4 Ways to Link Strategy to Operations with Scorecarding

Business organizations of all types are increasingly using Scorecards as a tool to help their company track and reach organizational goals. So what exactly is Scorecarding?

Scorecarding

Scorecarding for strategy management is a way to share company goals with all employees, and keep them up-to-date on how well the organization is achieving these goals. Scorecards provide not only visibility into individuals and departments, but also the entire company. They are a lot like dashboards, but with a stronger focus on keeping the organization aligned strategically to company goals. It is a time-tested method of communicating business strategy throughout the organization and is effective at managing and measuring the organizational performance related to strategic goals. The concept is simple, but the implementation can be difficult without the right tools to make it happen.

When Scorecarding works, organizations are able to:

  • Communicate strategy to the operational level allowing departments and employees to align their daily work with short-and long-term goals of the company.
  • Measure the amount of success across the company and within its business units, operating subsidiaries, and geographic regions so that there is near immediate identification of business areas not performing to standards.

Scorecarding systems help companies get and remain on track with corporate strategies as well as allow executives and managers to easily oversee strategic targets and the path to getting there.

Aligning Actions with Strategy

The four key steps that help companies apply Scorecarding are:

  1. Maintain a consistent and clear communication strategy to employees focused on the desired goals.
  2. Keep track of results including easy-to-understand visuals such as scorecards that include green, yellow, and red traffic signal lights, benchmarks, scores and trend indicators.
  3. Assign the right people with the needed skills to do tasks that propel strategy fulfillment forward.
  4. Choose a high-level executive that is the “strategy champion” who keeps the scorecard system in front of the eyes of all the company members, and encourages and facilitates communications about the system.

Performance Management Solutions

For a company to align actions with strategy they must develop tactics to get the job done. When the tactics work, the strategy succeeds, when tactics fail, new strategies replace the failed ones. While many businesses have noble goals and work hard to implement strategies to meet them, without using metrics, companies really have no objective way of knowing how well they are doing with carrying out corporate objectives. Scorecarding makes the measurement of strategic success easier which helps executives better understand and oversee company goals.

Performance Management solutions such as IBM Cognos TM1 streamline the Scorecarding process through automation, easy to understand dashboards, and other visuals that alert people to strategies that are going as planned and those that are not. This information allows the company to either rework or change tactics to stay on track. Here are some strategy examples Scorecarding can help with: quick order fulfillment, easier returns, reaching zero defects, or cutting waste of raw materials. Whatever the strategy, Scorecarding will provide the awareness your company needs to not only track but also achieve your corporate objectives.

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