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OCR for page 182
APPENDIX A: DRAFT BENCHMARKING AGREEMENT Agreement Number: ___________ Lead/Initiating Organization: ____________________________ Agreement between: List names of benchmarking partners. I. Objective and Goals The objective of this benchmarking partnership is to continuously improve through periodic measurement customer satisfaction, observable customer-oriented outcomes, and the value customers of highway maintenance receive by measuring performance of organizations in this benchmarking partnership, by identifying best performances, by identifying improvement opportunities, and by assessing and adopting best practices. II. Target Products, Services, Activities, and Business Processes The partnership will benchmark highway maintenance products, services, activities, and/or business processes that the benchmarking partners will agree upon in the future. A tentative list of maintenance products, services, activities, and/or business processes is as follows: List. III. Common Measures Partners will use the same outcome, resource, and hardship measures and will take the necessary steps to take the measurements, including collection of underlying data. A tentative list of common measures is as follows: List. IV. Data Quality Partners will abide by mutually agreed-upon procedures to ensure data and measurement quality. At the minimum these procedures will include the following: List. 187

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Appendix A: Draft Benchmarking Agreement V. Sharing Information on Performance Each participant agrees to share performance information regarding the following: Outcomes; Resources (labor, equipment, material and, possibly, financial); Levels of hardship factors such as weather and terrain; and Details of business processes associated with each performance. Partners agree to store information in a database having a particular format to be determined in the future in order to facilitate exchanging information. Partners agree to the following additional forms of information sharing: Responding to a questionnaire regarding information regarding their practices, Hosting site visits regarding best practices, and Other. VI. Documentation Partners will document for the consideration of other partners practices that are determined to be superior or best practices. The documentation will include, but not be limited to, the following: Sources of data on outputs, inputs, and external factors; Information on the reliability, accuracy, and repeatability of data and measurements; Raw and reduced data from systems that provide the data for benchmarking; Description of work methods that may exist; Existing procedural manuals; Business process flow charts prepared according to conventions agreed upon by the benchmarking partners; Training, education, and experience levels of labor; Vendor information regarding materials and equipment used; and Costs (variable and overhead) (Note: some organizations may not be willing to provide cost data, and the benchmarking agreement should provide the flexibility not to do so). 188

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VII. Confidentiality Partners agree to keep the following confidential: List. No partner will release results to the public regarding the performance of other partners unless the partners to which the information pertains agree in writing. Partners agree to the following in order to ensure the security of information developed: List. VIII. Adding Benchmarking Partners Additional partners may be added to the partnership, provided they agree to all the terms and conditions of this agreement. IX. Resigning from the Partnership Each partner will satisfy its obligations under the benchmarking agreement as long as it remains involved, but may leave the partnership at any time without cause. Partners are assumed to be motivated to remain in the partnership as long as it provides compelling benefits by showing organizations how they can improve performance as a result of adopting best practices. 189