Performance management is an area that has relevance and resonance for all types of organisations, large to small, not for profit to private and commercial. One of the primary purpsoes purposes of performance management is to ensure that key strategic objectives are achieved by SMART objectives, identification of Critical Success Factors (CSFs), appropriate metrics (KPIs) and accompanying reward systems – this should be set within the framework of a system that helps achieve the requisite and desired behaviour.
System design and desired (or apparently undesired!) behaviour can be seen with bankers and payments of bonuses. It is perhaps a minority view but I have a certain sympathy with the bonuses paid to bankers. Their reward system was structured to pay out bonuses as a consequence of them exhibiting certain behaviour, this behaviour being the achievement of (for example) sales targets. It is the system that should (in my opinion) bear the majority of 'blame'.
Benchmarking has a significant contribution to make to performance management, and management in general. Benchmarking in essence involves identifying the critical areas to benchmark, selecting suitable comparators of best practicey, measuring against the comparators, analysing and understanding the gap and then attempting to emulate that best practice. Benchmarking is something that is suitable for all individuals and organisations and still remains a powerful management tool, especially in a time where resources are limited and we have to do more with less.