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Strategy Map Challenge

April 8, 2009
BSC Survey

BSC Survey

Small to midsized organizations that embrace the Balanced Scorecard are often challenged moving the strategy map beyond midlevel management. Why does this happen?

Balanced Scorecard strategy map is an effective and efficient way to align aspirations, culture, and collective expectations of an organization. The strategy map communicates the essence of an organization in terms that are easy to communicate.

The strategy map is incorporated as a requirement to implement Balanced Scorecard. This can be a challenge to some small and midsized organization. Three factors to consider when implementing in these organizations:

Scorecard versus Balanced Scorecard: These terms are not interchangeable and are often confused. A scorecard is used to measure discrete events. The Balanced Scorecard measures the health of an organization. Measurements are based on each perspective as presented through the strategy map. An artist eye would see Balanced Scorecard perspectives as a picture of results in terms of agreed upon objectives. Balanced Scorecard provides transparency by cascading information resulting in clarity of the current state of the business.

You only know what you know: Experience develops competency for continuous process improvement. Lack of Balanced Scorecard experience challenges the rollout of the strategy map. A holistic approach to business requires management to embrace the strategy map as a collaborative roadmap, decreasing the role of authoritative management. Koom-by-ya is not necessary but organizational engagement is critical to the acceptance of the strategy map. Understanding comes from training, engagement, and practice; the more practice the better understanding to guide the organization within the strategy map framework.

Cascade of transparency: “First you have to recognize you have a problem.” It is important to reflect and determine if information is being shared as part of a systematic flow or provided as an individual request. When data is provided as a request it is not part of a transparent flow. The concept of cascading is the weaving of information flow from top to bottom and back again. A short circuit of the flow turns off lights that otherwise illuminate strengths and challenges. Knowledge that rests at each level of the organization determines the types of measurements necessary to attain the objectives of the strategy map. Each cascading level pools value necessary to support those measures directly above and the foundation for those below. The strategy map provides the foundation for transparency.

Strategy map is a communication tool that aligns the organization with a single view of the organization’s direction. Fully executed, an organization has informed employees who are engaged in a common set of goals reflected in a culture of inclusion.

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