Effective bench marking steps

When I was working for a product company well known for it’s product quality and testing practices, another product company wanted to benchmark their testing practices with our company. That was my first tryst with Benchmarking.

Do you want to learn and improve fast? It could be your product, project, process or even you as a professional. The best approach would be to bench mark with a better product, project, process or professional with an intent to learn and improve faster. This is a smarter approach than trying to re-invent the wheel by yourself, which is both expensive and time consuming.

Project benchmarking is a process which helps to compare the estimated cost, scope, schedule and project cashflows with past similar projects. It is also possible to benchmark a project against industry standards and frameworks. For example, one can always benchmark a project’s plan with its compliance against leading project management frameworks like PMBOK by the Project Management Institute (USA), Total Cost Management Framework (TCM) by AACE, Projects in Controlled Environment (PRINCE2) by AXELOS, Standards from Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) etc.

The output of bench marking will provide the gaps which needs special focus. Bench marking is commonly used in Public projects as the government has access to large amounts of data of similar project.

How to perform effective bench marking?

1. Plan Bench marking

  • Define the purpose and scope of the bench marking exercise
  • Form the team
  • Identify the source and target to bench mark
  • Define the benchmark study report template
  • Define the time line

2. Do Bench marking

  • Collect data
  • Validate data
  • Develop bench mark report

3. Check the bench mark report

  • Validate the accuracy benchmark report

4. Act on the bench mark report finding

  • Identify the corrective actions
  • Form the corrective action teams
  • Plan the corrective action projects
  • Execute the corrective action projects
  • Evaluate the results
  • Institutionalize

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