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Monday, September 12, 2022

6 Steps for Benchmarking Best Practices

In Lean improvement, benchmarking is the regular, systematic measuring of an organization’s own products, services or processes against those of the recognized best practitioners in the world. The information collected about a company’s own processes analyzed in relationship to the best-in-class practices provides insight into the actions the company can take to improve its performance. Indeed, benchmarking analysis can even provide metrics by which an organization can measure its success in adding value to its business and work processes.

The key steps involved with benchmarking include:

Measure current practices: Teams determine an area where the company is underperforming. They then measure key performance indicators to see where they currently stand.

Research best practices: After measuring their own performance, businesses then measure those same key metrics in whatever operation or process they want to improve. Understand how your process work and how other group’s processes work.

Analyze best practices: Teams analyze how companies achieve a high standard in the key metrics. This often requires touring the world-class organization’s operations or meeting with people from the organization. Collection information and data to evaluate and compare.

Compare performance: Teams then compare their operations with those of the world-class organization, finding areas where they can make improvements. These changes will help them achieve a higher standard in the key performance metrics.

Model best practices: Teams make significant changes to improve current practices from what they learned. The project team’s next step is to set goals for the improvement of the company’s existing process. These goals can, and probably should, be stretch goals that will result in a process even better than the other organization’s best-in-class process.


While benchmarking is not a perfect process if done properly and consistently it can be the start of improving your business and creating a more optimal learning environment.

One of the biggest advantages of benchmarking is the extent of improvements the organization makes by learning from the processes of others. A better and proven process can be adapted, with suitable modifications for company requirements, with less time invested for inventing new methodologies. Benchmarking also uncovers new ways of improving a company’s own processes by motivating actions learned from studying and experiencing those organizations with best-in-class processes.

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