Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Set Benchmarks & Milestones

Companies must perform at their highest levels to achieve long-term success. At times, organizations perform at inefficient levels and need to make improvements. To help with the process, an organization may choose to establish benchmarks and milestones. Benchmarking consists of comparing the performance and processes of your organization to comparable companies in an effort to identify your shortcomings and increase performance levels. New and existing companies set milestones to solidify the planning and management processes. Milestones are tangible goals companies make to determine its progress. Knowing establish benchmarks and milestones can help business owners and managers better manage the organization.



1. Identify the areas you desire to benchmark. Focus on the most-pressing areas concerning your business, such as performance, profitability or customer service. Prioritize the areas to benchmark in order of importance and benchmark the most important first.

2. Select professional individuals to facilitate the benchmarking process. Choose qualified professionals who are able to devote their time to the team. Team members may include business owners or executive managers with the necessary skills and resources to add value to the team. Appoint roles for team members, such as a consultant, general team members and a supervisor.

3. Research your selected areas and processes. Research the areas you selected to benchmark. Analyze the current processes and procedures used in those areas, and identify problem areas. Look at the company's budgets, flow charts and financial statements to find issues.

4. Compare your findings to companies chosen for the benchmarking process. Search for competitors or industry leaders that achieved success your company has yet to achieve. Analyze the differences between the comparable companies and your organization. Document the success of other organizations that you can use as a guide to improve your company.

5. Develop new strategies to improve performance. Gather all of your documented information and confer with team members about the best strategies to implement to improve performance. Describe how you plan to carry out the new strategies and what resources are needed.


6. Find areas within your business to create milestones. Identify the areas and departments of your business plan to establish milestones and create specific actions needed to accomplish goals. For example, you can create a milestone for marketing, finance, research, and development and funding.

7. Select dates for milestones. Choose start and end dates for each area you select to create a milestone. Create dates that are realistic. Avoid choosing dates based on external pressure from investors and creditors.

8. Develop a budget for each milestone. Calculate the financial resources needed to accomplish each milestone. Knowing the costs to reach your goals can help you successfully develop plans to give your company the best chance at achieving profitability.

Tags: team members, your business, your company, benchmarking process, benchmarks milestones