We came across this easy to follow outline of benchmarking provided by CTA’s Smart Toolkit. It begins with a useful outline of what benchmarking is:
Benchmarking is a project planning tool that provides information on how well a particular product/service is doing, compared with similar products/services. It’s important to know that what you compare it with has the same or similar function and similar primary stakeholders.You also need to know how it has been evaluated, and whether the primary stakeholders were consulted. In other words, you need to compare like with like, using the same parameters. The process of benchmarking involves identifying ‘best practices’ in relation to an organisation’s procedures, products and services.You need to understand these procedures, products and services in detail before you undertake the benchmarking process. Benchmarking was developed in the USA in the 1970s and was used mainly by companies operating in an industrial environment. It is now increasingly used by public sector organisations, universities and development agencies
The Smart Toolkit provides a very visual, chart-based breakdown in 8 easy to follow steps. These begin by helping you identify what should be benchmarked right through to helping you think how changes will be implemented.