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Common mistakes when evaluating Balanced Scorecard software

by Danny Solow on September 14, 2016

Considering Balanced Scorecard Software?

For many organizations, Microsoft Office is an easy tool to initially design your objectives, measures, and initiatives.  Although useful in the initial draft stage, once regular reporting commence, spreadsheets and visualization tools quickly become more of a hassle than a benefit.  We commonly hear from clients that manually compiling Balanced Scorecard reports involve multiple FTEs for several days per reporting cycle.

Balanced Scorecard software eliminates the manual reporting nightmare and provides dynamic best practice BSC visualizations.  Instead of wasting hours creating reports, Balanced Scorecard software instantly generates BSC snapshots (here is what an ESM sample report looks like).  When choosing Balanced Scorecard software, it is critical to understand your goals and budget, and how the software will support your process.

As you determine whether or not BSC software is right for you, we’ve outlined some of the most common mistakes when deciding on a tool:


1. Software is not a silver bullet

Balanced Scorecard software can be a powerful tool to more efficiently manage your Balanced Scorecard process, but at the end of the day, it is your team’s job to actually create your Balanced Scorecard, align the organization, and analyze the data.  The bottleneck to a successful ESM implementation is rarely technology-related.  More commonly, teams struggle to dedicate time to the process.  Make sure you get full Balanced Scorecard investment and support from leadership before buying software.


2. Dashboarding vs Scorecarding

Some organizations confuse a metrics dashboard that's broken down into four perspectives with a full Balanced Scorecard. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing inherently wrong with dashboarding, but it does not provide a multi-tiered view of your scorecard with the ability to drill down from strategy maps to objectives, measures, and initiatives.  Dashboarding also typically fails to capture qualitative analysis alongside metrics.  If you are looking for a process-based tool that fosters real strategic alignment, communication, and decision-making, you are best served looking at a dedicated Balanced Scorecard application.

ESM view of the objective detail page

3. Balanced Scorecard Process Experience

The Balanced Scorecard process almost always needs to be customized to work for your organization. That said, it is always best to customize from a set of proven best practices.  When choosing your Balanced Scorecard software, make sure that you find a system that provides both a best practice starting point as well as sufficient flexibility to fit your organizational needs.  As the only software designed under the guidance of BSC and company co-founders, Drs. Robert Kaplan and David Norton, we understand the best practices and how to they best apply to you.

Software evaluations require you to carefully outline your needs

There is no one-size-fits all answer to software evaluations.  Choosing the right software for you will ultimately come down to your priorities and budget.  For more information on Balanced Scorecard reports, check out our free examples by following the link below:

Download Free SRM Report Templates


Topics: Balanced Scorecards Software

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