Activity [1]

A series of transactions that translates inputs into outputs using resources in response to a

business requirement; sequences of activities in logical combinations form processes


Benchmark [1]

A measured, «best-in-class» achievement; a reference or measurement standard for

comparison; this performance level is recognized as the standard of excellence for a specific

business process.


Benchmarker [1]

(The host) Those doing the benchmarking.


Benchmarkee [1]

(The partner) Those being benchmarked.


Benchmarking [1]

APQC defines benchmarking as the process of identifying, learning, and adapting outstanding practices and processes from any organization, anywhere in the world, to help an organization improve its performance. Benchmarking gathers the tacit knowledge ─ the know-how, judgments, and enablers–that explicit knowledge often misses.


Benchmarking Facilitator [3]

Benchmarking Facilitator assists the Benchmarking project participants through the process. Facilitators also provide a service by gathering the results data from the participants, compiling it into meaningful comparisons, and blinding the sources before providing the information to the participants.


Benchmarking gap [1]

The difference in performance between the benchmark for a particular activity and other

companies in the comparison; the measured leadership advantage of the benchmark

organization over other organizations.


Benchmarking of companies [2]

Here, companies learn from another; they compare index numbers and exchange information about Benchmarking objects.


Benchmarking of Sectors [2]

The Benchmarking of sectors compares the performances of individual sectors. The goal is to learn from other sector which, according to certain criteria, perform better.


Benchmarking of the environment [2]

The Benchmarking of the environment gains increasing importance for comparing political, social or economic environment.


Benchmarking Partners [2]

Benchmarking Partners are the comparative companies considered in the Benchmarking project, who are willing to exchange information openly and thus to enter a mutual learning process.


Best-in-class [1]

Outstanding process performance within an industry; words used as synonyms are best

practice and best-of-breed.


Best-in-class benchmarking [1]

Identifying the best processes regardless of the industry. For example, a hotel’s accounting

department looking at that of a manufacturing business may identify it as having the fastest accounts receivable turnover.


Best-of-breed [1]

Outstanding process performance within an industry; words used as synonyms are best

practice and best-in-class.


Best practice [1]

There is no single «best practice» because best is not best for everyone. Every organization is different in some way–different missions, cultures, environments, and technologies. What is meant by «best» are those practices that have been shown to produce superior results; selected by a systematic process; and judged as exemplary, good, or successfully demonstrated. Best practices are then adapted to fit a particular organization.


Business management [1]

Benchmarking support functions such as human resources, research, and development, order processing, or management information systems.

Business practices [1]

Methods or approaches that help to facilitate the execution of business processes.



[1] American Productivity & Quality Center / APQC (2005), Department of the Navy / DON TQL Glossary (1996), Kozak (2004).

[2] ICB; BM Manual

[3] Benchmarking: A Tool for Sharing and Cooperation. Association for Quality and Participation.

Glossary of Benchmarking Terms