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Secret Formula For Growing Hair On A Billiard Ball With Balanced Scorecard

Oct 19, 2007
That is not what the Balanced Scorecard is about; but if you had the secret formula, you might apply this widely-known management tool to help you guide your company to profitability, or greater profitability.

In a long chain of management tools, balanced scorecard stands out by virtue of its nuanced approach to "decomposing" the business to the simplest building blocks. As this is accomplished, clarity of purpose and unity of mission, and goal can be reached. "Can be reached," and not must be reached. Internalizing the language and methodology of the system, is a part of making the system work.

If you visit the website of the Balanced Scorecard Institute you can find articles about how the Balanced Scorecard works, and you can also find the dates of the next training sessions run by the Institute. Peppered through the site, the Institute engages in sufficient name-dropping to convince even the casual reader that Balanced Scorecard is a significant addition to the list of corporate management tools available today.

Balanced Scorecard grew out of earlier management systems including TQM (Total Quality Management), and has already led to other systems such as Six Sigma. This historic chain, however, doesn't invalidate the usefulness of the balanced scorecard or scoreboard as a management tool. It is still in fairly widespread use worldwide, and it is supported by a large number of Balanced ScoreCard (BSC) software products from a varied group of vendors.

A simple web search on your favorite search engine will bring up several pages of offerings of BSC software. Many of these offer free tours, and/or free demonstrations. All of these BSC vendors offer training in the use of BSC, (using their products).

The tools in each software product, of course, vary quite a bit, although they seem to all follow the general structure of Balanced Scorecard deployment, use, metrics, analysis, and "decomposition" of the enterprise's Vision, Mission, and Strategy as delineated in the basic texts of BSC.

Texts, of course, are another source for deeper searches into not only the ins and outs of basic scorecard use, but also into the pros and cons. Case studies should be available from various sources, including, perhaps, some unfavorable, or shall we say "unsuccessful" implementations.

The balanced scorecard system seems quite straightforward at first glance, but as many case histories in industrialization and the pursuit of corporate change have shown, there are chances for "a slip betwixt the cup and the lip." One of the most prominent potential stumbling blocks which appear in the literature which we scanned seems to be the need for careful planning by the "champion" and the "balanced scoreboard team" to insure that the entire organization "buys-in" to the changes. we don't believe that the importance of "buy-in" can be overstressed in a system which has the potential of bringing on a massive change in the corporate management model.

The question is how to benefit from using Balanced Scorecard? Interestingly, though, the BSC model can be implemented from the "bottom up," by starting with a relatively small unit of the enterprise and building on success.
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