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Successful Scorecarding (part 5 of 5) – Best Practices (cont.)

Craig Colangelo, Sr Consultant at PerformanceG2

July 7, 2009

We’ll wrap up this blog series with today’s post, building on last week’s best practices theme. We’ve touched on the fact that these scorecarding systems are more than just a means for data presentation…they’re truly performance influencing applications. Treat development of these tools more like an application development effort. Use things like joint application design sessions, lunch and learns, and one on ones w/ scorecard owners to help build trust and to encourage true business ownership of the tool.

Sell it! Many companies have lofty goals and aggressive growth plans but don’t have the means to track and influence their progress towards their stated destination. Scorecarding applications can be the solution. Do what you can to sell your solution as a means of practically living the strategy that your company already likely has in place.

Don’t leave metric owners hanging. How would you feel if you were responsible for a high visibility metric that was a perpetual poor performer and couldn’t show why the metric was in the dumps? Make sure to give as much supporting information for apparent cause analysis in the tool as possible. This can be accomplished with default reports, impact/impacted diagrams, and even corrective action pathways.

When helping the business choose what to measure to help them achieve their strategic goals, remember the SMART acronym:

  • Specific – unambiguous, concise
  • Measurable – tangible, real
  • Actionable – something the owner can influence
  • Relevant – aligned with and encouraging the behavior you want to drive
  • Timely – if you’re trying to impact weekly cycles, monthly measurements aren’t enough!

Also make sure to have a mixture of both lagging and leading indicators where possible. Lagging indicators (like financials) are usually very easily obtained but are not enough to influence an outcome…leading indicators give you a means for early warning.

Every strategic objective needs some form of measurement. If a SMART metric cannot be obtained, use a proxy. Even if it’s not necessarily a 1:1 relationship between the objective and the measurement, at least you’ll have a shot at influencing results.

An effective scorecarding solution is always in a state of flux…continually evolving. This is a good thing. It should be used and modified to meet the changing needs of the organization. As a developer, make sure you build this app not to last, but to change.

Successful scorecarding implementations are an effective way to show the value of BI and how it directly impacts the bottom line. Your scorecarding app should be a gateway into other BI components. Those who are benefiting most from your scorecard environment are usually the ones funding your overall budget/projects … what better way to show your group’s value?

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