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Framework for Managing Process Improvement: Tutorial

Framework for Managing Process Improvement: Tutorial

Benchmarking is the search for industry best practices that lead to superior performances. While benchmark teams can expect to uncover best practices that you may not have considered prior to the benchmark program, most likely you will not encounter a company that has exactly the same organization layout, processes or goals. Therefore, entering the benchmark phase of a process improvement program is not a step to be taken lightly. Once an organization determines that it will invest in a benchmarking program, it should be understood throughout all levels of management that benchmarking is an on-going process that will require constant updating over time. The time and monetary commitment to a benchmark program that will yield exceptional results is significant. More important, if the program is conducted appropriately, the professional contacts made can provide a source for openly sharing information for years to come. Setting out to benchmark a process requires the organization to carefully scrutinize its own process(es) prior to talking to any other company. Often, once an organization has committed to benchmark a process, the eager team immediately wants to get on an airplane and benchmark another company. This is called professional visiting. It is a frequent occurrence and a nuisance to serious benchmarkers. The team will have a nice visit, but they most likely will not be asked back, no long-term contacts will be established and it is unlikely that any serious information exchange will have taken place. Serious benchmarkers spend a significant amount of time up-front, before the first telephone call is made to a prospective partner. Objectives are set, processes are analyzed and research is completed.


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