Benchmarking Maturity Matrix

How the Benchmarking Maturity Grid can help …

This maturity grid can be used as a simple self-assessment tool for assessing how well developed your organisation’s systems are for applying benchmarking. It presents 12 characteristics of successful benchmarking approaches and classifies them in terms of four stages of benchmarking maturity. This enables your organisation to assess its stage of development in terms of innocence/awareness, understanding, competence, and excellence.

2010 revisions compiled by Dr John Bullivant, Good Governance Institute and Paul Cherrett, BT & peer reviewed by members of the Benchmarking Institute 24 8 2010.

Benchmarking Maturity Matrix (2010)
Innocence / AwarenessUnderstandingCompetenceExcellence
Reasons for Adopting the Benchmarking Process
Self Assessment has identified that we should get some positioning benchmarks
Recognise the value. Need to know how others do it better. Can we get some process improvement by its use. Benchmarking not benchmarks
Benchmarking positioned against other tools and techniques.
To gain a competitive edge and achieve best in class. In a position to win awards. EFQM, Baldrige etc
Sophisticated systematic application, proud to share with others
Sponsoring of Benchmarking
Lip Service
Provision of resources and championing
Active participation by senior management. Awareness of the costs of using the tool.
Full involvement, benchmarking is built into the management process. Value versus cost attributed.
Board level commitment; Advocates are willing to promote on public platforms.
Use and Commitment of Resources
None or part time
Benchmarking skill recognized as part of job/role descriptions.
Dedicated centralised or decentralised expertise available to operational business units
Systematic and Business as Usual integrated. All management support the necessary data gathering and time commitment to execute successful studies
Investment is secured- spend to gain
Innovative Selection of Benchmarking Partners
Industrial tourism. Anyone willing to talk to us.
Process selection before partner selection but partners often within the same industry Generally competitors/look-a-likes only.
Senior ‘best guess’ selection choices.
Creative selection outside of industry in search for world class
Screening of partners based on key metric surveys coupled with desk research investigation for collateral evidence.
Embedded tracking of best practice process exemplar companies. Relationships built and maintained to secure continuous learning.
Use of a Benchmarking Process
Trial and error
Seen or read the handbook
Facilitated expertise available
Review of the process takes place as part of the benchmarking activity
Own benchmarking system reviewed against best practice, measured with outcome benefit tracked to confirm delivery of business benefit.
Appropriateness of Benchmarking Team
Interested untrained parties
Team or leader trained at recognised external/internal training courses
Specially selected and all team members are trained. Teams are facilitated or facilitation skills are available as and when required.
Self generation from within and without the organisation, e.g. customers/suppliers
Qualified Peer group of experienced benchmarkers available in-house to lead and support new teams
Understanding of the Process to be Benchmarked
No documented knowledge
Understand strengths and weaknesses
Process mapped, documented, measured and owned at all levels
Reviewed and continually improved. KPIs fully integrated and quantified against external benchmarks
Organisation has key ‘mission-critical’ processes mapped and reviewed at planned intervals; New high risk/opportunity processes added through systematic sifting process
External Research Methods
Ear to the ground Industrial tourism. Random internet searches. Conference attendance.
Use of off-shelf sources of information.. Leveraging central data resources. Members of benchmarking networks and standards bodies..
Application of structured data capture mechanisms, questionnaires.. More systematic and sophisticated in their approach to research. Pro-active use of benchmarking networks and standards bodies.
Subject Matter Experts engaged in Creative participation and facilitation of bespoke Special Interest Networks for focus topic areas.
Research and Audit processes are linked to CQI/Benchmarking. Benchmarking Networks encouraged and sponsored at senior level
Industrial spies. Illegal or damaging approaches to partners
Awareness of the need for some form of partner non disclosure agreement
Advocate and comply fully with spirit of benchmarking code of conduct,
Address all issues and concerns of stakeholders.
Improving the code of conduct through legality and refinements of compliance law.
Compliance with code of conduct audited at corporate level. Lawyers constructively support benchmarking whilst complying with ‘competition’ law constraints
Making the Results of Studies Happen
Denial or piecemeal acceptance of benchmarking analysis
Output from analysis assessed Reports produced and accepted by sponsor.
Implementation resource provided AllTrial adoption of learning., then adapted to best fit situation
Seamless integration into action. Best Practice assimilation accepted as the norm
Anticipated outcomes built into forward plans
Measurement of Organisational Change
Don’t know if it made a difference. Benefits not quantified
Process measurements in place and improvements tracked
Seen as a driver for creativity and innovation. External stakeholder feedback received as a result of improved performance
Improved competitive advantage as direct result of study implementation cycle.
Return on Investment built into investment/funding decision. Non implementation triggers root cause analysis
Win-Win Relationships
Mutual relationships not established
Results passed back to partners. Projects used as internal case studies to attract others
Relationships established with partners. Mutually recognized success is agreed and promoted externally.
Benchmarking Partner Relationship is ongoing and open for further two-way opportunities
An open-door relationship is established at working and executive level.