Balanced Scorecard

The Balanced Scorecard is a workshop technique for establishing the most useful high level measures by which to monitor your company’s / unit’s progress and performance against its strategic goals.

It’s a great team building activity, process management tool and, when you do it properly, you end up with an action plan that’s fully aligned the company’s strategic plan.

Balanced Scorecard Example
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Objectives

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    To create picture of your unit’s performance, relative to the vision and strategy, in four main areas or ‘perspectives’: financial, internal, learning/growth and ‘customer’/stakeholder.
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    Long term you are looking to improve internal processes, motivate employees, develop better information systems, improve customer satisfaction, have better progress monitoring and see an improved financial position.

Why is it useful?

  • Organizations, or organizational units, can often get fixated on a single measure of performance, whereas in fact, to fulfill their purpose on a sustained basis, they need to monitor a balanced range of indicators.
  • The balanced scorecard suggests what the key indicators should be, and provides a method for identifying specific measures and goals, translated from a particular unit’s vision or strategy.

Resources Required

  • Time: The time to produce this will be significantly reduced if elements such as strategy and vision already exist. Once set up it is an ongoing health check on your multi-agency unit, and will need to become part of people’s everyday jobs.
  • Number of People: About 15.
  • Whiteboard.
  • Flip-chart.
  • Somewhere visible to display the scorecard.

Before the Workshop

To give yourself a high chance of success your participants should come with the following information:

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    The company mission statement.
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    The strategic plan / vision.
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    The financial position of the company.
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    How the company is currently structured and operating.
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    The level of skill and expertise of all the employees.
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    The current customer satisfaction level.

Process

  • 1
    Define the context within which the unit operates – e.g. children’s services, how it has developed, and the purpose/mission of the unit. Consider this in the timeframe – yesterday, today and tomorrow (using SWOT, PEST etc.)
  • 2
    Establish or confirm the unit’s vision.
  • 3
    Identify the perspectives for measurement that are clear and understandable for your unit. The original model uses four: financial, internal, learning/growth and the ‘customer’/stakeholder. Others may be added, for strategic reasons.
  • 4
    Break the vision down according to each perspective and formulate overall strategic aims. Use the template as a guide.
  • 5
    Identify the critical success factors (the CSFs). What are the critical success factors for achieving our strategic goals?
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    Develop realizable measures with which to evaluate those factors. Consider carefully the interactions between the measures. Also try to identify any potential knock-on effects of the measures.
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    Analyze the measures as a whole to ensure they provide a ‘balanced’ picture.
  • 8
    Establish a comprehensive, top-level scorecard and gain approval from your sponsors (you may be required to provide background to the scorecard’s development). Even better would be have them in the room (observing the process, not participating).
  • 9
    Take the top-level scorecard and create more detailed cards translating strategy down to day-to-day tasks.
  • 10
    Formulate goals for every measure used. Ensure there are both short-and long term goals.
  • 11
    Develop an action plan to achieve the goals and strategy that have been set. Prioritization will be key.
  • 12
    Continuously review; use as a dynamic functioning part of people’s daily jobs.

Balanced Scorecard Template

Balanced Scorecard Template

TIP: You can download this Balanced Scorecard Template for free below

Balanced Scorecard Example

Balanced Scorecard Example

An example of a completed Balanced Scorecard for a SCUBA diving center

Secret Sauce

  • The process of developing a scorecard is as valuable as the scorecard itself.
  • Make sure you have a wide ranging stakeholder group in the room. Success depends on you being able to create a shared understanding of each scorecard dimension.
  • You should not try and shoehorn existing measures into the scorecard; take the opportunity to have a new look at the business and develop both financial and non-financial measures accordingly.
  • Viewing the organization from different perspectives and different time dimensions provides a unique understanding of the business.
  • Linking strategy to actions and measuring this on both a financial and non-financial basis provides a more balanced approach to organization development.
  • Make sure all your Strategic Measures are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Realistic and Timely) – you can’t improve on things that you can’t measure.
  • Before diving into the Action Plan run a sanity check to make sure all the suggested measures align with the Strategic Plan.

Free Download Files

About the Author

Nick Martin has more than 18 years experience as a change manager and is the founder of WorkshopBank.

  • Greg Brenner says:

    Thank you Nick

  • Thanks Nick – some good stuff here! Much appreciated!

  • Todd says:

    One of the best resources for my Strategic Management class. The template and example are both beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • Dip Kang says:

    deck pls

  • Rini says:

    I think its one of the best tools that company should have and understood.. thank you for make it easi(er) to understand..

  • BaluChandra says:

    Excellent Read

  • Rajesh K Verma says:

    Absolutely great stuff, so lucidly explained that people could remember it like muscle memory..

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