Continuous measurement of a process, product, or service compared to those of the toughest competitor, to those considered industry leaders, or to similar activities in the organization in order to find and implement ways to improve it. This is one of the foundations of both total quality management and continuous quality improvement. Internal benchmarking occurs when similar processes within the same organization are compared. Competitive benchmarking occurs when an organization's processes are compared with best practices within the industry. Functional benchmarking refers to benchmarking a similar function or process, such as scheduling, in another industry.