Insights into benchmarking in the infrastructure sector

Published August 2020
Reissued April 2023

Building a strong project programme – cost, schedule and proven delivery record – is critical for the sustained infrastructure investment that will be fundamental to the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19, and in pioneering better spaces for people to work and live.

An essential part of capital planning and programming is developing a firm understanding of project costs and performance. Benchmarking, the process of comparing projected or actual project cost and performance, is therefore central. And by impacting the economic, social and environmental outcomes of infrastructure projects, benchmarking ensures investments in the sector are effective and significant investments in major global infrastructure projects are prudently and effectively deployed. But what are the obstacles holding back consistent benchmarking across the industry? And how can we improve it?

Within this global insight we provide an overview of benchmarking in the infrastructure sector for RICS members, discussing the types of benchmarking and the processes involved, and demonstrating examples of best practice.

This paper also:
- outlines the key benefits of benchmarking
- discusses the use of data and analytics in modern benchmarking practices and
- demonstrates the practical relevance of benchmarking through a series of case studies.

This document was reissued in April 2023 as practice information. It had previously been published in August 2020 as an insight paper. No material changes have been made to the document.