How to implement the Balanced Scorecard: Best Practices & 10 Tips
After a lifetime of successful Balanced Scorecard implementations, BSC veteran and expert Bill Catucci has summarized his experience in these 10 useful tips you can follow for a successful Balanced Scorecard implementation in your organization.
Those who have already implemented it can testify that implementing the Balanced Scorecard methodology can become a complicated and overwhelming task, if not done the right way. This article focuses on the 10 most important tips and best practices that will help you implement the Balanced Scorecard successfully.
These tips reflect the best decisions and occasional errors Bill Catucci he has made throughout his numerous and impressive Balance Scorecard (Balanced Scorecard) implementations at AT&T Canada, Equifax UK, and RDC. Overcoming mistakes such as “addressing the incorrect people”, “not explaining matters thoroughly”, and “thinking that just because I’m the CEO, things are going to get done”, he has refined this list over the years, until he developed the following tips:
Tip 1: Take full responsibility for it.
Be actively involved. Act as a guide for your team. Do not delegate full responsibility for the Balanced Scorecard. Be persistent and coherent. You must be recognized as the champion and foremost leader of the Balanced Scorecard’s implementation and methodology.
Tip 2: Team up.
Seek volunteers for your core team. Choose leaders within the organization’s major divisions and disciplines to help you develop your Balanced Scorecard. Introduce them to the Balanced Scorecard basics. Invest your time in getting your vision across to them.
Tip 3: Educate team members
Share and discuss your organization’s strategic objectives. Explain the reasons for implementing the Balanced Scorecard, what it consists of and the benefits it will generate. Promote healthy feedback policies. Adapt the Balanced Scorecard to your company. Communicate expectations for each team member regarding the Balanced Scorecard.
Tip 4: Keep it simple
Focus on the big picture so you don’t get caught up in the details. Do not let the tools that are supposed to help you become an obstacle. For instance, color-coding your objectives, key performance indicators or projects green/yellow/red is enough to know how they are performing.
Tip 5: Be tenacious about implementation.
Get ready to deal with pessimists. Prepare a list of most common objections and formulate counterarguments for them. Master said list in preparation for your meetings. Some of them may include: “We don’t have the time”, “It won’t work” or “We don’t have the resources to implement it”.
Tip 6: Incorporate the Balanced Scorecard into your leadership system
The Balanced Scorecard is not separate to company’s operation; it needs to be an integral part of corporate leadership. Be consistent, focused and meticulous. Be present. Being there reinforces your leadership and strengthens your sponsorship of the Balanced Scorecard.
Tip 7: Organize the methodology for Balanced Scorecard meetings.
Select those who will attend. Those who directly report to the CEO should be a part of the meetings. Program the meetings well in advance and uphold their importance so that every attendee organizes their schedule around them. Stick to the meeting guidelines. Build an atmosphere of trust. Encourage members to highlight problem areas (that is to say: don’t shoot the messenger). Find solutions to those problems as a team. Translate the Balanced Scorecard into operational terms. Make the meetings interesting.
Tip 8: Communicate the results widely
Explain the results, frequently and in as many ways as possible (we recommend communicating the message seven times to make sure you’re really getting the message through). Motivate your employees and other stakeholders by sharing your company’s triumphs and Balanced Scorecard accomplishments. But remember to always protect sensitive information.
Tip 9: Do not be a perfectionist
Time is money and delay is your enemy. Implement the Balanced Scorecard as quick as possible. Let your employees know that it will always be a work in process.
Tip 10: Go beyond the numbers
The Balanced Scorecard is much more than a measurement tool for your organization. It promotes timely information sharing, continual education, motivation, and teamwork. It focusses team efforts on what’s strategic for the company. It helps everybody in the organization see it as a whole. If implemented correctly, its arrival to the company may be a turning point for strategic change and cultural transformation.
How to implement the Balanced Scorecard within your organization?
It is important to remember than a successful implementation greatly depends on the Balanced Scorecard core team. Therefore, picking the right people for it must be taken very seriously. The CEO must also emphasize their participation in the process and prioritize clear and straightforward communication among team members.
However, the most important component for the Balanced Scorecard’s success is getting employees engaged with it, instead of assuming that imposing the system will do that by itself.
Still feeling overwhelmed? At TRISSA we can help. Through our comprehensive set of consulting, executive education and software services, we can help your company implement the Balanced Scorecard according to international best practices, so your strategy can be executed successfully and your company can achieve better results.
Author: Trissa Strategy Consulting
Source: Catucci, Bill. "Ten Lessons for Implementing the Balanced Scorecard." Balanced Scorecard Report (2003): 13-14. Online Journal.