Blog Posts

Post Category: ‘Modern Balanced Scorecards’

Balanced Scorecards as steering wheels

As you browse the web or read articles you will come across various “Balanced Scorecards” that are represented as steering wheels or jigsaw puzzles or other symbolic pictures.  The most well known example of this is the Tesco Steering wheel (from around 20 years ago), though many others exist  (Just search Google for ‘Scorecard steering wheel images (google search – …

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The one test of a useful Balanced Scorecard

In my role as a Strategy and Performance Consultant, I see a lots of ‘balanced scorecards’.  In over 20 years, from my early days working for Norton &  Kaplan I have seen most variations and alternatives. I have a set of tests for the balanced scorecard I see.  A set of tests that tell me a lot about how they …

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The KPI substitution heuristic – or why use a KPI in the first place?

I am still reading the excellent book, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and thinking (slowly) through the implications for how we manage strategy, people and performance in today’s organisations. To solve difficult questions, we often look for a simpler question to answer. The other day on a flight back from a client I was reading about how our …

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Milestones and activities are not measures: but they are still useful

I was listening to my colleague and friend, Stacey Barr this week.  In her seminar, she was making it very clear that many make the mistake of using things that are really milestones or activities, when they are talking about measures.  She is right.  However, people are using them for a reason, and I want to explain why. As Stacey …

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Leading indicators: Ten different types for different situations

Leading and lagging indicators seem to create confusion for some people, yet with a clear understanding, it is easy to see explain how they work and help people think productively about how to create and use them. In this article I want to explain how different types of leading indicators are needed and will occur in different circumstances.  I will …

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The Strategic Balanced Scorecard is based on praxis, not dogma

On a LinkedIn forum I was being told that I did not know what was in a manual and therefore did not understand the Palladium Balanced Scorecard approach which gets called the Execution Premium. I am told I used ‘incorrect’ language.   Also that there was only one way to do this and I should go on a course. Maybe after …

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The Balanced Scorecard and Strategic Goals

A recent LinkedIn question was from a strategy manager wanting to use a ‘strategic goal’ but unsure how this fitted into the Norton & Kaplan Balanced Scorecard framework. One respondent used a good deal of words explaining that the approach does not use the phrase and it was meaningless in the approach.  He should use other language, more suited to …

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Do 70% of Balanced Scorecard project fail? NO!

A recent posting on LinkedIn casually referred to the “statistic” that “70% of balanced scorecard projects fail” Only 10 minutes research pulled up the original source for this statistic and it is clear that the statement is not what was said by the original source. The original research on the failure of performance measurement initiative. It seems that Neely and …

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The Balanced Scorecard is not a technical tool: It is a social tool!

Most of what we see in “Balanced scorecards” are technical tools. Many of the questions we see and hear on balanced scorecard forums are technical questions.  Many balanced scorecard projects are seen as, primarily, technical projects. This applies to of all generations of balanced scorecards and many implementations.  To many, the whole approach is thought of as a technical solution …

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The customer perspective: talking in their voice

Perhaps the biggest, and most common, mistake I see in strategy map and balanced scorecard design, is failing to describe the objectives in the external customer perspective, from the perspective of those customers. This sounds obvious:  after all it is called the Customer perspective.  It is outside the organisation.  It is an outcome rather than an output.  It should describe …

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