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Learn About Quality

What is Benchmarking?

Benchmarking on ASQTV

Quality Glossary Definition: Benchmarking

Benchmarking is defined as the process of measuring products, services, and processes against those of organizations known to be leaders in one or more aspects of their operations. Benchmarking provides necessary insights to help you understand how your organization compares with similar organizations, even if they are in a different business or have a different group of customers.

Benchmarking can also help organizations identify areas, systems, or processes for improvements – either incremental (continuous) improvements or dramatic (business process reengineering) improvements.

Benchmarking has been classified into two distinct categories: technical and competitive. Use the house of quality tutorial to plot the benchmarking evaluation.

Technical Benchmarking

Technical benchmarking is performed by design staff to determine the capabilities of products or services, especially in comparison to the products or services of leading competitors. For example, on a scale of one to four, four being best, how do designers rank the properties of your organization’s products or services? If you cannot obtain hard data, the design efforts may be insufficient, and products or services may be inadequate to be competitive.

Competitive Benchmarking

Competitive benchmarking compares how well (or poorly) an organization is doing with respect to the leading competition, especially with respect to critically important attributes, functions, or values associated with the organization’s products or services. For example, on a scale of one to four, four being best, how do customers rank your organization’s products or services compared to those of the leading competition? If you cannot obtain hard data, marketing efforts may be misdirected and design efforts misguided.

Adapted from Quality Essentials: A Reference Guide from A to Z, ASQ Quality Press.

Benchmarking Studies

ASQ members have access to hundreds of benchmarking studies, as well as opportunities to participate in new projects that are under way.

Benchmarking the Global State of Quality

ASQ is partnering with APQC to collect and study data on the global state of quality. The goal is to provide an initial view and regular updates to help organizations compare quality and continuous improvement advancements to each other, their regions, and their economic sectors. Learn more about the global state of quality.

State of global quality 

Benchmarking Reports Available for ASQ Members

Through an agreement with APQC, ASQ offers access to a collection of benchmarking reports and metrics documents to members.

Log in with your ASQ member ID and password to access benchmarking data from organizations in a variety of industries. Each benchmarking study also includes case studies on individual organizations.

Transferring and Applying Critical Knowledge

KM Transfer Benchmarking Study CoverRead about 19 best practices for identifying, transferring, and applying knowledge. This benchmarking report includes case studies from organizations including Accenture, Kraft Foods Group Inc., Lockheed Martin, Wipro Ltd., and more.

Effective Project Management Offices

Project Management Offices coverThis research report uncovers trends among best-practice project management offices. Learn about thirteen best practices in four main areas: strategy, practices, technology and automation, and measures and reporting.

Using Enterprise Quality Measurement to Drive Business Value

Enterprise Quality Report Cover Learn about foundational practices for evaluating quality, as well as emerging practices in use at leading organizations to stay on top of quality efforts. Along with comprehensive analysis of study findings, you’ll find case studies of Altera Corporation and Chemonics International.

Benchmarking – Read More

Quality Strategy Improves Business School Placements (PDF)
Using competitive benchmarking and quality tools, Ramaiah Institute of Management Studies improved job placement results for its students, decreasing the number of interviews required to secure a position and increasing the mean salary offer, while also adding a new source of revenue for the organization.

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children: Ferrari’s Formula One Handovers and Handovers From Surgery to Intensive Care (PDF)
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) benchmarked its handoff from cardiac surgery to the intensive care unit against pit stop techniques of the Ferrari Formula One race car team. Process improvements resulted in increased patient safety and decreased error rates. Excerpted from chapter 10 of Benchmarking for Hospitals: Achieving Best-in-Class Performance Without Having to Reinvent the Wheel, by Victor E.Sower, Jo Ann Duffy, and Gerald Kohers.

Best Practices in Process Improvement (PDF)
The internet is revolutionizing process improvement projects by facilitating benchmarking, speeding up data collection and putting people in contact with colleagues.

Benchmarking: A Tool for Sharing and Cooperation (PDF)
Find out how NASA and the Kennedy Space Center used benchmarking to progress from incremental to breakthrough improvement.

Benchmarking and Best Practices (PDF)
Implementing benchmarking and best practices, from definitions and appropriate uses to tools and methodologies, is discussed.

Free Benchmarking Resources

Benchmarking Articles
Benchmarking Case Studies

Benchmarking Books for Purchase

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