Difference between baseline and benchmark in performance of an application


what is a baseline and what is a benchmark? what is the best definition for these and how do you baseline a set of numbers and benchmark another set?

Best Solution

Interesting definitions from SPR (Software Productivity Research)

Baseline and benchmark are similar but distinct activities.

Figuratively, a baseline is a "line in the sand" for an organization whereby it measures important performance characteristics for future reference.

This is not necessarily a "good" state", just a reference.

A benchmark is best understood by way of the original derivation of the word itself:

Tradesmen engaged in repetitive tasks, such as sawing lumber to consistent lengths, often placed notches on their workbenches to indicate placement of boards prior to cutting. Literally, a benchmark became a standard for comparison and an indicator of past success.


  • baseline is about identification of a significant state, meaning your set of numbers met an approval status, publicly recognized.
  • a benchmark is about assessing the relative performance of an application.