Continuous Improvement & Benchmarking

Develop the Benchmarking approach - Guide
Different models for Benchmarking
Benchmarking has been performed using a range of different “models” some take a lot more time and effort than others, and some although very “short and sharp and to the point” will still yield valuable information with which you can identify improvement opportunities in your own service. Below are the Benchmarking models and their features.

Facilitated spoke model
Partner Partner Partner Partner Lead Partner Facilitator Partner Partner Partner Partner Partner

The Facilitated spoke model uses a professional facilitator that has experience in Benchmarking. Sometimes this facilitator is a Benchmarking partner but more commonly the facilitator is a consultant that is engaged by the partners or a lead partner to conduct the Benchmarking program. Generally the process is done by mail, or by the Internet. The facilitator develops a survey and then sends the survey to selected partners; this may be random or by specific selection. The partner completes the survey instrument and sends the results back to the facilitator, who then processes the results and formats conclusions, average performance or highs and lows. The consolidated results are then published in a Benchmarking paper and returned to the original partners and in some cases to the media and professional bodies. To see more information on this approach search the internet using “internet based surveys”. This form of survey is most useful if you want to collect information from a wide range of people. It is suited to a short survey, taking less than 10 minutes to complete, and must have an incentive for the partner to put the time and effort into completing the survey instrument. You can expect a response rate of less than 10%.
124055472.doc Created: 8-Nov-04 Revised: 14-Mar-05 © 2004 ADB Institute 1 of 11

Continuous Improvement & Benchmarking

Facilitated network model
Partner Partner Partner

Partner

Facilitator

Partner Partner

Partner Partner

The Facilitated network model again uses a facilitator that may be a consultant experienced in facilitating Benchmarking studies. The facilitator is usually appointed by a partner or by a professional body such as an Association or Industry body, or even a Government Department. The partners are known, and they sign an agreement or a MOU to participate in the Benchmarking study. A study can last between 3 months and six months, and can deal with many subjects or just one subject. The facilitator gets all the partners to meet, they decide upon the subject to be Benchmarked, how performance will be measured and the time table for the study. The partners meet together regularly, usually monthly, and compare performance, process features and then decide together what is Best practice. Each partner then compares their own service/ or subject to the Best practice and develops a “Gap analysis”. It is up to each partner to then decide upon their own improvement priorities and implementation approach. Normally, the partners will reconvene and compare notes on how successful they have been with their improvements. This model is ideal when a small number of partners are involved and they want to work together. They will likely be from the same industry, and will probably know each other beforehand.

124055472.doc

Created: 8-Nov-04

Revised: 14-Mar-05

© 2004 ADB Institute

2 of 11

Continuous Improvement & Benchmarking

Network model
Lead Partner Partner Partner

Partner

Partner Partner Partner

Partner

The Network model is similar to the Facilitated network model, except that there is no facilitator to assist with managing and facilitating the entire program. This model can work if there is a Lead partner that takes on the responsibility of facilitator and wears both hats during the program. Generally this model is not successful because the individual partners and the Lead partner do not have the experience to structure a Benchmarking study, to train the participants and to broker different opinions on how the program should be carried out. The benefit of this model is that there is no additional cost to engage a facilitator.

Sole operator model
Partner Partner Partner Partner

Lead Partner Partner

The Sole operator model is where the Lead partner takes the initiative and simply acquires information from other “partners” and there is no feed back to the partners nor do the partners have any communication between each other. This approach is best suited to an industry that is competitive or the Benchmarking needs to be done quickly
124055472.doc Created: 8-Nov-04 Revised: 14-Mar-05 © 2004 ADB Institute 3 of 11

Continuous Improvement & Benchmarking with out the effort of formally contacting the partners to gain their cooperation and involvement.

124055472.doc

Created: 8-Nov-04

Revised: 14-Mar-05

© 2004 ADB Institute

4 of 11

Continuous Improvement & Benchmarking This approach can use: • • An arranged site meeting where by a list of questions is asked of the partner, and information is simply collected from the partner; An unannounced visit is made to the partner’s site, no formal communication is made, but the process is observed and notes taken on how the partner delivers the service or conducts the process. This approach limits the information to publicly available information; A customer role play, whereby the Lead partner takes on the role of a customer and experiences the service or process and notes the features of it. Again this approach will only pick up publicly available information, or information that the partner is prepared to release to the “customer”. The customer can take this role on as a “normal” customer, or one that may have special requirements and one that asks a lot of questions. This approach must be done with care, because if the partner does discover that you are role playing a customer, they may see this as wasting their time and you may get them off side; Research publicly available information from documents, the Internet, promotion material, customer instructions, pricing lists, etc. This approach is a little “safer” than the customer role play approach, but again the information is limited to publicly available information, and may be limiting for your needs. However, it is economical; it is fast and can still reveal information about a service or a business that is valuable. Telephone interview is best used where the partner is remote (in another country) and open and good communications has been established. This is the case with “sister cities” and with subsidiary companies that are part of a global conglomerate. The partners will not be competitive, and will be willing to discuss their processes. It is best to develop a survey or questionnaire before the telephone communication takes place, and several calls may be necessary to discover the detail you may need.

Degrees of Benchmarking
There are two degrees of Benchmarking: 1. “Performance Benchmarking” that simply looks at and compares performance between partners; and 2. “Process Benchmarking” that looks deeper into the way various processes are carried out and the best practice features of the processes. By taking the different models of Benchmarking and associating them with your Benchmarking needs, you will see which is the most appropriate Benchmarking model to choose.

124055472.doc

Created: 8-Nov-04

Revised: 14-Mar-05

© 2004 ADB Institute

5 of 11

Continuous Improvement & Benchmarking

Choosing the Benchmarking model to best meet your needs
The first step is to grade the scores relating to the needs of your Benchmarking study. Review the following example.
Service or process to be Benchmarked I will seek detailed performance measuremen t information =5 I will not request any performance indicator information = 1 Solid waste collection – review of service standards Automation of the property data base Library services – purchasing and cataloguing new books 5 I will request an in-depth understanding of the process =5 I will not require an indepth understanding of the process =1 I have a complex set of problems to resolve and will need partner assistance = 5 My problems are minimal = 1 I must complete the Benchmarking inside 2 weeks = 5 I can afford several months to complete the study =1

1

1

5

2

5

4

2

3

2

2

4

124055472.doc

Created: 8-Nov-04

Revised: 14-Mar-05

© 2004 ADB Institute

6 of 11

Continuous Improvement & Benchmarking The following matrix indicates the most (score 5) or the least (score 1) favorable Benchmarking model to choose to meet the specific needs of your CIB project.

Benchmarking model

Provides Performance indicators only

Provides In depth understanding of processes

Provides Complex problem solving – policy development 1

Provides Quick – short duration – around two weeks 4

Facilitated spoke model – has central facilitator calling for information and then distributes information back to the partners Facilitated network model – has a central facilitator; partners work together and meet to compare performance and processes Network model – no facilitator is involved and partners communicate directly with each other Sole operator model – using an arranged site meeting or visit to observe the process and seek information from the host partner Sole operator model – using an unannounced visit to observe the process from the public’s point of view Sole operator model – using a customer role play to see how the process operates from the perspective of the customer Sole operator model – using public research, such as internet pages, price lists, promotion materials to acquire publicly available information without the need to physically visit the partner Sole operator model – using a telephone interview to seek a range of information on the spot

5

2

5

4

4

1

3

2

2

2

2

4

4

4

1

3

1

5

2

3

1

5

2

2

1

4

3

3

2

5

124055472.doc

Created: 8-Nov-04

Revised: 14-Mar-05

© 2004 ADB Institute

7 of 11

Continuous Improvement & Benchmarking The Facilitated Network model (shaded yellow above) is the model that was used by the ADB in the Benchmarking studies referred to in the Introduction section of this Learning toolkit. The final step is to choose the best Benchmarking model, that fits the needs of your study. To do this compare the four scores of your Needs matrix above with the four scores of the Benchmarking models, and choose the best fit. This should be the Benchmarking approach you should use. In the above example, the best choice would be:

Service for Benchmarking Solid waste collection – review of service standards Automation of the property data base Library services – purchasing and cataloguing new books

Best Benchmarking model to use Facilitated spoke model Sole operator model using an arranged site visit Sole operator model using a telephone interview

Planning the Benchmarking program
Once you have decided upon the Benchmarking model and method, it will be necessary to plan the Benchmarking program. The key steps in Benchmarking are shown below and linked to the Benchmarking models in respect of whether or not the step is relevant to that model.

124055472.doc

Created: 8-Nov-04

Revised: 14-Mar-05

© 2004 ADB Institute

8 of 11

Continuous Improvement & Benchmarking

Benchmarking plan steps for each model
Benchmarking steps
Fac’ spoke Fac’ network Site meeting Unanno unced visit Cust’ role play Research Tel’ interview

1. Appoint a facilitator 2. Approach Benchmarking partners and negotiate for their participation 3. Arrange the logistics for partners to meet and communicate with each other 4. Agree the overall plan with each partner 5. Train the partners in Benchmarking techniques 6. Agree and define the processes to Benchmark 7. Define the performance measures 8. Collect performance measure data 9. Process map the processes 10. Compare performance results 11. Compare processes

yes yes

yes yes yes yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes yes

yes

yes

yes yes yes

yes yes yes yes

yes yes yes

yes

yes

yes

yes yes

yes yes

yes

yes

yes yes

yes yes yes yes yes

yes

yes

12. Agree best practice performance and process features 13. Complete a gap analysis between current processes and performance to best practice 14. Develop improvement plan

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

124055472.doc

Created: 8-Nov-04

Revised: 14-Mar-05

© 2004 ADB Institute

9 of 11

Continuous Improvement & Benchmarking
Benchmarking steps
Fac’ spoke Fac’ network Site meeting Unanno unced visit Cust’ role play Research Tel’ interview

15. Compare improvement successes

yes

124055472.doc

Created: 8-Nov-04

Revised: 14-Mar-05

© 2004 ADB Institute

10 of 11

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.

124055472.doc

Created: 8-Nov-04

Revised: 14-Mar-05

© 2004 ADB Institute

11 of 11

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful