To seek out "best practices" from other organizations or departments using qualitative measures to compare costs, quality, etc. of processes.
- Identify what is to be benchmarked. Be specific in deciding what the team wants to benchmark.
- Decide which organizations/functions to benchmark. The comparison should be conducted against, not only peers, but also against leadership organizations and functions regardless of where they exist. Include peer, functional, internal, and generic organizations. Identify the recognized leaders with similar functions.
- Determine the data collection method and then, collect data. Keep the data collection process simple. There is no one right way to benchmark. It is important to look outwardly, be innovative, and look for new and different ways to improve the process under study.
- Contact your peer in the benchmark organization by telephone. Explain what you are trying to do. Assure your contact that you will not ask for any confidential information. Ask what they do, why they do it, how they measure and/or evaluate it and what their performance measures are. Ask what has worked successfully and what has not been successfully.
- Determine if what the team has learned from benchmarks can be applied to improve ASU's process. Are there new and different ways to solve the problem or improve the process? Are there other solutions to the problem that the team has overlooked? It's important to keep an open mind about new and perhaps radically different ways of doing things.
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