Strategic Balanced Scorecard: planning business by using OKRs, KPIs, and initiatives
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Strategic Balanced Scorecard

The Strategic Balanced Scorecard is direct approach to business planning, including goals, objectives and key results (OKRs), key performance indicators (KPIs), and Critical Success Factors (CSFs)..



The Strategic Balanced Scorecard is direct approach to business planning, including goals, objectives and key results (OKRs), key success factors (KSFs), and key performance indicators (KPIs).

This scorecard is much like a third-generation balanced scorecard. We use some changes that help our teams with our kinds of projects. Adjust as you like for your own goals.

How to create a Strategic Balanced Scorecard

Imagine a Strategic Destination Statement:

  • Describe what the organisation is likely to look like at an agreed future date.

  • In many cases this builds on existing plans, documents, vision statements, mission statements, and team knowledge.

  • In practice it is rare to find a pre-existing document that offers the necessary destination clarity and certainty.

  • Consider the organization's strategic themes, competitive advantages, and major initiatives.

Improve the destination statement

Improve the destination statement by describing it via four perspectives.

  1. Financial
  • Examples: sales, income, earnings, profit, margins, economic value, shareholder returns, stewardship, dividends, etc.
  1. External
  • Examples: how we wish to be perceived by customers, partners, vendors, regulators, job seekers, the general public, etc.
  1. Internal
  • Examples: company processes, business practices, cycle time, company rules and regulations, productivity, efficiency, throughput, etc.
  1. Learning
  • Examples: what needs to happen for all of the above to be sustained and developed in terms of growth, people, processes, products, perceptions, controls, governance, etc.

Plan your Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)

Describe what needs to be done and achieved in order for the organization to reach its destination.

  • Cover each strategic perspective: financial, external, internal, learning.

  • Cover business objectives and operational objectives.

  • See our Objective and Key Result README

Use systems thinking to identify cause-and-effect relationships among objectives.

  • Systems thinking helps ensure the objectives are mutually supportive and represent the combined thinking of the team’s high-level perception of the business model.

List your Critical Success Factors (CSFs)

Describe the actions that teams and individuals must do to reach the objectives and key results.

  • Who will do what, when, and how?

  • Cover how to change people, processes, tools, controls, and strategy.

Aim for high-level factors.

  • There is more value in a short list of the top success factors than in an exhaustive task list that covers every tiny detail.

Create your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Create suitable indicators for your objectives and key results.

  • Construct the metrics to support management’s ability to monitor the organisation’s progress towards achievement of its goals.

  • See our Key Performance Indicator README

Aim for high-level roll-up indicators.

  • There is more value in a short list of the top measurements than in an exhaustive list of that covers every tiny detail.

Brainstorm Initiatives and Experiments

Initiatives are special projects where work is well-understood.

Experiments are special projects where work involves testing hypotheses, validating learning, and generating new knowledge.

  • Initiatives and experiements are mapped to strategic objectives, in order to give an indication of the projects and actions that are needed in order to realize the objectives.

Use systems thinking to identify cause-and-effect relationships among initiatives.

  • For example, what do we need to do to achieve the results we expect?

  • Use SMART goal setting, including a finite start date and end date.

Group the work

Group the work into projects, programs, and portfolios.

  • Projects that are related can be grouped into a "program". Typically a program is time-limited, not ongoing.

  • Projects and programs that are unrelated can be grouped into a "portfolio". Typically a portfolio is ongoing, not time-limited.

Why use a Strategic Balanced Scorecard?

Transform an organization's strategic plan into active work.

  • Clarify vision and direction for the four major stakeholder areas.

  • Guide business planners to come up with objectives and key results (OKRs) and key performance indicators (KPIs).

Enable more effective teamwork.

  • Clearly connect strategy formulation to tactical implementation.

  • Facilitate articulation, communication, and socialization of strategy,objectives, and performance.

Monitor organization performance compared with strategic goals.

  • Provide a balanced view of the organzation's vision, values, performance, and results.

  • Provide feedback loops for internal processes and external outcomes, in order to continuously improve strategic performance and results.

NASA recommends these reasons:

  • Align a balanced set of performance metrics with business strategy and vision
  • Provide management and work teams with the information necessary and sufficient to meet their objectives and goals
  • Create “line-of-sight” at lower levels of the organization
  • Foster and support process continuous improvement initiatives

For more information