Expect More from Benchmarking

Ron Webb's picture

There are many types of benchmarking, but most organizations continue to focus on what I’ll call “descriptive” benchmarking. This type of benchmarking follows a structured methodology, which is critical to success, but is characterized mainly by collecting data from a group of benchmarking participants and generating comparative or descriptive findings. This approach does not provide the information required to maximize improvement decisions, the data is too direction and not prescriptive. There is a better way.

Benchmarking Basics: Know the Rules of the Game

Ron Webb's picture

Working with benchmarking organizations affords me a view of some of the mistakes organizations regularly make, as well as the things that make them successful. One of the basic mistakes I see organization make is not adhering to some foundational benchmarking principles or rules. This doesn’t happen out of malice; it mainly occurs because organizations focus on the data and information they want to collect and ignore aspects of the benchmarking process. This isn’t a new issue by any means, either.

Benchmarking Relevance Continues to Evolve

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If you’ve read my posts related to benchmarking, you know I feel relevance is vital to making benchmarking real for most organizations. This is an area I continue to examine with organizations providing, as well as consuming, benchmarking information. Relevance is the issue currently holding benchmarking, as a tool, back from providing maximum value to business leaders, but, we will solve it. Here is how I see it evolving right now.

Industry Isn’t Relevance

Benchmarking Is About Relevance and Action

Ron Webb's picture

I’m lucky. I get to work with organizations using benchmarking data and best practices to improve. This also affords me the opportunity to talk to individuals just starting their benchmarking journey. Those that are successful, and see improvement, are those that take benchmarking data and information for what it is and ACT on it. Those that don’t move forward get stuck in details.

Finding good data isn’t hard

There is a Shift Happening Within Benchmarking

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I have been doing a lot of presentations recently focused on benchmarking, and I see a real shift in the mindset of those using benchmarking to improve the performance of their organization.

Health Care Reform? No. Health Care Perform!

Ron Webb's picture

I’m sure you’ve heard about health care reform <grin>, but I think we are missing the bigger picture.

The main point supported by the Supreme Court is about universal coverage—whether it is Constitutional to require all Americans to buy health insurance. I’m sure health care reform will continue to be contested politically, as well as legally, but there are much larger forces upsetting the health care industry, and they are driven by the major payors.

The State of Benchmarking

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Every few years, I lead the effort here at APQC to update the State of Benchmarking research effort. This is where we look at the discipline and activity of benchmarking. We examine how it is being conducted, which areas of the organization are being benchmarked, and how the results are used throughout the organization. Here is a link to the last report from 2009.