Project Management
Information Architecture
Strategic Planning
Strategy & Tactics
The Planning Process
Power of Alignment
Balanced Scorecard
KPI, Metrics & Dashboard
Crossing the Chasm

  Information > Strategic Planning > Balanced Scorecard

Strategic Planning

"Organizations need a new kind of management system — one explicitly designed to manage strategy, not tactics…. Organizations today need a language for communicating strategy as well as processes and systems that help them implement strategy and gain feedback about their strategy. Success comes from having strategy become everyone’s everyday job."
  Kaplan & Norton, The Balanced Scorecard

Balanced Scorecard

The Business Scorecard is a process by which vision and strategy can drive business planning. A primary goal is to envision objectives which can be measured. The approach was devised by Robert Kaplan and David Norton in a number of articles published in the Harvard Business Review between 1992 and 1996. As the approach was widely adopted and gained the momentum of a movement within management practice, Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton then authored two important books :

The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2000)

The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2001)

It is a integrative framework that:

  • Communicates strategy so that everyone understands the objectives and their role in them;
  • Aligns resources to focus on the key drivers of strategy; and
  • Monitors the execution of strategy by tracking measurable results.
"The balanced scorecard retains traditional financial measures. But financial measures tell the story of past events, an adequate story for industrial age companies for which investments in long-term capabilities and customer relationships were not critical for success. These financial measures are inadequate, however, for guiding and evaluating the journey that information age companies must make to create future value through investment in customers, suppliers, employees, processes, technology, and innovation."
  Kaplan & Norton, The Balanced Scorecard

The Balanced Scorecard methodology typically communicates strategy across the four perspectives:

  1. Financial: What financial returns are required by investors?
  2. Customer: What do our customers want?
  3. Internal Process: What do we need to do to deliver?
  4. Learning and Growth. How do we sustain the business?

Performance measurement in general, and the Balanced Scorecard in particular, attempts to address a key management concern: companies often fail to turn strategy into action. The Balanced Scorecard is a business management concept that transforms both financial and non-financial data into a detailed roadmap that helps an enterprise measure performance and meet both near and long-term objectives.


Balanced Scorecard Issues & Metrics

The task is to define Objectives, Measures, Targets and Initiatives (performance indicators) in each of these Scorecard areas.

Example Scorecard Issues Affecting Organizational Strategy
  • Develop Corporate Culture
    (values, relationships, behavior)
  • Service mapping to improve employee satisfaction
  • Salary, Benefits & Retention
  • Communications
  • Development & Training
  • Product Positioning & Branding
  • Market Support
  • Channels to Market
  • Channels Support
  • Customer Support & Training
  • Administration
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Operations
  • Business Process Mapping & Optimization
  • Inventory & Manufacturing
  • Credit & Collections
  • Supply Chain
  • Develop Performance Metrics
  • Manage Burn Rate
  • Reduce Risk
  • Accounting & Audits


Leading & Lagging Indicators

  • A "Lead Indicator" is an in-process measure — it is predictive.
  • A "Lag Indicator" is a measure of results, outputs and outcomes — it provides an accurate snap-shot in time.
  • The following table is a small sampling of lag & lead indicators to illustrate the relationship between objectives and measurement/ feedback.
  • The lists of potential KPIs is quite extensive, and the selection must be tailored to a specific business process and environment.
  • Additional discussion of this topic can be found in the sections "KPI, Metrics & Dashboard", and in"Meaningful Metrics".

Strategic Objectives

Strategic Measurements


Lag Indicators
(snap-shot in time)

Lead Indicators

Financial Perspective: In addition to key financial data (revenue, expenses, profit and loss, etc.), risk assessment and cost-benefit data apply to this category. Timely and accurate data, specific to each product and service, may be essential for a clear financial picture.

F1: Improve Returns

Return on Investment

Revenue Mix

F2: Broaden Revenue Mix

Revenue Growth

F3: Reduce Cost Structure

Deposit Service Cost Change

Customer Perspective: If customers are not satisfied, they will eventually find other suppliers that will meet their needs. Poor performance from this perspective is thus a leading indicator of future decline even though the current financial picture may look good.

C1: Increase Customer Satisfaction with Our Products & People

Share of Segment

Depth of Relation

C2: Increase Satisfaction “After the Sale”

Customer Retention

Satisfaction Survey

Internal Business Process Perspective: Metrics based on this perspective allow managers to know how well their business is running, and whether its products and services conform to customers requirements (the mission). In addition to the strategic management process, two kinds of business processes may be identified: (a) mission-oriented processes, and (b) support processes. Support processes are often repetitive in nature and thus easier to measure and benchmark using generic metrics. Mission-oriented metrics are unique and have to be precisely defined and validated.

I1: Understand our Customer


Product Development Cycle


Hours with Customer

I2: Create Innovative Products

New Product Revenue

I3: Cross-Sell Products

Cross-Sell Ratio

I4: Shift Customers to Cost-Effective Channels

Channel Mix Change

I5: Minimize Operational Problems

Service Error Rate

I6: Responsive Service

Request Fulfillment Time

Learning & Growth Perspective: In a knowledge-worker organization, people (the only repository of knowledge) are the main resource. In the current environment of rapid technological change, it is essential for knowledge workers to be continuous learners. Learning is more than training. Metrics (related to training, performance support, knowledge management, technology infrastructure supporting communication and collaboration, corporate culture, core competencies and innovation) guide managers in focusing budget decisions where it can have the most impact in supporting the organization's ability to change and grow.

L1: Develop Strategic Skills


Strategic Job Coverage Ratio

L2: Provide Strategic Info

Employee Satisfaction

Strategic Info Availability Ratio

L3: Align Personal Goals

Revenue per Employee

Personal Goals Alignment (%)


Balanced Scorecard Strategy Map

The following graphic illustrates the approach to mapping objectives in the Balanced Scorecard approach. These relationships show how alignment and integration can be achieved.

Linked Scorecards

The following graphic illustrates a comprehensive use of Scorecards at levels across the enterprise as an instrument to establish alignment and integration.

Balanced Scorecard as a Centerpiece of Strategy

The following graphic illustrates how the Balanced Scorecard can be used as a centerpiece to strategy. Note how the the relationships are portrayed between: Mission, Vision, Values, Strategy, and Performance Milestones.


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