Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scorecards: Company Conversation Starters

By: Lauren Selleck
                In this weeks class we are going to be discussing the strategic planning process and evaluating the current performance of an organization. In the spring semester of 2012, I took a management consulting class where I was assigned to a non-profit to help measure the success of their strategic plan. My team proposed a scorecard to help measure traditional obtainable metrics while also measuring unattainable abstract concepts. The questions we asked to construct this scorecard helped open lines of communication even the company had not known were unopened. My group created a successful scorecard by bringing to light short-term measurements to meet their new long-term goals.

               After reading Robert Kaplan and David Norton’s article “Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System”, I began to wonder if it was the scorecard which caused success or the type of thinking and conversations it brought which was successful. Similarly to my project the article brings to light how scorecards can help managers come to a singular understanding. Different meanings of words, milestone miscommunication, and end goal confusion can hinder a company from its potential, but why wait for a scorecard to clarify these key factors?            Scorecards can help marry strategic planning and budgeting, align company goals with that of their customers and get employee buy-in. All of which are positives, but should be already integrated into current strategic planning and evaluation. Maybe companies need scorecards to remind them to have a clear vision, make milestones, communicate and educate, and supply feedback. I believe scorecards are just reminders of how a company can keep on track to long-term success.  With or without them organizations should be having discussions about why certain goals need to be accomplished and how these will benefit the entire corporation. Scorecards would be unnecessary if more companies asked the right questions and communicated more openly.

            Do you believe scorecards help increase company success and create better evaluation metrics? Or do you agree that companies should already have similar metrics in place without them? 

Kaplan, Robert S., and David P. Norton. "Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System." Harvard Business Review (2007): 1-15. Print.

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