A good benchmarking technique, be it for measuring the success of a project or performance of an organization, is reliant on selecting the right set of metrics. These metrics are helpful for the project managers to compare the effectiveness of their projects against key competitors in the industry.
In this article at Chron, Tia Benjamin explains that it is the responsibility of the project managers to ensure the right selection and usage of metrics that may help in project success and organization growth.
Benchmarking may be a luxury to small businesses, but they cannot afford to lose on various competitive advantages benchmarking can provide. The positive sign here is that with some basic preparation and use of networking contacts, small businesses can conduct their own benchmarking initiatives. However, to attain the maximum benefit of benchmarking technique, the companies must focus on the most effective techniques and approaches involved in the process. Here are a few ways to do it:
- Devote Time & Resource: Give enough time and resource to do an extensive job. Instead of hiring an expensive consultant, assign a staff member to work on it. Research on the basic principles of benchmarking and allow enough time for the benchmarking cycle to be completed.
- Measure Key Competencies: Create a list of key performance measures by identifying only the most critical ones that may help you increase the effectiveness of the benchmarking process. Meanwhile reduce the time, effort and cost of the initiative. Identify the areas within the business that may need improvement and are most critical to the overall operations of the company. Select a few key competencies to begin the initial benchmarking assessment.
- Identify Suitable Partners: Identify the best among comparably sized companies, or select small local businesses that may want to partner in a mutual benchmarking study. Using local partners also strengthens your relationship within the small-business community and increases your network.
- Collect the Data: Conduct surveys to closely observe the business process in action, interview staff or determine an alternate method to gather enough information. Also, take into account the preferences and comfort level of the business you are studying. Once enough data is gathered, analyze your company’s strengths and compare the practices being followed for long, this will help you identify the areas for improvement.
- Implement New Strategies: Instead of copying the conventional practices, identify and implement the new strategies learned from benchmarking practices. To become effective, tailor the approach appropriate for your small venture, thereby determining the best way to integrate the new techniques with best practices already proven to be effective.
- Repeat Periodically: For maximum benefit, the process should not be too frequent or risky for the staff. Instead, improve the new operational initiatives implemented as a result of the initial benchmarking.
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