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Performance Improvement Benchmarking

Performance improvement benchmarking, sometimes known as the river diagram was developed by Collison and Parcell (2001) Learning to Fly Capstone Publishing

The objectives of the benchmarking process are to:

  • Identify key knowledge domains
  • Encourage a common language to facilitate knowledge benchmarking
  • Provides a quick visual representation of levels of expertise / experience in the organisation
  • Connects shares with learners
  • Identifies knowledge gaps in the organisation
  • Starting point for knowledge sharing and dialogue

Like all good knowledge work, you need to think carefully about the key knowledge and practices that you need for success and who needs to know it:

  • Identify the audience
  • Create the self assessment tool, involving stakeholders in the process
  • Distribute to audience and collate results in excel
  • Report back result (but think carefully about how to do this)
  • Create space for knowledge share and stories
  • Plan for action – what techniques can you use to start to extract value from what the river tells you?

What happens next?

  • Hold a knowledge café with the group
  • Use it as a diagnostic tool to define learning and development needs
  • Use results to identify opportunities for peer assists
  • As well as sharing key documents, is there an opportunity for the ‘experts’ to present their story at a workshop?
  • Are there case studies / stories that should be captured
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