Rapid Performance Assessment and Benchmarks on Demand FAQs

Rapid Performance Assessments Frequently Asked Questions

This information is also available as a PDF file.

General Information

What are the Rapid Performance Assessments and why would I want to use this data?

The Rapid Performance Assessments are a sub-set of the Open Standards Benchmarking assessments reporting out high-level key performance indicators for each process area. You can select assessments from 22 functional areas. Reports are provided in two business days* and give you and your clients a gap analysis on activity-level performance against multiple peer groups.

What’s the difference between the Open Standards Benchmarking assessment and the Rapid Performance Assessment tool?

Open Standards Benchmarking Rapid Performance Assessment
Detailed metrics for each functional area High-level KPIs only
Comprehensive assessment Shorter assessment
One-weekvalidation/three-week reporting time Four-hour validation/two-day reporting time*
Total time = approximately two-three weeks Total time = two days
Robust report with industry, cross-industry,
revenue, and region peer groups
Sumary report with industry, revenue,
and region comparisons

* pending validation

How does APQC’s Process Classification Framework (PCF) relate to the Rapid Performance Assessment tool?

The PCF is the world’s most widely used process framework. It serves as the structure to the assessments and gives organizations standardized definitions for functions, processes, and activities independent of structure.

How can I use APQC data in my organization?

Organizations complete the Open Standards Benchmarking assessments in order to:

  • set annual budgets,
  • target top priorities for improvement projects,
  • benchmark internally across multiple business sites,
  • identify the enablers of best practices and top performance,
  • analyze current processes, and
  • set baselines for Six Sigma or ERP projects.

Do I need to agree to any terms and conditions?

Yes, as a member you will be agreeing to APQC’s terms of use. Download the Terms of Use.

How will my organization’s name be used?

APQC will never associate any organization’s name with their data. We will list your organization’s name on a representative list of all Open Standards Benchmarking assessment participants. If your organization requires confidentiality, please contact Cathy Hill at chill@apqc.org or +1-713-685-4652. We do not accept submissions without the name of the company that is being benchmarked.

How much do the assessments cost?

The Rapid Performance Assessments are only available to members and unlimited submissions are included within their membership level. For more information on an APQC membership, visit www.apqc.org/membership.

Accuracy, Validity, and Timeline

What do I do if I make a mistake?

If you have yet to submit your assessment, you may change your answers at any time in the Benchmarking Portal. If you find an error after submission, please contact the Help Desk at +1-713-681-4020 or apqcinfo@apqc.org. They will be able to manually correct the error on your behalf and provide additional guidance.

What is APQC’s validation process?

APQC uses a logical and statistical validation process to ensure all data is accurate and reliable. Validation steps include response logic checkpoints, data quarantines, participant verification, and issues resolution. In addition, all metrics are normalized and aggregated to ensure the data is accurate and relevant.

How long will it take to receive a benchmarking report after I’ve submitted my assessment?

Upon submission, APQC begins a rapid validation process. Should APQC need to verify any data with the participant, the participant will be contacted within four business hours after the survey submission. Pending the participant’s response to the validation, reports will be issued within two business days. Please contact the Help Desk at +1-713-681-4020 or osb@apqc.org if you have an extenuating circumstance requiring a faster turnaround.


Will APQC keep my data confidential?

As a nonprofit research organization, APQC is the sole custodian of the database, guaranteeing objectivity and confidentiality. As the authors of the widely adopted Benchmarking Code of Conduct, APQC subscribes to the highest levels of confidentiality. All information provided remains confidential, and names of participating organizations are not associated with specific data.

Where is the report sent once completed?

APQC will provide the report directly to you, to then share with your client. You are not allowed to share or use the report outside of the client for which you submitted the data.

Reporting and Peer Groups

How were these assessment packages and particular measures selected?

The assessments in the Rapid Performance Assessments were designed to take you through a funnel process to identify performance gaps, starting at the highest levels and then drilling down into the specifics. A team of APQC analysts reviewed the Open Standards Benchmarking assessments and pulled measures that are considered Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), as well as others that are important for discovering areas for improvements.

What format will the report be in?

The final report is in Excel allowing you to customize the data for the specific needs of your clients (charts, graphs, highlighting, etc.)

Do I have to enter my data in US Dollars?

No, monetary metrics can be provided in your local currency. The final report, however, will report out in US Dollars.

What are the top, bottom, and median performers?

Definitions are as follows:

  • Top Performer—represents the performance level where 75% of all responses fall below
  • Median Performer—reflects the value below and above where this is an equal number of values
  • Bottom Performer—reflects the performance level where 25% of all responses fall below

What peer groups are provided?

Peer groups are available in:

  • industry
  • revenue range
  • region
  • all participants

How are the peer groups determined?

Peer groups are based on APQC standards. Industry peers are segmented into clusters based on their The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. Region peer groups are segmented by; Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), Asia and Pacific (AsiaPac), and North and South America (Americas).

What if I want different peer groups?

If you have submitted an assessment there is a nominal fee for creating custom peer groups of the data.

How do I know if you have data for my industry?

The Benchmarking Portal Resources page contains demographic sheets that we update once a quarter. Or for more detailed information contact Cathy Hill at chill@apqc.org or +1-713-684-4652.

Getting Started

What is the process for getting started?

(You must be a registered user on the APQC Web site with your corporate email address in order to be associated with your member organization.)

  • Visit the Rapid Performance Assessment section of the Benchmarking Portal.
  • Access pre-packed assessments” at the bottom of the main screen.
  • “Choose your area of interest.” Available areas of interest include:
    1. Financial Management (FM)
    2. Human Capital Management (HCM)
    3. Information Technology (IT)
    4. Product Development (PD)
    5. Supply Chain Management (SCM)
  • “Select the assessment you would like to take.” Assessments are categorized by the PCF.
  • When you “Preview the selected assessment” you will be able to determine:
    1. What this assessment will tell you
    2. Number of questions this assessment contains
    3. Number of measures this assessment reports out
      1. You can also “View list of measures” to ensure this assessment will cover the pieces of information you’re looking for, specifically.
  • Click “Take assessment.”
  • Choose a participation instance to which you wish to assign this survey package.
    1. If you are submitting a survey on behalf of a client, please name the participation instance “<Your company name> on behalf of <client company name>.”
  • Upon submission, APQC may contact you regarding your data that may need clarification or correction.
  • Upon completed validation, you will receive your report within two business days.

Data Requirements and Licensing Options

How much of the assessment needs to be completed?

Participants must complete 100% of the metric questions to receive the benchmarking report. To receive a report based on all the metrics provided by each assessment, all questions will need to be answered.

What if I can’t complete 100% of the assessment?

APQC offers another way to receive benchmarking information through Benchmarks on Demand. Benchmarks on Demand offer you the ability to download benchmarks online with no data input required.

What tools are available to aid me in completing the assessment if I have questions?

About APQC

APQC is a member-based nonprofit and one of the leading proponents of benchmarking and best practice business research. Working with more than 500 organizations worldwide in all industries, APQC focuses on providing organizations with the information they need to work smarter, faster, and with confidence. Every day we uncover the processes and practices that push organizations from good to great. Visit us at www.apqc.org and learn how you can make best practices your practices.