Benchmarking is a cost-effective methodology to introduce better practices in an organization. Every year, of the annual revenues, companies achieve ten percent. According to consulting firms, these are the companies, which invest in successfully implementing quality initiatives.
Research on benchmarking, highlights numerous successful practices across a variety of dimensions of business improvement and management. This includes development of an unified approach to process management, the methods to identify opportunities for process improvement, the steps and programs for improving processes and tools to track process improvement.
Six Sigma has a multi-faceted, business-driven approach towards process improvement, increased profits and reduced costs. Six Sigma aims at improving customer satisfaction through reduction in defects. As such, it is fundamentally a defect-free process. Six Sigma practice involves steps such as DMAIC – define, measure, analyze, improve and control. These practices are the road map for achieving a goal.
Code Of Behavior:
There is a possibility of benchmarking to be filled with problems that range from ordinary misunderstandings to grave legal problems. To reduce the chances of such difficulties, it is recommended for teams to follow basic Code-of-Conduct written by the International Benchmarking Clearing house.
The Code-of-Conduct, as such, is as below:
1. Confidentiality: Individuals need to keep information of their own organization confidential, the same way as they treat information they receive from their partners with utmost care. Most organizations expect serious non-disclosure of information. For this, it is advisable for individuals to enter a legal bond with these organizations as benchmarking partners, and take help of the law.
2. Legality: Do not get into conversations or activities that may be mistaken as illegal. For example, discussing prices or costs with the benchmarking partner may be interpreted as illegal, the same as it may be mistaken for market rigging or price fixing. Benchmarking partners appreciate the business processes to arrive at a cost and not discussing on actual prices.
3. Contact: It is better for individuals to adhere to the mutual terms and conditions that declare whom the individuals will be talking to in a partner’s organization. Follow and respect the culture of the benchmarking partner.
4. Using information: Do not use information from the benchmarking partner for a purpose other than the specified one.
5. Readiness: Prepare for meetings and interactions. This increases effectiveness and efficiency of both the individual and the benchmarking partner. It creates a professional environment.
6. Interchange of ideas: Do not put up queries, which may irritate the benchmarking partner and the ones, which individuals themselves prefer staying away from answering. Keep the conversation intact with respect to earlier discussions.
7. Completion: Refrain from false commitments that do not bear results. Do work that would satisfy everyone including the benchmarking partner.
8. Respect: A golden rule in benchmarking is, respect the partner and its information with courtesy.
Define And Plan The Project:
Entrepreneurs need to define their project in systematic terms and build up a complete project plan. It is better to begin with the preliminary planning and further develop it with time, with the required level of accuracy. The plan has to include ways to measure success. Individuals need to manage benchmarking project the way they would handle any other project. Admit plan items in the project such as scope of the project, its objective, timeline, budget and approach.
To introduce benchmarking in process improvement, individuals have to set goals and describe scope of their efforts. They need support from their organization in their endeavor. Choose any benchmarking approach, recognize benchmarking partners, and collect as much information from surveys, research and benchmarking visits. Extract the learning methodology and pick up ideas for implementation. Benchmarking allows the individuals to understand their current position and the position that they may achieve in near future.
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