Benchmarking Guide (8 pages)
The Benchmarking Guide (8 pages in Word) describes the key steps to carry out successful comparisons with best practices of other national or international jurisdictions for a public sector function.
The guide highlights challenges and guiding principles, and includes a work plan. Key benchmarking steps are:
- Determine the scope of the benchmarking
- Seek the participation of benchmark organizations
- Compare delivery models and identify best practices
- Summarize the results of the comparisons and assess the implications for the organization.
Clarify purpose of benchmarking
You will first need to clarify what you want to get out of the benchmarking. Objectives are typically to:
Obtain information on the service delivery models and practices of similar programs or services in other jurisdictions or the private sector
Identify the most common and best practices and how the current practices of a program/service compare with these best practices
Compare service delivery costs and performance with those of other jurisdictions.
Pitfalls to avoid
Benchmarking is not easy to do. You can spend a lot of time spinning your wheels. There is often too much information, and unfortunately not the information that you need. Also, benchmark organizations do not want to spend a lot of time giving you information on their organization if they do not receive value in return. Typical challenges include:
Clarifying the objectives of the benchmarking study—you will need to seek agreement on these objectives and use them as a guide post throughout the study
The high volume of information collected and the need to identify the specific information that is relevant to your requirements (this requires judgment and knowledge of the function being benchmarked)
Availability of information—information may not always be readily available to address those questions that are of specific interest to you (for example, cost information is always difficult to obtain)
Seeking the participation of other jurisdictions in the study depending on their priorities and the level of interest of other jurisdictions in the subject matter
The elapsed time required to conduct the work given the time required to seek the participation of the benchmark organizations and the level of detail required of the analysis
The sensitivity of the participating organizations to sharing the information with each other or with the client organization sponsoring the study.