Benchmarking as defined is a measurement of the quality of an organization's policies, products,programs,strategies & their comparison with standard measurements and similar measurements of its peers.
Comparison is defined as a consideration or estimation of the similarities or dissimilarities between two things or people. It's used to indicate degrees of superiority or inferiority in quality,quantity or intensity.
The main difference between benchmarking and comparison is its focus i.e it's objective. Benchmarking on a personal level could be seen as the measurement of the quality of an individual's goals, plans, strategies and how it compares to similar measurements of your peers. In simple terms, to benchmark is to say, this is my goal, the results I seek, now I know/see someone who has achieved similar results that I am after, how did they achieve it, what exactly did they do? Now given my unique resources, personality, abilities, experiences, how can I customize what I have learnt to achieve the results I seek?
While comparison dwells on inferiority/superiority and similarities/dissimilarities and most often stops at that benchmarking takes it a notch higher by been more attuned to getting results. The objectives of benchmarking is not limited to but includes:
- To objectively decide if one has been making optimal use of unique resources,experiences and knowledge
- To determine what and where improvements are called for
- To analyze how your peers achieve their high performance levels
- To use the information to improve performance
So do you compare or benchmark? Or you do neither? Is there another way you go about getting results unique to you? What do you call it? how does it work? Let's learn from you!