Benchmarking - only a step to Best Practice

What is Benchmarking?

    Benchmarking is the process of determining who is the very best, who sets the standard, what that standard is, underlying causes and most important to improve your own organization based on this new knowledge.

Why Benchmark?

    If you don't know what the standard is you cannot compare yourself against it. If a customer asks - what is the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) on your product? It is not enough to know that your MTBF is 5,000 hours on your product. You also have to know where your competitors stand. If the competitor has a MTBF of 4,000 hours you are probably okay. If their MTBF is 50,000 hours who do you think will get the order?

What can be Benchmarked?

    Most of the early work in the area of benchmarking was done in manufacturing, like the example above. Now benchmarking is a management tool that is being applied almost anywhere.

Benchmarking Methodology

    One of the essential elements of a successful benchmarking program is following a rigorous process. Choosing an optimal benchmarking partner, then, requires a deep understanding of the process being studied and of the benchmarking process itself. Such understandings are also needed to properly adapt best practices and implement changes to each organization's unique culture.

Critical Success Factors

    Critical success factors are the core competencies or capabilities that must be accomplished for the organization to achieve its vision. Key elements are lessons learned by best-practice organizations using a mature methodology:

    • do the right study
    • be committed to implement the results
    • use an appropriate benchmarking process
    • choose and empower the right teams
    • know your own process first
    • choose the right partner
    • agree to a code of conduct
    • test adaptability of practices and enablers
    • verify the results of implementation

The Way Forward!

    If you are interested to benchmark ICT security within your organization or with other organizations. Contact Norendal International to find out how we best can support your needs.

Final Thoughts

    You know you need to benchmark, but you are just too busy. Well if you don't benchmark, and then implement improvements based on it, you could find yourself out of business. Then you'll have plenty of time to benchmark, but it won't matter.


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Updated: August 30, 2002