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Template For Your Business - Balanced Scorecard Gets You Thinking

Oct 20, 2007
Is Balanced Scorecard and all its accompanying hoopla JAITTGYT, or is it something else? Just Another Interesting Tool That Gets You Thinking; they come out almost every day some are better than others, and most get lost in the shuffle of the next JAITTGYT, and the next after that. Truth be told, it is very hard to keep people thinking, and the best way to keep them thinking only lasts for a short while. The human mind adapts to any irritation or change in environment by eventually ignoring it.

If you are a Six Sigma Black Belt, you most assuredly have heard of Balanced Scoreboard, or Balanced Scorecard Management as a precursor of the Six Sigma program. If you haven't heard of it before, here are a few tips about how and why Balanced Scorecard works.

Balanced Scorecard is a complete rating system designed to give every level of management a clear picture of goals, processes, and results within the organization. Its method is to divide the actual corporate effort into [at least] three categories, usually Vision, Mission Strategy. These three [or more] areas are then reviewed from, again three [at least] viewpoints, usually stated as ownership, stakeholders and employees. Variations of these headings are not only allowed, but "blessed" in order to make the scorecard more representative of the corporate situation being monitored.

As with any management system, the key is in the application rather than in the rules. The built-in emphasis on metrics and reiteration, and the position stated by the BSCI (Balanced Scorecard Institute) that Balanced Scorecard Management is "a journey, and not a goal," tend to make it quite clear that the idea is not to "fix" a situation, but rather to remake the management process into what the designers of Balanced Scorecard see as a fitting and useful "tool" in enterprise management.

Truly, the Balanced Scorecard Management system can be a fitting and useful tool, on the condition that it is adhered to. In the perfect world of cultural acceptance of standards, Balanced Scorecard would be fitting and useful, and unnecessary. Balanced Scorecard Systems find a place for this human shortcoming also; by declaring that implementation should be accomplished by a "Balanced Scorecard Team," either headed or guided by a "Champion." They go so far as to imply that the "champion" might be the highest level of management. Continuing on with the literature of the adherents of the Balanced Scorecard, in any and all of its variations, we find that there is a fair amount of attention devoted to assuring the "buy-in" to the Balanced Scorecard by the lower levels of the enterprise.

Notwithstanding what might appear to be a very harsh and negative judgment in the preceding paragraph, a Balanced Scorecard system of management and accountability can be implemented with the proper personnel in the leadership roles and with care to bring everyone aboard as the program initiates. Since the champion and the team are not full-time positions manned by "outsiders" it is suggested that the champion and the team revisit the program on a regular basis, and measure the effectiveness of the program.
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