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Ensure your success through the right benchmarking team


Benchmarking team

The process of developing a benchmarking team is essential in order to be able to conduct a benchmarking study that aligns to the actual organizational strategies and identifies the right targets. It is one of the most important aspects that determines the success of the benchmarking plan. Hence, when conducting a benchmarking research, the responsible team can make the difference between success and failure.

Moreover, the wrong people might not be the only cause for failure, as also the communication between the benchmarking study coordinator and the executive board, which is responsible for the project’s approvals is critical for the success.

As the team is a critical aspect of the benchmarking study, roles have to be completely and properly assigned in order to avoid issues. Generally, the teams consist of 3 up to 7 members that can bring together a great variety of skills and capabilities. Regarding work time allocation, this depends from case to case, as members can work full-time on the project or part-time.

Prior to establishing the exact benchmarking team members, the manager should establish the program coordinator. Depending on the project’s needs and other organizational aspects, there is a possibility of two or more persons sharing the role. However, different roles should not refer to different people. As the members can have various skills, they should be allowed to fill multiple roles in the benchmarking team, when appropriate. For example, the data analyst, data collector or process owner might be the same person.

When choosing the benchmarking leader, aspects like expertise in the area where the benchmarking study will be conducted are not mandatory. The manager that selects the coordinator should take into consideration other important qualities, like great communication and leadership capabilities.

Moreover, daily responsibilities and tasks should be clearly defined and, as the benchmarking leader is usually collaborating with other employees, his/her role should be clearly acknowledged and understood by the entire team. Besides this, he/she will also be responsible for ensuring resources and team members, for developing and keeping track of the budget, managing discussions and solving potential conflicts, as well as for monitoring and keeping track of the whole benchmarking process.

After selecting the benchmarking coordinator, the key benchmarking personnel has to be identified for implementing the research plan. As part of the benchmarking study, the team will mainly be responsible for collecting and compiling data from different sources. More specific, team members will be required to have specific skills, in accordance with the specific tasks assigned to them.

Besides the executive board and benchmarking project coordinator, the key personnel involved implies process owners, data collectors, data analysts, benchmarking project support staff and facilitators.

The process owner should have good communication skills and the ability to undertake problem solving responsibilities. As main tasks, the process owner is responsible for the identifying certain problems with the processes on role, as well as for screening different opportunities for the current processes. The process owner is also be in charge with mapping the process.

Data collectors and analysts should have good business process knowledge, as well as data analysis capabilities. Moreover, data collectors should be able to design questionnaires and to develop various methods for retrieving data, in optimum ways. Statistical methods, as well as graphical representations of data analysis, are also important skills for data analysts conducting benchmarking projects.

The benchmarking project support staff assists the benchmarking team in various areas of expertise like graphic design, information technology, legal issues and policies, library, search services, training, and others.

Facilitators should represent a party which is objective and has no interests except facilitating the team.  They are usually responsible for ensuring project objectives through various tools, and also for assisting the team in problems or issues encountered.

As one of the main goals of benchmarking projects are the alignment to market reality, customer-focus and processes improvement, the benchmarking team should be selected in a way to ensure the achievement of the project’s goals.


Image Source

How leaders influence employee engagement
Performance Framework at Ontario Energy Board. Case study: Entegrus

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