Better Benchmarking: Perfecting Processes

21 Sep 2010 View Comments
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How well do processes support good practices and corporate standards?

This is the fourth in a series of seven brief blogs on the subject of Value Assurance – best defined as an effective route to maximising value in a long-term outsourcing agreement, through aligning service expectations, perceptions and realities.

A Value Assurance exercise typically involves a review of both service provider and client in equal measure. It takes a more holistic view than benchmarking alone and includes and assesses 6 ‘Ps’. The third of which, ‘Process’, is discussed in this blog.

If you’re currently managing an outsourcing relationship, analysing the ‘6P’ areas of a relationship is an excellent way to move the performance of the contract towards an optimal state – typically, but not always, this means from a transactional to a true partnership relationship. Organisations I have advised have found the process beneficial regardless of whether they’re at the beginning, middle or nearing the end of a contract.


To ensure continuous improvement within a changing business environment, processes must be monitored regularly and updated if necessary. Processes must be clearly defined, documented and adhered to, both by you and your service provider, and must be efficient and effective in order to support good practices and corporate standards.

To assess the effectiveness of ‘Process’ in your contract, consider:

Process documentation: What is the quality of the documentation that explains how the processes operate?

Process roles, responsibilities and ownership: Is there a clear understanding of who executes, decides on, contributes to and must be informed about processes? Are process owners actively engaged?

Continuous improvement: Is there a process to systematically and continuously manage process improvement and learning?

Process adherence: How consistently is the process followed and is it part of common practice?
Also consider, are the documented processes fit for purpose?  Does the process enable the efficient achievement of the process objective with appropriate controls and risk management?

Next will be a blog on ‘Price and Commercials’ – looking at issues such as value and price predictability.

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