A balanced scorecard is a strategic management tool which you can use to manage and measure your business performance in areas that are crucial to its success.
What is a balanced scorecard?
A balanced scorecard is a framework for an organisational appraisal that allows you to look at your business from four perspectives:
- Learning and growth - considers the infrastructure that supports your employees' skills, capabilities and knowledge. Two common elements are employee training and education.
- Internal business processes - takes into account the procedures that drive your business forward, such as the number of new products or services you create and new product development time. These activities aim to maintain good relationships with your stakeholders, as well as your customers.
- Customer perception - studies the satisfaction levels of your product or service, eg using surveys, focus groups and hard data. It evaluates a variety of factors such as cost, quality, availability, time management, service and innovation, which can help you to add value and make your business stand out from the competition.
- Financial health - provides analysis and monitoring measures that support profitability, growth, value creation and risk assessment.
For each of these areas, the balanced scorecard allows you to develop metrics, set performance targets, and collect and analyse data.
Purpose of the balanced scorecard
Balanced scorecard helps managers keep track of progress towards organisational and strategic targets. It provides a structured report that allows you to:
- communicate the activities you need to implement for success
- align the day-to-day work of your staff with your strategy
- determine objectively if the strategy is working
- prioritize projects, products, and services
- measure and monitor progress towards targets, as well as efficiency and effectiveness
- reduce uncertainty
Balanced scorecard combines financial measures with other key performance indicators (KPIs) to give you a snapshot of how well your business is doing now and how it may perform in the future. See how to decide which KPIs to measure.
The scorecard can also help you to review your strategy implementation, or implementation of a new quality management system, based on measured and verified data. See how to implement a quality management system.