A benchmark is a standard of performance against which similar or comparable products, processes or methods are measured or judged.

Benchmark does not mean the absolute best of something. It means the standard against which other similar things are measured. When thought of this way, we could think of a Standard Work Template for a process or task as a benchmark that describes the way work should always be performed. Any other way does not meet the standard or “benchmark” condition.

In terms of Operational Excellence and Lean implementation, benchmark is often used to describe quality in terms of product or process. For example, Amazon might be considered to have benchmark processes for order fulfillment. If you went to Amazon to see this process you would be said to be doing “benchmarking.”


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