Benchmarking and Six Sigma go together like peanut butter and jelly. Both are really good on their own but put them together and it is three times better. Here’s why.

Benchmarking helps you understand how your performance rates against others. If your performance is not in the top quartile, you may want to commission a Six Sigma project to identify and implement changes. Once a project is identified, benchmarking results can also help define a realistic and competitive performance target to include in your project objective. If your performance is already top quartile, you may still want to commission a Six Sigma project to “raise the bar” since it’s nice to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Once in the “Improve” phase of a Six Sigma project, best practice benchmarking can be very helpful. What better way to find better ways than to benchmark with someone who has already figured out how to be best in class?

To facilitate the integration of benchmarking with Six Sigma, basic benchmarking techniques and benchmarking etiquette should be a part of every black belt’s training. This training will not only strengthen the Black Belt’s ability to identify improvements but may help them and their team realize that great ideas don’t necessarily need to come from the “inside.” There is a whole world of best practices “out there” just waiting to be shared. All you have to do is know how to ask.

So next time you get the opportunity, add a little benchmarking to your Six Sigma project and savor the sweet taste of success. Umm Umm Good!

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