Why businesses should embrace a management system

We live in a world that is characterized by chaos and unpredictability and uncertainty. The impacts of these are undeniably evident. Every decision, whether major or minor.,Is tied to unforeseen and probably a disproportionate significant consequence in the future. This has always inflicted fear to the decision makers and has lead to need for improved decision making in a world that data is not sufficient.

Traditionally it was easier for profit making companies to base their decision process through the financial prism and it worked. Things have changed with information age. Nowadays there are many factors that come into play and decision making would be hard if it was only based ion few variables.

In short term a business may cut on their marketing costs and save their precious resources and time to prioritize on other major missions. However, in long run the business will lose out on its customers and funding opportunities since it has not invested in creating a supportive community.

It therefore turns out that businesses ought to embrace a management system that is tied to business goals and not entirely hinged on financial metrics. It should be able to accommodate other factors and have a more holistic view.

Balanced scorecard incorporates both hard data and intangibles such as branding in a strategic plan. (Yilmaz, 2013).

Balanced scorecard was a system developed in 1990s by David Kaplan and David Norton top help businesses make informed decisions. Unlike other systems that had their primacy fixed on financial metrics, balanced score card takes into considerations customers business perspective, learning and knowledge culture as well as operational preparedness. A scorecard is therefore a performance metric employed to identify, ameliorate and control various business functions and the resulting outcomes.

The system requires that some of these prerequisites are well identified: top business goals such as high profits and cost reduction, specific value business offers to the customer, execution plan, business systems as well as key performances indicators.

The scorecard system is hinged into four perspectives:

Financial perspective. Financial perspective is always geared to maximizing profits and increasing the shareholder value. It is also aimed at ameliorating the bottom line by reducing costs while increasing revenues. The business should always strive to increase their financial numbers.

Customer perspective. this is to gauge customers satisfaction with pricing, quality and availability of products offered by the business. Customer gives their feedback concerning their level of satisfaction with products. The business entity is then able to identify their target customers as well as customer value proposition.

Internal business process. This entails setting up business processes and systems to ensure that both financial and customers’ demands are met. This mainly has to do with efficiency. It is all about speeding up processes, cutting costs, filling in gaps and reducing wastages. For instances a business may do statistical analysis from their customers care service reports, review sites and also social networks.

Learning and growth. For any successful strategy it requires that the executioners are competent, skilled and experienced.it therefore paramount that the business management create and embrace a culture of learning to empower its employees and obtain better results. Employees need to be aware of new trends. Technology is one of ways of empowering the executioners to be able to match changing trends and beat off competition.

Leading and lagging indicators.

Leading and lagging indicators are both measurements types utilized I assessing the performance of a business( Parmenter, 2012) A leading indicator is always the predictive measurement. On the other hand, lagging indicator is an output measurement. Leading indicator is always aimed at influencing change while lagging indicator is just a reflection of what has already transpired. Lagging indicators are easy to measure and are accurate. However, they are useless when it comes to trying to influence the future.

Lead indicators are hard to determine and attract some uncertainty and hence cannot guarantee success. For instance, it is well acknowledged that a motivated employee is a lead factor to more satisfied customer. Similarly, high-performing process is a lead indicator of cost efficiency. When the business focuses on its internal perspective and comes up with strategic objectives such as creating innovative products, the lag indicator would be revenue from new products.

Governments, companies and organization across the globe all use balanced score card system. It is a tool for both business performance measurement and performance management system( Niven, 2008). The balance scorecard though mainly used by large organizations it is still valid for small and medium enterprises. Balanced scorecard doesn’t however work well with startups. some of well of large organization that utilize this system include FBI, Volkswagen and UPS.

Developing balanced scorecards involves undertaking several steps. A clear vision of future must be established, strategic objectives defined, critical leading indicators determined, performance indicators chosen and finally goals, action plans and initiatives set.

For instance, the balanced scorecard for an e-commerce business would be like this. On their financial perspective, the objective would to increase sales while reducing costs. The indicator would be the financial statements and initiative would be negotiation with customers. On its customer perspective would be acting as reference for variety of products and goal would be introduction of new products quarterly. The indicator would be new products and initiative employed would be that of establishing an innovation and development team.

When it comes to internal process perspective with an objective of developing new products constantly the goal would bee to initiate at least five new products monthly. The indicator would be that of project innovation reports and initiative would be acquiring software for managing new product. on the other side of learning and growth perspective with objective of recruiting competent staffs in product development goal would be that of having at least two professionals with master’s course on product development. The indicator in this case would number of professionals and innovative would be training the current staffs to receive masters degree.

Balances scorecard gives a strong framework against which a strategy is built and communicated. (Kaplan & Norton, 2014) This is achieved through creation of business model visualized in a strategy map that enables the manager to think in terms of cause and effect relationship. Here the key performance outcomes and drivers for the future performance are prior identified to complete the strategy map.

Balanced score card allows for one-page picture that enables the company to communicate its strategy internally and externally. This strategy map help staffs and stakeholders to fully understand the company’s strategies which results proper delivery and review of the strategy. Without balanced scorecard it would be hard to implement strategy which the players don’t fully understand.

A balanced scorecard allows for better alignment of initiatives and projects to match different strategic objectives. This is critical in ensuring that the projects and initiatives are focused to delivering the most strategic business goals. With balances scorecard there is improved reporting.

Balanced scorecard is also key in guiding the design of the performance dashboards and reports. The management reporting is then hinged on most important issues and help with monitoring of the execution plan. Balanced scorecard ensures that the organizational structure is aligned to the strategic objectives. For any successful execution of plan, the organization structure must be well aligned to produce the required goals. Balanced score card will link the strategy to operations.

A well executioned balance scorecard is paramount in aligning the organization processes such as risk management, budgeting and analytics to the strategic objectives.

In nutshell the balanced scorecard prioritizes on strategy and vision. It sets up goals and pulls the people towards realizing the set goals and overall vision. By bringing together the customer, financial, organization learning and internal process and innovation the manager is implicitly able to join and understand all the interrelationships.


Kaplan, R. S., & Norton, D. P. (2014). Alignment: Using the Balanced Scorecard to Create Corporate Synergies. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.

Parmenter, D. (2012). Key performance indicators for government and non profit agencies: Implementing winning KPIs. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons.

Niven, P. R. (2008). Balanced scorecard step-by-step for government and nonprofit agencies. Hoboken, N.J: J. Wiley & Sons.

Yilmaz, K. (2013). Balanced scorecard. Place of publication not identified: Grin Verlag.

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