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5 things to consider when choosing Balanced Scorecard Software

by Danny Solow on May 10, 2017

Balanced Scorecard Software makes strategy management and execution easier

Most organizations begin their Balanced Scorecard implementation with spreadsheets and slide templates. The Microsoft Office approach generally offers a flexible method of brainstorming potential strategic objectives, key performance indicators, and strategic initiatives. However, the Balanced Scorecard is more than a static document. Ultimately, data must be gathered, analyzed, and reported to leadership.

Creating a consistent business strategy governance structure requires a significant organizational investment

As the strategy evolves, collaboration is critical. Excel templates and PPT slides do not offer the flexibility required to make reporting both collective and effective. 

The greatest challenge of BSC management without software is the time needed to oversee the input of data and final report formatting. We have heard stories of Strategy Management Offices staffing up to four full time employees getting reports ready for a single Balanced Scorecard.

Such heavy time investments can cause the Balanced Scorecard to fail under the weight of its own process. To avoid cumbersome reporting cycles, organizations may choose to turn to Balanced Scorecard software as a solution. If your organization is considering Balanced Scorecard software, there are some fundamental features you should keep your eyes out for throughout your evaluation process.

Download your Balanced Scorecard Template

1. Customizability

No two organizations use the Balanced Scorecard identically. It is critical that you find a platform that gives you full control over everything in the system from the default system language, to page layouts, to dashboards and reports.

2. Blend of Qualitative and Quantitative Reporting

It may be tempting to just jump into a KPI dashboard solution. If you just want a place to solely look at numbers, then there are a ton of applications out there. Yet a Balanced Scorecard is more than just numbers. You need a tool that provides numbers, charts, and qualitative analysis. If your Balanced Scorecard software does not prompt your organization to repeatedly ask, “Why?” then you may be falling short of optimal process value.

Example Strategic Objective Template

3. Beautiful Exports

Balanced Scorecard software should give you meeting-ready reports without any hassle. That’s the whole point of moving away from PowerPoint or Excel. When evaluating BSC Software, ensure that exports look great and are available in Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF formats.

4. Automation and Integration

Your BSC platform needs to save you time. Lots of time. Here are a couple of features to look for in regards to automation and integration:

  • Email application integration
  • Scheduled email reminders
  • Automatically recurring email/calendar invitations (and governance calendar features)
  • Automatic status color setting business rules
  • API integration with your internal data warehouses
  • Data uploads from Excel files

5. Robust Permissions

It is critical that your end-user Balanced Scorecard reporters can only see and edit what you want them to see. Make sure that your solution of choice provides granular user roles and permissions on a scorecard-by-scorecard basis.

Why ESM?

ESM was designed by the creators of the Balanced Scorecard from the ground-up to make the process of creating and managing your strategic plan as easy as possible. From customization to reports and permissions, ESM puts all components of your strategy in one place so you waste less time merging PowerPoint slides, and spend more time on making better business decisions from the right information.

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Topics: Balanced Scorecards Software

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