Yardstick Parks Benchmarks and Parks Surveys

World Urban Parks is pleased to support and recommend Yardstick to all park and recreation managers. Yardstick is a suite of benchmarking tools that delivers “need to know" information for your business to inform your decision making and improve your service delivery.

Yardstick operates in three key project areas – parks, recreation facilities and roads. Each project area provides tools to collect and compare critical information to measure current performance and drive future improvements. Yardstick currently operates in Scandinavia, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, across 120 organisations.

The benchmarks project offers a system to collect a range of management data, which is analyzed to provide a wide selection of performance indicators and information metrics.

Yardstick benchmarks is designed to identify and promote industry best practice in areas such as service delivery, asset management, strategic planning, environmental sustainability, and community engagement. Core questions remain consistent from year to year and between countries to allow trends to be tracked over time, and comparisons to be made with other organizations.

The use of user surveys provides valuable complementary information to benchmarking. While benchmarking can inform you about what you (and others) are providing and how efficiently you are providing it, user surveys will tell you whether what you are doing is valued by your community, and how well they think you are doing.

Yardstick membership is on a calendar year basis and new members are encouraged to join to benefit from this program. Data is entered on-line and results are provided in comprehensive on-line reports. Benchmark quality is maintained with an annual visit to each organisation to facilitate data gathering methods and entry, as well as auditing data.

Yardstick national and regional User Group meetings are open to all members. These provide valuable learning and networking opportunities to share the latest benchmarking research, and contribute to survey development.

If you would like further information about this project visit www.yardstickglobal.com or contact Chief Executive Neil McCarthy ceo@worldurbanparks.org.