Evaluative systems how performance is measured within

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Evaluative systems: how performance is measured within the organisation, and how these data are acted upon; Staffing policies and support for staff; Organisational culture; and Structure (for example, the nature of the organisation, its location and tradition, levels of government funding, and the amount of direct competition). 2.2.2 Establish target goals for improved performance Establishing targets for improved practice is one of the original goals of the benchmarking process. The aim of benchmarking is at least equal to the benchmarking partner's performance, and preferably to overtake it. In establishing goals some prioritisation may be necessary. Factors to consider here may include the difficulty of achieving a particular goal, the costs of change as compared to the likely benefits to be accrued, the necessity of change to the achievement of critical success factors, and the amount of organisational upheaval which particular changes may bring. These are only guidelines for prioritisation, however, and should not be taken as reasons for avoiding improvement altogether. It must be accepted that beneficial and necessary change may not always be easy (Cook, 1995). Goals need to be amenable to comparative measurement. The expression of these goals in terms of the performance indicators used within the benchmarking study is therefore recommended. The setting of targets for future performance should also take into account the continuing improvement of the benchmarking partner. Rather than merely aiming to equal the partner's current performance, an estimate of their future performance should be made, and goals for parity or superiority constructed in relation to this (see Figure 2).
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Curtin University of Technology Document for Internal Use Only Page 16 of 24 Figure 2. Action Plan 2.2.3 Develop action plans This step involves the identification of changes required to achieve the specific performance targets, and the formulation of an action plan for improvement. The key here is the adaptation of the approaches and insights gained from the benchmarking exercise. An attempt simply to copy the practices observed, without sensitivity to organisational and environmental factors, is unlikely to cause significant improvement, and may in fact lead to unforeseen problems (Alstete, 1995). Action plans should also include provisions for review, which will be related to the target goals discussed above. 2.2.4 The benchmarking report The purpose of the benchmarking report is to present the findings of the benchmarking exercise as well as a summary of the recommendations for change. Reports should include a brief outline of the project's methodology, a detailed yet concise presentation of the quantitative and qualitative results of the benchmarking, and a summary of the benchmarking's key findings and the recommendations arising from these. The report may also include information relating to the future review of the benchmarked processes, and the results of any implemented change.
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