Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Alignment through the BSC

I have made a study of alignment of business ands IT by comparing BSC of the business with BSCs of the IT at an large international pharmaceutical company. I am working on a way of measuring the level of alignment. I am looking for candidates (preferably large enterprises) who might be interested in an evaluation of their level of Business and IT alignment as a part of a research study (ie free).
I would like to hear from anyone who has and views on measuring the level of alignment and how this can be used.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Bestselling Balanced Scorecard Books

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Tools Enabling BSC Design and Deployment

I would be interested in hearing from forum members as it relates to their experience with tools catered towards BSC creation and deployment. I have lately used the MS Office Business Scorecards Accelerator ( MSOBSA, ) and I have been pretty happy with it, but I am always interested in hearing about other useful tools.

As it relates to the MSOBSA here are some of the pros and cons I have observed so far:


  • Price. It is “free”. No charge for the MSOBSA itself, but it is a “plug in” that requires MS SharePoint (for its presentation/GUI) and SQL Server Analysis Service (to tie metrics to actual data) to function. So, it is “free” if you already have the required licenses.
  • Functionality. Supports the creation & customization of scorecards, objectives, themes, metrics and initiatives. These can be tied together as appropriate (objectives associated with themes, initiatives associated with objectives, metrics associated with objectives, etc.) and it enables pulling metric information dynamically from SQL Server Analysis Service. Personally I have only scratched the surface as it relates to leveraging the Analysis Service capabilities, but seems like it will enable some pretty dynamic presentation and aggregation of BSC metrics.
  • Presentation. From a deployment perspective it is highly beneficial that it is Web-Based. Further, the MSOBSA comes “out of the box” with multiple “Web Parts”. A web part is a visual component that can be used to easily design a SharePoint based web page by simply dragging and dropping a web part onto a web page. The web parts are pretty configurable and enable quickly presenting BSC information. The MSOBSA specific web parts include tree views showing the relationship between key BSC elements, metrics data, status icons (e.g. stop light for Red, Yellow, Green), a Visio strategy map viewer, etc. To get a better understanding of the presentation capabilities I would recommend looking at:
  • Extensibility. Given that the MSOBSA is based on SharePoint it benefits from SharePoint’s customization capabilities, e.g., in addition to the MSOBSA Web Parts it is possible to leverage the SharePoint web part libraries as well as any 3rd party or custom libraries.


  • Web-Based scored card designer. While I like the fact that I can easily make all BSC information easily accessible on the web, I would prefer a snappier interface for the actual BSC design. It is not bad for a web based interface, but not as responsive as I would like.
  • Input could be more streamlined. Much of the data entry requires bringing up an edit page per BSC element. E.g., there is not a single page where I can quickly enter key information (or review) each BSC objective, instead I need to select each objective, fill out a pop-up page, apply the change, and move on to the next one.
  • Support. We have run into a few issues installing MSOBSA and it has taken a while to get our issues resolved. The main cause for delay appears to be that MS does not have many support personnel trained to support the MSOBSA.

This sums up my thoughts on the MSOBSA based on my use so far. As I stated at the outset I would be very interested in hearing about other tools or utilities that forum members have found useful.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Extending the BSC and strategy map framework to board members

Robert Kaplan adds an additional role the BSC can play to its already impressive feature list. Kaplan's article

Recent failures (Enron, Tyco, WorldCom) triggered several regulatory and legislative responses, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and new Securities and Exchange Commission-approved NYSE and Nasdaq governance listing standards. Currently, prior to a typical board meeting, members receive reams of paper that are difficult to wade through and make sense of. Kaplan says the risk now is that boards will become overly focused on regulatory compliance and corporate governance issues. As a result monitoring the company's overall strategy might not get the attention it deserves.

Kaplan has spotted an opportunity for his BSC in this situation: with only limited time available to review the information before the meetings and to perform their monitoring and governance functions, board members must receive the information that is most relevant to their governance responsibilities and that will enable them to more effectively participate in board meeting discussions.

Extending the Balanced Scorecard and strategy map framework to board members will enable them to perform more effectively and efficiently. First, the board should use the corporate strategy map and BSC, which together describe the company's strategy, as prime information sources. Second, it should produce a board BSC to make clear board responsibilities and accountabilities. This provides a mechanism for the board to set objectives and subsequently review its performance.

Is Kaplan really discovering new governance-grounds for the application of the BSC or do you believe he is merely a clever salesman?

Monday, July 05, 2004

Easy to use

The BSC Approach is an easy to use management tool which I recommend to all organizations that want to execute their strategy as well as measuring and monitoring performance. Most importantly, it recognizes the value of people and the IT infrastructure in an organization on which most executives place little or no emphasis while pursuing only the tangible assets for their financial returns. It's realy a BSC. I believe strongly that this approach will turn around things in my organization.


Monday, June 21, 2004

High performance organizations

High performance organisations are success stories because of the effectiveness and efficiency in managing their operations. There are a number of factors that influence corporate performance.
Organisational, managerial, leadership and environmental factors have all been found to affect performance. Whatever definition one prefers, managing corporate performance poses a number of challenges for managers.
Managers at all levels need a clear set of performance indicators that will assist them in managing the business. Unfortunately, in many organisations, the issue of managing performance at all levels becomes critical only when the organisation is in a crisis.
A good performance measurement and management system should be derived from the company strategy and cascaded to the lowest level within the organisation. The approach that has been found to be very effective in managing performance is called the balanced scorecard.