On Benchmarking

Last week I presented at the 1st International Benchmarking Conference in Tehran. It was an interesting experience – and one which taught me quite a lot about our host nation.

I gave the opening presentation, so my theme was broad. While preparing my presentation, I decided to provoke some thinking so, rather than expand on the merits of benchmarking, my approach was to give examples of the risks of benchmarking without adequate thought. Specifically on:

  • What to benchmark
  • How to benchmark
  • How to interpret benchmark information
  • How to communication and share benchmarking findings

The key message was that benchmarking is a great tool but it needs to be used properly. I summed it up as “a hammer is a great tool but if you use a hammer to brush your teeth, you won’t have much to smile about”.

high-jump

Great care needs to be taken when benchmarking to ensure you benefit and don’t harm your organization. If you would like to learn about benchmarking or face a challenge where you think learning best practice could help, get in touch with the Institute.