“Benchmarking” is something we do every day of our lives because benchmarking is about making comparisons. So, when we make choices or select a product, service (or anything else), we are doing so after comparing one product or service with another. It may be something rather trivial like the type of bread we chose for our sandwich for today’s lunch, or something major like the hospital we chose to perform a surgical procedure. So, we use comparisons to help us make good decision – that’s the purpose of benchmarking.


When carrying out benchmarking we, essentially, develop our criteria, look at (or sample) the options and then make a choice - that’s the process of benchmarking.


A “Benchmark” (as opposed to benchmarking) is a standard, something to aspire to and, again, something we use in our daily life: we may have a benchmark weight that we are dieting to achieve; a benchmark time we are attempting to match in our daily jog; a benchmark blood pressure or cholesterol level that we need to achieve to remain in good health.


It is very much the same at an organisational level where the process of “Benchmarking’ is described by David T Kearns Chairman, Xerox Corp (1982 – 1990) as: “the continuous process of measuring products, services and practices against the toughest competitors or those companies recognized as industry leaders;” the purpose of benchmarking at a business level is improvement. The “toughest competitors or recognised industry leaders” are known as “the Benchmarks.”





By the end of the programme delegates will be able to:

  1. Define benchmarking terms.

  2. Describe the different types of benchmarking and explain the advantages and challenges of each type.

  3. List the phases together with the steps and activities in each phase.

  4. Describe the relationship of benchmarking to other quality tools and key business processes.

  5. Identify potential benchmarking opportunities.





It is our intention to give you an opportunity to understand the nature and practice of benchmarking. In order to do so, we will present you with a range of learning experiences including presentations, case studies and exercises.



Duration: 2 days



Class size:


To ensure maximum benefit for each delegate it is recommended that the class size for this programme does not exceed 16.



Who it's for:


Directors, senior managers and business improvement professionals from all sectors who wish to learn world-class approaches from others.



Course Content



Day 1


  • Introductions, administration and objectives.

  • Presentation: The legal issues and the Benchmarking Code of Conduct

  • Exercise: why do organisations Benchmark?

  • Review of Exercise.

  • Presentation: The impetus for Benchmarking

  • Exercise: define Benchmarking

  • Review of Exercise

  • Presentation: definition of terms

  • Presentation: Benchmarking as part of a Quality/Continuous Improvement strategy

  • Exercise: define Quality

  • Review of Exercise

  • Exercise: write your own Quality Policy

  • Review of Exercise

  • Presentation: some of the benefits of Benchmarking

  • Exercise: measurable aspects of a business that may be usefully Benchmarked

  • Review of Exercise

  • Presentation: Introduction to the Balanced Scorecard

  • Case Study: an example of the items (metrics) one company attempted to Benchmark.




Day 2


  • Presentation: the four types of Benchmarking

  • Exercise: the potential benefits and problems of each method

  • Review of Exercise

  • Presentation: Benchmarking examples

  • Presentation: the implementation process – getting started

  • Presentation: the implementation process – the 5-phase, 10 step Benchmarking process

  • Presentation: Phase 1 – Planning

1. Identifying the process to be Benchmarked

2. Identifying best in class

3. Deciding on the best data collection method and collecting the data.

  • Presentation: Phase 2 – Analysing

4. Identifying current performance gaps

5. Projecting future performance gaps

  • Presentation: Phase 3 – Integrating

6. Communicating the analysis

7. Establishing goals

  • Presentation: Phase 4 – Actioning

8. Developing an action plan

9. Implementing the action plan and monitoring compliance

10. Recalibrating Benchmarks

  • Exercises: presentations on day 2 will be interspersed with exercises.

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LEAN Basics

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