There seem to be a few providers of Balanced Scorecard consulting services that offer "Scorecard in 24 Hours" or "One Week Scorecard" or something to that effect. But the literature from Kaplan and Norton seems to suggest that it takes longer than that to get right. What can be done quickly during a BSC implementation, and what takes longer? Does a fast implementation make sense?

asked Apr 23 '10 at 04:51

Sergio%20Nunes's gravatar image

Sergio Nunes

I agree with Ted that there are two broad categories of options. Personally after 10 years of experience, I do not feel that this can be done effectively in a week as this involves major decisions for a leadership team to make. This is usually not possible to do well unless the strategy is "perfectly clear" and consistently understood by all - which is often not the case. Furthermore, doing this quickly often results in the process being a metrics process versus a management process.

You really have one chance to do this right - meaning "correctly" and in a reasonable timeframe. The 10 - 12 week process referenced above often takes that long for two reasons: (1) scheduling and organizational challenges and (2) the need for discussion and debate as well as soak-time for decisions for organizational leaders. You can work to reduce the former, but it is best not to sacrifice the latter.

Effectively developing your strategy map and scorecard is the key to future BSC implementation success just like good building design is key to building the property and ongoing management. If the design is agreed to and right - it is much easier to build the rest and do it on-time, on-budget and achieve desired results. If not, the goals will never be achieved - the same holds true for BSC design and implementation.

answered Apr 30 '10 at 17:00

Jay%20R.%20Weiser's gravatar image

Jay R. Weiser

To provide more details, the two competing approaches are as followings.

  1. 10-12 week scorecard. This involves several workshops with the executive team as well as individual interviews. Measure teams work on the measures in detail, and great alignment is created by everyone around what the strategy is and how to move forward. Reporting happens soon after that, and some measures are tweaked, but overall, it is a smooth process.

  2. Scorecard in a week. Here you work quickly and tightly with the executive team and put your best foot forward for what your map and measures should be. The goal being to work it out in the implementation process. This means at your first few meetings where you try to use the framework, you spend a lot more time changing objectives and measures. Ultimately in a few months, you get closer to the answer you would have gotten in option #1.

Depending on your organization, you could get quite frustrated with either approach. One seems really slow, but the other one just seems like you are wasting time during the revision and refinement process. I think the marketing pitch around the second option is that you get 80% of the solution, but from the testimonies I hear, you might get closer to a 40% solution, which is just unacceptable to many people.

You want to be careful not to have too many false starts with your Balanced Scorecard or people will view it as a waste of time and throw it out (rightfully so, if it isn't adding value for you.).

answered Apr 26 '10 at 14:03

Ted%20Jackson's gravatar image

Ted Jackson

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