Balanced Scorecard Resources

Here we have grouped together our blogs, presentations, FAQs, research and case studies on Balanced Scorecard.

Balanced Scorecard

The Balanced Scorecard is a popular management framework designed to help organisations to implement strategy more effectively.

The framework was developed initially in the 1980's by Art Schneiderman but owes its current popularity to the books and articles of two US based academics in the 1990s - Robert Kaplan and David Norton - and their publisher, the Harvard Business Review.

Over the last 25 years the framework has developed and evolved to become better, and is now a well understood, robust and reliable management tool. The resources in this section provide insights into both what the Balanced Scorecard is, how it can be used, and how it links to other management frameworks. The resources reflect 2GC's experience and expertise in Balanced Scorecard design and implementation.

FAQ : What is a Balanced Scorecard?

The Balanced Scorecard approach to performance measurement combines traditional financial measures with non-financial measures. This provides managers with more relevant information about the activities they are managing, increasing the likelihood of organisational objectives being achieved. In this FAQ, 2GC provides an overview of the Balanced Scorecard and describes how it is designed, implemented and used.

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Blog Entry : Balanced Scorecards help managers to implement strategy more effectively

For each of the last seven years 2GC has undertaken an annual survey of Balanced Scorecard Usage, to find out who uses Balanced Scorecards, what they are used for, and if they work. The results of the 2015 Survey are now available! If you have got a Balanced Scorecard and want to see how it…

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Blog Entry : What next for the Balanced Scorecard?

This question was recently posed in a blog posting by James Creelman, and has been a common question since Balanced Scorecard’s inception. Read on to find out our views - but the good news is that at least three of James’s four ‘new things’ are already established features in modern best-practice Balanced Scorecard designs. Phew!

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Blog Entry : Make ‘hindsight’ a thing of the past…

We would all like to know what will happen in the future: life would be easier if we could get a warning about problems before they happen. This is also true for managers - especially when they are working on strategy implementation projects.

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FAQ : How do I successfully implement Balanced Scorecard?

The practical value of a Balanced Scorecard can only be realised if it is implemented successfully. In this updated FAQ, we discuss four things to consider when you are planning the design of a Balanced Scorecard, each of which if done well will improve the chances that your Balanced Scorecard will deliver its full potential.

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FAQ : What is ‘state-of-the-art’ Balanced Scorecard design?

Balanced Scorecard has developed from a tool for organising measures to a strategic management mechanism. It has evolved in terms of design characteristics, processes and usage patterns into what is now referred to as 3rd Generation Balanced Scorecard. In this FAQ, we outline the evolution and highlight the characteristics of best practice Balanced Scorecards.

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Blog Entry : Picking measures for strategy implementation - three simple rules…

Organisations are very good at measuring things: it is hardly surprising since we have had a lot of practice - the earliest records of formalised performance measures date from over 6,500 years ago! Modern organisations are awash with measurement data, yet despite this, in the area of strategy implementation organisations struggle to get the feedback…

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Blog Entry : Getting the message across

Organisations are designed to be good at getting things done. Strategy implementation is mostly about ensuring that key strategic initiatives get done - so on the face of it organisations should be great at implementing strategy. Trouble is, they are not. 2GC’s ACME Strategy Implementation framework has been designed to fix this. In this feature we…

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Why Balanced Scorecards Fail!

Arthur M. Schneiderman

Journal of Strategic Performance Measurement - 01 Jan 1999 - pages

2GC Comments: The ideas expressed in this article have influenced 2GC’s work for many years. Although the writing style makes it harder to read than it should be, we still think it is one of the most sensible, practical, and well argued pieces on the topic ever published. Also useful as an insight into the thinking of one of those involved at the very beginning of the Balanced Scorecard phenomenon.

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FAQ : Can I apply Balanced Scorecard in a small business?

The success of any business ultimately relies on its ability to deliver strategic goals. Because Balanced Scorecard helps managers articulate and track delivery of these goals, the tool is useful to businesses of any size, although there are important design differences in the implementation of Balanced Scorecard for a small organisation.

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Presentation : Balanced Scorecard Implementation in SMEs

Balanced Scorecard has been widely adopted in Medium and Large organisations since it was introduced in the early 1990s. But is the idea relevant and useful to small business?

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FAQ : Can I apply Balanced Scorecard in my not-for-profit/public sector organisation?

Balanced Scorecard remains very relevant to the not-for-profit sector because organisations in the public and private sector need to address similar management issues. From its origins in the private sector, Balanced Scorecard has evolved to become a useful tool equally applicable to not-for-profit organisations, state owned companies, government departments and even internal functions within commercial organisations.

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Strategy Mapping For Behaviour Change With The Public Sector Scorecard

Max Moullin and Robert Copeland

British Academy of Management / Max Moullin - publicsectorscorecard.co.uk - 01 Sep 2012 - 5 pages

2GC Comments: Building strategic Balanced Scorecards for Non Profit and Public Sector organisations requires a slightly different approach; something we look at in detail in our own case studies and research papers areas. This prize winning short paper from Max Moullin provides has an interesting perspective on how to do this, and one that is wholly consistent with best practice methods. A useful paper that provides a concise and informative introduction to Max’s considerable work on Public Sector Scorecards since 2002.

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FAQ : What Balanced Scorecard software is available and how do I choose?

There are currently about twenty different software packages available to support the reporting of Balanced Scorecard measures, excluding general-purpose software (e.g. spreadsheets). In this FAQ, 2GC describes features and factors that should be considered, and attempts to give a broad overview of the software that is available.

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The Promise and Perils of Balanced Scorecard

Gary Cokins

Wiley Periodicals Inc. / Gary Cokins via GaryCokins.com - 01 Mar 2010 - 9 pages

2GC Comments: Gary Cokins has been involved in the development of Balanced Scorecard since its earliest days. He was also closely involved in the development of Activity Based Costing and is a useful source of insight and information concerning the two topics. This article observes that it is not enough to design a Balanced Scorecard, it needs to be used too - an issue central to much of 2GC’s work. Gary’s focus here is on the role of software systems to help with this, but contains insights key for anyone thinking of introducing Balanced Scorecard for strategic management purposes.

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FAQ : How do I create a strategic Balanced Scorecard?

In developing a Balanced Scorecard the biggest challenge is deciding the most relevant measures to include - particularly for Scorecards to be used for strategic management purposes. In this FAQ, 2GC outlines the eight steps your Strategic Balanced Scorecard design and implementation process should follow, and explores how best to deliver these steps.

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FAQ : What is Strategic Control?

Central to much of 2GC’s work is the idea that managers can control how an organisation pursues its strategic goals. This process of articulating and acting upon strategic goals is generally known as “Strategic Control”. Strategic Control theories have had a big influence on how strategic Balanced Scorecards are designed.

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FAQ : How do I develop, link and align multiple Balanced Scorecards (cascading)?

This FAQ looks at one of the most challenging issues of Balanced Scorecard implementation: Cascades OR how to develop more than one! The challenge is how to do the design quickly, efficiently, and in a way that ensures all the Balanced Scorecards are ‘aligned’ with each other and with the organisation’s goals.

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FAQ : How can functions benefit from Balanced Scorecard?

Staff functions are often responsible for many of the corporate initiatives selected to deliver strategic objectives; yet they have limited control over the delivery. In this FAQ, 2GC looks at the extent to which 3rd Generation Balanced Scorecard can enhance the ability of HR and other staff functions to manage the delivery of key strategic objectives.

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FAQ : How do I create an operational Balanced Scorecard?

2GC outlines six steps that an operational Balanced Scorecard implementation should include; it also explores how best to deliver these steps - what to focus on, and who to involve in the design process.

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FAQ : Can you link Balanced Scorecard with other management processes?

One of the strengths of Balanced Scorecard is its ability to work in conjunction with existing management processes such as EVA, Activity Based Costing and Budgeting. 3rd Generation Balanced Scorecard is typically used as the hub of a strategic management system because it provides an easy-to-use mechanism for the selection and co-ordination of other management tools.

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Performance Measurement and Control Systems for Implementing Strategy Text and Cases: Pearson New International Edition

Robert Simons

Pearson - 2013-07-26 - 696 pages

2GC Comments: This book covers the topics listed in its title thoroughly and deeply, along the way presenting a highly practical approach for applying these ideas within an organisation. Nearly 700 pages - so not a casual read - but is essential reading for anyone working (or wanting to work) as a consultant or trainer in this field.Robert Simons, also published “Levers of Control”, an outstanding work on strategic control that directly influenced the development of “2nd Generation” Balanced Scorecard design methods in the late 1990s.

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FAQ : What is accountability for performance?

Clearly managers who feel accountable for results are more likely to deliver results. It is presumed that building accountability enables better performance; yet accountability remains weak in many organisations - particularly in the public sector. In this FAQ, 2GC outlines four factors that drive strong and productive accountability.

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Case Study : Case Study 12: FS Co

Using Balanced Scorecard to drive strategic alignment in a financial services company

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Case Study : Case Study 11: Zenith Systems

Cascading 3rd Generation Balanced Scorecard in a small services company

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Case Study : Case Study 10: PractiNet

Implementing Balanced Scorecard within a membership-based organisation

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Case Study : Case Study 5: IIC

Aligning individual goals with the business strategy in a financial services organisation

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Case Study : Case Study 2: Truro

Implementing Balanced Scorecard - lessons and insights from a multi-divisional oil company

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Case Study : Case Study 1: Arran Ltd

Implementing Balanced Scorecard - lessons and insights from a UK based financial services firm

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Case Study : Case Study 9: Al Khamsa

Strategic Planning at a Middle East Engineering Company: A Balanced Scorecard approach

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Research Paper : Improving public sector governance through better strategic management

This paper shows how an improved Balanced Scorecard design has the potential to enhance strategic management and public sector governance.

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Presentation : Integrating Risk Management and Performance Management

Executive boards seeking improved corporate governance have implemented new risk management solutions. But is risk management such a new activity?

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Research Paper : The Balanced Scorecard & EVA

This paper reflects on how the EVA measures of organisational performance can be used within the Balanced Scorecard approach to strategic management.

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Presentation : Why do only one third of UK companies realise strategic success?

A survey of over 200 companies in the Times 1000 revealed that while almost all companies had a ‘strategic vision’, only one in three reported achieving ‘significant strategic success’. For many, the answer lies in the quality of the strategic management processes.

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Research Paper : The Balanced Scorecard as a Communication Protocol in Organisations

This paper reports on research carried out in a multi-divisional organisation, and shows how a modified Balanced Scorecard design process allowed a firm to rationalise its strategic communication so that only relevant information is transmitted, and how this simplified communication formed the basis for the design of a Strategic Control system.

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Research Paper : Classification of Balanced Scorecard Designs based on intended use

This paper describes a classification of Balanced Scorecard designs based on intended method of use within an organisation.

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Research Paper : Evolution of the 3rd Generation Balanced Scorecard

This paper describes the changes to the definition of the Balanced Scorecard that have occurred since it became popular as a performance measurement framework during the early 1990s.

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Research Paper : Performance Management system design in a devolved organisation

This paper is a case study exploring the design of a new performance management system for the UK Environment Agency (11,000 staff, more than 40 discrete management units).

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Research Paper : The Balanced Scorecard and the Business Excellence Model

The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) and the Business Excellence Model (BEM) have each been widely adopted in recent years, and are often assumed to address broadly similar issues.

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Research Paper : Enabling Quality Management

Since western economies began to adopt Quality Management principles in the early 1980s, it has been noted that Quality Management projects have produced limited long-term success when compared with equivalent initiatives in Japan, where Quality Management tools and processes were pioneered.

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Research Paper : Balanced Scorecard and Results-Based Management: Convergent Performance Management Systems

This paper compares and contrasts two of the most widely adopted Performance Management (PM) frameworks – Balanced Scorecard and Results-Based Management.

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Presentation : Introduction to Strategic Performance Management

A great introductory presentation - covers the basics of Performance Management, Strategic Performance Management, and modern Balanced Scorecard design methods.

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Presentation : Service Level Agreements and the Balanced Scorecard

Introducing a new model for monitoring at Service Level Agreements that builds on some concepts familiar to Balanced Scorecard users.

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Presentation : The Balanced Scorecard & EVA

This presentation pack reflect on how the EVA measures of organisational performance can be used within the Balanced Scorecard approach to strategic management.

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FAQ : What are the main benefits of a Balanced Scorecard?

The potential benefits of a Balanced Scorecard depend on its application and implementation. There are two distinct uses: Management Control and Strategic Control. Although similar visually, these two applications of Balanced Scorecard require substantially different design and development processes, and provide different benefits to a management team which we summarise in this FAQ.

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FAQ : What is a Balanced Scorecard Audit?

This FAQ describes how the intended use of a Balanced Scorecard will influence the type of Audit approach that you should use. It also suggests ways to carry out such an audit.

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FAQ : Should I use KPI databases to build my Balanced Scorecard?

When designing Balanced Scorecards, organisations often consider including measures chosen by others in the same industry. In this FAQ, 2GC examines the topic of measure selection; while organisations in particular industries are likely to select some measures that are similar (mainly process measures), they also ought to identify measures that are not (e.g. strategic measures).

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FAQ : How do I set targets in Performance Management Systems?

This 2GC FAQ looks at target setting within the context of performance management. Difficulties in setting targets are a common problem encountered during the creation of a performance management system - they are hard to resolve. Without target values the utility of a performance management system is reduced.

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Presentation : Aligning Personal Objectives with Organisational Strategy

Using case study material we illustrate how the implementation of an effective Balanced Scorecard can enable personal objectives to be aligned with organisational strategy.

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Research Paper : Multi-level strategic alignment within a complex organisation

The implementation of large numbers of Balanced Scorecards as part of a coordinated programme (“cascading”) has been suggested as an efficient method for implementing strategy across an organisation, but case studies of this type of strategic alignment are rare. This original research stems from a 2GC project within a large and complex multi-divisional organisation in the…

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Blog Entry : The Management Tool that Could - The Balanced Scorecard at 25

It is 25 years since the article “The Balanced Scorecard - Measures that Drive Performance” first appeared in the pages of the Harvard Business Review. Few would have imagined that it would have had quite the transformative impact on management methods and culture that it did.

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Blog Entry : Survey Finds that Balanced Scorecards Drive Improved Employee Engagement with Corporate Objectives

Results from the 2GC Active Management 2013 Balanced Scorecard Survey, show that 94% of responding organisations said that they thought using Balanced Scorecards helped their staff understand company objectives.

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Blog Entry : Context - A Key Success Factor for Strategy Execution

For a strategy to be effective it needs to be implemented. It may sound like a statement of the obvious, yet today, 30 years after it was first flagged as an issue, successful strategy implementation eludes most organisations. In this feature we look at what the causes might be and note that working out the…

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