The Co-operative Benchmarking Approach to Partnering (COBAP) involves partnering as a long term approach for customer satisfaction, continuous learning and competitive advantage. It contains the following steps.
- Developing the COBAP team
- Identifying needs and their solutions
- Finding the current performance gap
- Gaining commitment to the needs of change
- Developing action plans
- Implementing actions and monitoring progress
- Feedback to the change
- Achieving superior performance
Developing the COBAP team:
In this step, a team is formed where organizations come together as partners for the benchmarking project. This team is responsible for handling the COBAP process. The members of the team consist of senior executives, project managers and other members. These members have complete knowledge of the project.
Identifying needs and their solutions:
In this step, customer needs are identified and solutions are discovered. Customer needs are satisfied by identifying their key quality characteristics such as buying criteria, budget, etc., which affect a project’s outcome. Project delay, poor monitoring, poor communication, etc. may lead to customer dissatisfaction.
Finding the current performance gap:
This step involves finding the performance gap of the company by comparing the actual performance with the desired performance. Performance is worth benchmarking when gaps arise. The findings of the comparison are documented and summarized and action is taken to solve the problems.
Gaining commitment to the needs of change:
The findings of the comparisons are communicated to the members, internal staff and external partners. In this stage, commitment from the partnering organizations is crucial as they are the primary source of information. Resources are provided for implementing the change.
Developing action plans:
Action plans are functional goals that need to be achieved. They are developed in this stage, and individuals who will be responsible for the improvement are identified.
Implementing actions and monitoring progress:
The action plans are implemented with the help of training and workshop programs. Support from the top management is of great importance to implementing the plans. Monitoring during the implementation process helps in knowing problem areas and clearing the doubts.
Individuals monitoring the process should be trustworthy and familiar with the processes that need to be monitored. It should be noted that any individual with dubious intentions may ruin the entire project. For example, in a construction project, if the sub-contractor uses substandard concrete to construct a building, the property developer has to compensate the claimants for the loss.
Feedback to the change:
In this stage, feedback from all those who are affected by the implementation of change is taken. It highlights the positive feedback and suggestions of the programs, policies and practices that have been undertaken.
Achieving superior performance:
A successful COBAP process increases an organizations chances of grabbing a contract and completing the project.