Practices in Other Organizations

К оглавлению
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 
34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 
51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 
68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 
85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 
102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 
119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 
136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 
153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 
170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 
187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 
204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 

Discussions with top managers and other key decision-makers in an organization

should yield valuable information about the needs that an SP&M program

should meet. But that information can be supplemented by benchmarking

SP&M practices in other organizations. Moreover, the results of benchmarking

may intensify the interests of key decision-makers in SP&M because they may

demonstrate that other organizations are using better, or more effective, methods.

As Robert C. Camp explains, ‘‘Only the approach of establishing operating

targets and productivity programs based on industry best practices leads to

superior performance. That process, being used increasingly in U.S. business,

is known as benchmarking.’’9

Benchmarking has also surfaced in recent years as a powerful tool for improving

organizational work processes and is frequently associated with Total

Quality Management (TQM). Its primary value is to provide fresh perspectives,

and points for comparison, from other organizations. It can thereby accelerate

the process of introducing a state-of-the-art program by comparing existing

practices in one organization to the best practices already in use elsewhere.

Although there are various means by which to conduct benchmarking,

Camp suggests that it should be carried out in the following way10:

1. Identify what is to be benchmarked.

2. Identify comparative companies.

3. Determine a data collection method and collect data.

4. Determine the current performance ‘‘gap.’’

5. Project future performance levels.

6. Communicate benchmark findings and gain acceptance.

7. Establish functional goals (based on the results of the benchmarking

study).

8. Develop action plans (based on the results of the benchmarking

study).

9. Implement specific actions and monitor progress.

10. Recalibrate benchmarks.

Typically, then, benchmarking begins when decision-makers make a commitment.

They clarify their objectives and draft questions to which they seek

answers. Comparable organizations, often but not always in the same industry,

are chosen. A suitable data collection method is selected, and written questionnaires

and interview guides are frequently used for data collection. Site

visits (field trips) are arranged to one or more organizations identified as being

‘‘best-in-class.’’

Benchmarking should not be pursued as a ‘‘fishing expedition’’; rather, it

should be guided by specific objectives and questions. Participants should start

out with some familiarity with the process, such as succession planning and

management practices. (That may mean that they have to be briefed before

participating in a site visit.) Several key decision-makers should go on the site

visits so they can compare practices in other organizations with their own.

That is an excellent way, too, to win over skeptics and demonstrate that ‘‘the

way we have always done it here’’ may not be the best approach.

Most Fortune 500 companies are well known for their effective succession

planning and management practices. Blue-chip firms such as Motorola, Xerox,

IBM, AT&T, General Electric, Coca-Cola, and General Motors—among others—

are recognized for conducting effective succession planning and management.

They may rightly be considered ‘‘best-in-class’’ companies. Appropriate

contacts at these organizations should be located through such professional

societies as the Human Resource Planning Society (P.O. Box 2553, Grand Central

Station, New York, NY 10163), the American Management Association

(1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019), the American Society for Training and

Development (1640 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22313), or the Society for

Human Resource Management (606 N. Washington Street, Alexandria, VA

22314).

Always develop questions before making a site visit. (See the list of possible

benchmarking questions in Exhibit 5-7.) Then contact representatives from

two or three of those organizations and ask if benchmarking visits to their

locations are possible. If so, send them the questions in advance of the visit so

that they have time to prepare their responses. Sometimes they may wish to

see the questions in advance before they commit to a visit.

It may be difficult to arrange benchmarking visits on SP&M. Many organizations

consider the process sensitive to their operations—and revealing of their

corporate strategies. Consequently, one approach is to seek access to organizations

where you or others in your company have personal contacts. If necessary,

begin with local organizations that have successfully established SP&M

programs. Identify them by talking to your peers in local chapters of the American

Society for Training and Development (ASTD), the Society for Human Resource

Management (SHRM), or other professional societies.