Mistakes to Avoid in Designing a BSC Strategy Map

July 3, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

Perhaps, if you start looking for information on Balanced Scorecard, which was developed by two prominent business experts Norton and Kaplan in the early 1990s, you will find much controversy. On the one hand, BSC is incredibly popular among companies of all sizes and businesses operating in all industries. On the other hand, implementation of BSC requires certain knowledge and experience. The situation aggravates by the fact that BSC implementation is individual for every business. And so, use of someone else’s approaches may not work well. There are plenty of typical BSC implementation mistakes. It is not a secret that typical mistakes can be avoided. Here’s a short list of such mistakes and suggestions on avoiding them.

· There’s no magic in business. It looks weird but even experienced managers sometimes expect miraculous results from Balanced Scorecard. Well, you company will is not going to change overnight. BSC will help identify goals and monitor strategy implementation. However, all problems have to be solved in a conventional way. Only people can make decisions in business. Thus, downloading BSC software and purchasing a few metrics packs has nothing to do with a successful implementation of Balanced Scorecard. BSC does not work on autopilot. It does not make decisions, although can alert managers on problems they are going to face soon.

· Lack of personnel proficient in Balanced Scorecard. Well, you may have genius sales managers and tech experts that can repair anything. However, they will not have a clue on how to get started with Balanced Scorecard. This is a common problem. Managers use standard approaches which may not work for BSC. Thus, it is important to educate personnel, at least a few managers responsible for implementation and maintenance of this framework. Luckily, there are lots of companies that offer consulting and training services for employees having various levels of BSC knowledge. Online trainings are incredibly effective as it is possible to learn the rope of BCS and work at the same time.

· Lack of instruments and apps to gather and analyze information. It is imperative to purchase a reliable BSC application to be used on a daily basis. Today, web based BSC apps gained popularity. At the same time, conventional desktop software is still better, especially if it is to be used in big companies developing cascading BSC projects.

· Use of the wrong metrics. As mentioned above, approaches to BSC implementation should be unique for every individual company. Thus, KPIs pack suitable for Company A may not meet demands of Company B. Use of the wrong metrics inevitably leads to use and analysis of the wrong information which is the worst thing to happen in strategic management. It is imperative to be aware of a real situation in the company. The best way to choose the right metrics is to hire an expert and design company BSC together.

· Expectancy of immediate result. Often, it takes more than a year to implement Balanced Scorecard in a big company, educate employees, select relevant metrics etc. Be patient.

Designing a sample BSC strategy map is the best way to learn. We are happy to offer assistance to unskilled and experienced managers desperate to get more knowledge on Balanced Scorecard.

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