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Self-assessments can be used to find out how effective organisations are at implementing various strategies, tools or techniques. On the following page in Tables 2 and 3 are two examples for assessing benchmarking and best practice maturity and success:


 Level of Benchmarking Maturity

 Innocence  Understanding Competence  Excellence 
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
Sponsoring or 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
Use and Commitment of Resources None or part time Dedicated and centralised Centralised consultancy operationally devolved to business units Systematic, everyone undertakes the process and it is integrated into other activities
Table 2. Excerpt from Benchmarking Maturity Grid developed by the UK Benchmarking Institute
(the full maturity grid is shown in the self-assessment area of BPIR.com)


 Element  Level of Best Practice Maturity
 Starting  Progressing Mature   Excellent
Leadership An individual is responsible for identifying Best Practices Senior managers initiate and support the identifying and implementing of Best Practices throughout the business Adoption of Best Practice is recognised by all managers as an important element of business success. Major improvement programs have been fully implemented. Managers routinely identify Best Practices in-house and externally by ‘wandering about’ All managers at all levels continuously promote the identifying and implementing of appropriate elements of Best Practices. Management continually seek to better the best practices of other organisations
Policy & Strategy There is a stated policy of adopting Best Practices The overall business plan includes major improvement programs based on identified Best Practice All business plans are based on achieving Best Practice performance within the industry All business plans at all levels are based on achieving world- class performance using appropriate Best Practices
People Employees understand the requirement for continuous improvement All employees have received basic training in TQ or a similar concept. Senior managers are involved in benchmarking activities Participation in benchmarking studies is used as a personal development tool. Improvement teams use Best Practice measures and studies  All employees are able to identify Best Practices and routinely propose ways of integrating their learning into their process
Table 3. Excerpt from Best Practice Maturity Grid developed by Lewis [12]
(the full maturity grid is shown in the self-assessment area of BPIR.com)



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