The benchmarking organisations may be another

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The benchmarking organisation(s) may be another academic institution, but government departments or private enterprise could also act as benchmarks in areas such as marketing, information technology, human resources and financial management. Insights can be gained from leaders in different fields, as many processes are functionally similar, even though the products differ. One of the advantages of benchmarking outside the field (generic or functional benchmarking) is the enhanced potential for discovering new practices. Many innovations can spring from applying the dynamics of one industry to another, although a corresponding degree of innovation and creativity is called for in the benchmarking team to adapt and implement the ideas (Camp, 1989: 58). Internal benchmarking has the advantages of being convenient and relatively inexpensive. It is easier to find partners and establish relationships, and fewer problems arise from confidentiality of data. Internal benchmarking across disciplines or faculties can also provide some of the advantages (as well as some of the difficulties) of benchmarking outside one's own industry. Table 5. Points to Consider When Deciding on a Benchmarking Partner the performance standards of the potential partner; the accessibility of the potential partner; the cultural similarity and compatibility of the potential partner in relation to one's own institution; the geographical proximity of the potential partner (cost and ease of site visit and other communication); the willingness of the potential partner to participate; and the ability of the potential partner to participate. 1.6 Approval of benchmarking projects Approval for particular benchmarking projects requires the submission of a proposal (see Appendix) to the appropriate senior manager with budget control. This will include an outline of the planned benchmarking project, and a projected budget and schedule. Benchmarking may be expected to take between twelve and eighteen months, although a definite deadline will not usually be set. Instead, interim reports of progress will be required at specified intervals during the benchmarking study. 2.0 The ‘Deployment’ Phase 2.1 The Data Collection Stage 2.1.2 Collect data from own organisation A measurement of current performance in the selected areas is necessary to provide a baseline against which comparisons can be made. It is important that we first study our own institution, and understand what is currently being practised, before attempting to measure the performance of any other institution. Parts of this study may be begun in the planning stage of the benchmarking exercise, when school / area
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Curtin University of Technology Document for Internal Use Only Page 14 of 24 priorities for improvement are investigated. This self-analysis will enable a more clear focus if it is decided that a visit to the benchmarking partner is essential.
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