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    The Subordinate Courts of Singapore handles over 400,000 cases annually, amounting to 95% of the country’s judicial caseload. In 1997, the then Senior District Judge (equivalent to a CEO) was introduced to the Balanced Scorecard concept at a Harvard Business School program. The concept seemed tailor-made for developing a predictive and proactive measurement and management system.

    In 1998, the Court launched a pilot project to assess the Balanced Scorecard. A Steering Committee reviewed and monitored the scorecard every month. Six months later, the Balanced Scorecard was helping the Court to see what they were doing and how they were doing it. As a two-way system, it was changing the paradigm of communication, performance, monitoring, measurement, and improvement. The leadership was convinced and decided to cascade the scorecard organization-wide.

    Learnings from the pilot were communicated to other divisions, to prepare the organization for a culture change. Full rollout was started in 1999 and achieved in nine months. A scorecard facilitation team incorporated learnings from other public sector scorecard successes like the City of Charlotte, North Carolina, USA and the performance management methods used by various California courts and the National Council of State Courts.

    At the time of full rollout, the scorecard was branded the Justice Scorecard. The scorecard rolled out was a uniquely customized version, with just three new strategic perspectives – community, organizational and employee – reflecting the Subordinate Courts’ goals and core values. The Balanced Scorecard has also succeeded as a framework to integrate the Courts’ unique financial and internal processes objectives, such as the NEV concept that is mandatory for Singapore’s public sector. Singapore Courts believes that the Balanced Scorecard has given employees a superior understanding of the connection between everyday work and the vision and mission. It provides the Courts a bird’s eye view of performance and helps to successfully manage the complex organization that it is. 

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    The UK-based Remote Bank is an example of an organization that deployed the Balanced Scorecard as it central management tool right from the time it was a small startup.

    Launched in the late 1990s with staff strength of just 50, Remote Bank offered telephone based banking services. In the run up to the company’s launch, the then CEO had decided on the use of the Balanced Scorecard as the core tool to steer the startup.

    Over a two-month period, the CEO and two senior management partners designed the Bank’s first Balanced Scorecard with little external reference points or guiding best practices.

    The Bank developed a Strategy Map that incorporated the Bank’s articulated vision and the five core goals that were established for realizing the vision. The Bank used the Scorecard and Strategy Map for providing to the monthly management meetings. Later, the Bank also developed a weekly scorecard to track key indicators on a more frequent basis.

    The Bank’s Balanced Scorecard clearly highlighted the problem when the Bank failed to realize expected financial returns and helped the senior team identify the flawed strategy that was causing the issue. Management introduced a new strategic initiative to address the problem. The Bank’s Scorecard was again quick to alert the management when there was a fall in customer satisfaction levels. Management was able to trace the fall to the new strategic initiative and revise it. On the HR front, the Scorecard alerted the Bank to the rapid exit of new recruits. This helped the management to change its HR strategy – right from recruitment to development.

    Today, Remote Bank offers the full suite of remote banking services – from telephone to online – and continues to use the Balanced Scorecard for its performance management needs.

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    Scandinavian Bottlers was set up in the late 1990s as a regional bottler for a major soft drinks corporation. From the very start, the management decided to use the Balanced Scorecard as its core strategic management tool because they perceived it as a powerful mechanism to align the company’s vision, goals and strategic initiatives. In fact, the Strategy Map and Scorecard were created before the launch of the organization. Key inputs to the scorecard came from the Annual Business Plans formulated by functional heads.

    Through a workshop for the leadership team, the ABPs are reviewed and objectives, measures and action plans are developed according to the Strategy Map and Balanced Scorecard. This helps the management to identify and prioritize the most important strategic initiatives and also ensure alignment across the functions. The exercise also focused on revenue growth and productivity through strategic initiatives.

    Initial experiences with the Balanced Scorecard proved disappointing. People were seeing the scorecard as a hindrance. The problem was identified as excessive complexity of the Scorecard, which had a total of 94 measures. As a result, managers became busy managing the scorecard rather than managing with the scorecard.

    Management revisited the scorecard and simplified it. Simultaneously, a two-phase Key Business Indicators (KBIs) project was launched. Through these steps, Scandinavian Bottlers arrived at an improved scorecard system, with just 20 indicators. Critical success factors and key initiatives were identified. A separate scorecard was also created for the finance function. This improved and customized scorecard system now helps the company address diverse aspects like value delivered to stakeholders, cost of operations, customer service, profitable volume growth, sales process efficiency, and employee satisfaction and development.

    Scandinavian Bottlers’ experience with the Balanced Scorecard offers key practical guidelines for ensuring continuity, communication and follow-up on Balanced Scorecard initiatives in organizations.

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    One of the world’s leading creative organizations, Saatchi & Saatchi provides solutions to leading clients like Carlsberg, General Mills, Lexus, Procter & Gamble, Sony Ericsson and Visa International.

    In 1997, Saatchi & Saatchi was close to bankruptcy. A new senior management team was appointed to engineer a turnaround. The senior team presented to stakeholders a new vision and a detailed strategic blueprint for recovery, with very ambitious targets for a 3-year timeframe. With survival at stake, the group had only one chance to make the plan work.

    The Worldwide Director’s visits to offices across the world revealed that there was no commonality of purpose or cohesion of identity. At this time, the group’s CFO discovered the Balanced Scorecard at a presentation made by Dr. Kaplan and felt it could be the right tool for the group’s strategy implementation efforts. The top team was convinced and Renaissance Worldwide, headed by Dr. Norton, was appointed as program consultant.

    A Balanced Scorecard Steering Committee, reporting to the executive management team, was appointed. From the outset, the organization ensured that the scorecarding initiative, named CompaSS, was kept simple. A highly focused and simple Strategy Map was developed first.

    The Steering Committee also evolved RASCI, a process to define the roles of different groups. Once the Corporate-level CompaSS was in place, global rollout to the over 45 business units followed. The scorecard also served as a strategic communications tool, sending clear signals about what the group wanted to achieve and what it wanted people to contribute. Management of the units were trained and provided ongoing support to manage with the scorecard. As the management wanted to build a strategy-focused organization, CompaSS had a role in critical aspects like performance planning, communication, organizational culture, budgeting and feedback processes. In short, the scorecard became an essential tool for managing the organization, from setting priorities to allocating resources to managing performance. 

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    In 2006, the Christchurch City Council was the only organization awarded Business Excellence New Zealand’s Performance Excellence Study Award (PESA). Sponsored by the New Zealand Government and businesses, the Award uses the internationally recognized Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria.

    The Christchurch City Council has a vision aligned to the city’s vision. To manage performance, the Council has a Balanced Scorecard known as ‘Horizon’ that resonates with the multi-layered performance management horizons and cycles the organization must work to and integrate. Horizon functions as the Council’s business intelligence system, capturing details of performance against strategic and operational plans. Customized for the Council’s context of multiple and competing outcomes, Horizon offers a simple yet highly effective scorecard solution.

    Horizon’s focus on business results and openness helps create an organization-wide, performance-oriented culture. What’s more, going beyond KPIs, Horizon also shows the operational tasks and action programs that support scorecard targets.

    At the strategic level, reporting from Horizon is also customized, leading to a laser-like focus. Experts believe that this focus on inculcating exemplary performance management is driving exceptional results. Surveys show that 70% of Christchurch residents are very satisfied with the city as a place to work, live and play. Customer satisfaction with service at first point of contact is consistently over 95%. What’s more, the Council has maintained a Standard and Poors AA+ rating in delivering these results. The Horizon Balanced Scorecard solution also works in tandem with the Malcolm Baldrige Framework, adding muscle to each of the six Baldrige criteria that lead to outstanding business results (process management, human resources, measurement and knowledge management, customer and market focus, strategic planning, and leadership). Summing up the Christchurch City Council’s experience and success, experts point out that the Council’s implementation of the Balanced Scorecard offers key lessons for achieving scorecarding success.

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    In the 1990s, BKK, a Norwegian producer of electrical power, became a vertically integrated provider and also diversified to capitalize on emerging market opportunities such as broadband services. As a result, BKK faced a challenge in aligning managerial principles and approaches across the group. In response, BKK successfully implemented a bottom-up, group-wide process improvement program, driven by the identification of Critical Success Factors (CSFs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

    The group also initiated a data warehousing program. Following these initiatives, the group felt a need to drive alignment to the next level, by developing a strategic view of performance. In 2003, BKK introduced the Balanced Scorecard methodology for Enterprise Performance Management. After a successful proof of concept exercise in two group companies, management went group-wide with the methodology. The group chose Corporater’s Balanced Scorecard solution, for its ability to work with the data warehouse and meet other key requirements.

    BKK found that the Corporater solution needed minimal training. Using the solution then, BKK was able to develop superior Strategy Maps than before and create a top-level Balanced Scorecard, with targets and strategic initiatives. Subsequently, using a combination of metrics, checklists and strategic initiatives, the group has tracked strategic objectives. Importantly, BKK was able to use the solution for the different needs of different user groups.

    The Corporater Balanced Scorecard software is linked to BKK’s data warehouse and integrates data from a wide range of sources to generate scorecards. This has given BKK an excellent foundation for enterprise performance management. Further, with the solution, BKK has been able to define and put in place a highly effective plan-action-results-plan cycle. The most important benefit according to BKK is that the solution links metrics to strategy. Looking ahead, BKK is working on giving better shape to strategic initiatives.

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    Bilprovningen is the Swedish Vehicle Inspection Company. With a mission to improve road safety and to contribute to a better environment, the company completes about 5.4 million inspections per year. Bilprovningen’s 2,100 employees work in 16 districts, 180 stations and two mobile units.

    Bilprovningen’s scorecarding initiative started in 2003 and was driven by a Steering Committee, headed by the CEO, and a 2-member project team that managed the process on a day-to-day basis.

    From the outset, Bilprovningen was clear about creating scorecard awareness and a strategic management system that agreed with the organization’s culture as well as stakeholder requirements. Hence, Bilprovningen focused on making people a part of the process, and getting people at all levels to understand the Balanced Scorecard, its value for employees’ work and the organizational benefits it could deliver. The process also involved an in-house team of 12 members, who handled different functions and accurately reflected the company’s experience and thinking. This team provided inputs on how the Scorecard philosophy could be applied in Bilprovningen and the kind of strategic management process suitable for the organization.

    Using team feedback and consultations, Bilprovningen decided to develop a customized Strategy Map that showed the four strategic perspectives as four columns, and each given equal importance. Then, through a series of workshops with the senior team, a high-level Strategy Map and Balanced Scorecard were created. To cascade the Scorecard, workshops were held for the district management teams and aligned scorecards were created within the 16 districts.

    Bilprovningen’s scorecarding initiative was built around Corporater’s Balanced Scorecard Solution, which was chosen for its ability to reflect the company’s management process and its user-friendly nature. The Corporater Scorecard Solution’s ease of use helps Bilprovningen employees visualize the big picture; see the fit between strategy and operations, and their personal contribution. Looking ahead, Bilprovningen is focused on using the Balanced Scorecard to make strategy everyone’s job.

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    No change initiative, regardless of the promise it holds, can succeed without the active support of senior executives. In this article, Paul explains the importance of executive sponsorship for your Balanced Scorecard implementation and outlines a number of proven principles for gaining active and ongoing support.

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