Benchmarking as a management concept is reported to have its roots in land surveying, where the altitude of objects is estimated based on a pre-established point of reference on an arbitrary landmark (McNary, 1994). Frederick Taylor is reported to be the first to use benchmarking along with other principles in a business enterprise to improve performance. Elements of benchmarking can be recognized in Taylor’s scientific management approach applied during his time at Bethlehem Steel Company (McNary, 1994), popularized in “The Principles of Scientific Management” .
Improving children’s quality of life in developing countries is today a priority of thousands of not-for-profit organizations. It is a difficult journey, influenced by many macro and microeconomic, political, social, cultural, and religious factors. Many such efforts are structured in programs and projects.
Monitoring their implementation as well as their impact is a requirement not only for tracking if they make a difference but also for attracting new funding and other resources for future programs. Overall, many non-profit programs employ robust performance management systems to support the achievement of their purpose. Designing and using such systems is not as straightforward as it may seem.
Performance Management is one of the most dynamic business disciplines today. Its evolution accelerated over the last 20 years and due to the large number of concepts it employs and unstructured body of knowledge, having a comprehensive big picture view of the topic is rather challenging. One way of achieving this is by reading a lot and doing a critical review to the various ideas proposed. Another option is by monitoring the pulse of the discipline as reflected in studies and survey reports covering performance management topics.