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Benchmarking

Benchmarking is an ongoing, systematic process for measuring and comparing the work processes of one organization to those of others that exhibit functional "best practices." The goal is to provide an external standard for measuring the quality and cost of internal processes, and to help identify where there may be opportunities for improvement. To be effective, benchmarking should be integrated into operations throughout the organization and should be an ongoing process that analyzes data collected over time. It is a learning process that helps institutions discover how they can best improve the services, direct or indirect, that they offer to their customers

Benchmarking process outline
1. Determine what to benchmark Identify customers
o o

Grassroots request Administration request

Identify customer's requirements in personal meeting Produce summary of requirements and review with customer Customer agrees to provide support and resources Identify critical success factors o Convert them into measures where possible
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Review them with customer

2.

Form a benchmarking team (4-6 people)

Identify type of benchmarking team to organize (intact work team, task form, ad hoc team) Select team members based on ability and motivation Allocate sufficient resources (time, funding, process support) Identify, train, orient internal benchmarking specialists Brief senior management regarding its role in supporting the team Brief support staff on their roles in the process Supply project planning tools; train team members to use effective project management techniques 3. Identify benchmark partners

Allocate sufficient time to investigate best-practices partners Identify specific databases and other resources related to the benchmarking investigation Attempt to investigate nontraditional sources of best-practices partners

misinformation. Collect and analyze benchmarking information Identify information collection methodologies Develop information-gathering protocol and review with team members Prepare structured interview outlines Inform research/library staff of benchmarking information needs Use multiple methods of collecting information (phone calls. 5. surveys) Secure sufficient resources to conduct investigation Collect internal benchmarking information Prepare briefing package to use with benchmarking partners Train team in use of information matrices Check benchmarking information for patterns. or friendly to your organization 4. omissions. geographically convenient.(for us perhaps Blockbuster Video or Barnes & Noble) Do not limit potential partners to those that are familiar. formation of functional networks Continue to improve the benchmarking process along with improvements in product/process . site visits. Take action Produce summary report of benchmarking investigation Send copy of report to benchmarking customers and partners Report should recommend: specific product/process improvements. etc. learning opportunities.