their core problems and root causes have been dealt with by deploying various solutions that you may not have thought of before; and Their comparable service standards and policies are much better and have been accepted by their community as “normal”.

Therefore there are enormous benefits in benchmarking your service with benchmarking partners, for a number of reasons:     You may discover better ways of performing the service or process; You may set higher performance target levels, thereby raising service performance for your customers; You may find a ready solution to a core problem or a root cause that has been successfully implemented; and You may find higher or better service standards that will benefit the customer and are still affordable by the municipality.

For Benchmarking to be efficient and effective in revealing the above benefits to your CIB team, you must firstly have some clear ideas about the items or issues that you wish to benchmark. That way you will be quite focused upon the Benchmarking subject matter, and will be able to pick and choose the best Benchmarking partner and Benchmarking approach to follow. The Benchmarking phase there must start off with this task that is to identify what to Benchmark. The range of issues that is possible is as follows:     The overall process flow or method, or some parts thereof; Any or all performance measures; Core problems or root causes that you may be searching a solution for; and Service standards or policies that “control’ the delivery of the service. Legislation, local laws etc, may be included in this list.

Naturally, not all issues can be benchmarked, simply because of time and resource constraints, confidentiality issues, commercial risks and the preparedness of the Benchmarking partner to reveal the level of detail your seeking. Therefore you need to prioritize the issues you wish to Benchmark according to a set of criteria that will make the process workable and practical for both you and your Benchmarking partners.

124055008.doc.ms_office

Created: 9-Nov-04

Revised: 14-Jan-13

© 2004 ADB Institute

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Continuous Improvement & Benchmarking

Selection criteria
The selection criteria should be the following: 1. The issue can be clearly defined and understood by both my CIB Team and the potential Benchmarking partners; 2. The issue is significant and should it be improved, it will clearly benefit the majority of our customers, or significantly reduce our internal costs; 3. The issue is not highly confidential or a commercially sensitive issue; and 4. The scope of the issue is reasonably well contained and we should be able to deal with this issue inside a few weeks of effort. With this criteria established (you may change this to suite your own context) you can score each of your identified issues using a score range of 5 to 1. An example follows.

Topic selection for Benchmarking

Issue

Can be clearly defined and articulated

Is significant and affects the majority of customers or our costs 3

Not highly confidential or not of a commercially sensitive nature

Small scope and can be dealt with inside a few weeks. 3

Aggregate score

1. The process of enrolling a new student in a primary school (process flow) 2. The average number of elapsed days to issue a building permit (performance item) 3. Our employees refuse to wear safety clothing (core problem with no solution) 4. We collect residential rubbish bins once per week, and collect commercial rubbish bins once per day (service standard or policy)

4

5

15

5

5

5

5

20

5

2

5

4

16

5

5

5

5

20

The issues with the highest aggregate score should be the items you should pursue in Benchmarking. For the above example, we may choose to Benchmark items 2 and 4, based upon their aggregate score of 20.

124055008.doc.ms_office

Created: 9-Nov-04

Revised: 14-Jan-13

© 2004 ADB Institute

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Continuous Improvement & Benchmarking

Defining the issue and objective for Benchmarking
Once you have selected the issues to Benchmark, and you feel that the list is practical inside say two weeks, the next step is to clearly define the issue and the objective of the Benchmarking process. An example follows.

Objectives for benchmarking
Issue definition and explanation
1. The average number of elapsed days we take to issue a building permit is 60 days and this may not be the best possible performance 4. We collect residential rubbish bins once per week, and collect commercial rubbish bins once per day (service standard or policy)

Objective for Benchmarking
To find out how many days others take to issue a building permit to discover whether or not our service can be sped up in this regard. To find out if other like cities have different standards for rubbish bin collection and how this may impact the community and the environment

Once you have the issues selected and the objectives for benchmarking defined, you will be ready to research and select the Best practice providers of a like service.

124055008.doc.ms_office

Created: 9-Nov-04

Revised: 14-Jan-13

© 2004 ADB Institute

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Continuous Improvement & Benchmarking
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this Toolkit are the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) or Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), or their Board of Directors, or the governments they represent. ADB and ADBI do not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this CD-ROM and accepts no responsibility for any consequences of their use. Terminology used may not necessarily be consistent with ADB official terms.

124055008.doc.ms_office

Created: 9-Nov-04

Revised: 14-Jan-13

© 2004 ADB Institute

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