What is Balanced Scorecard?

The global market has been continually changing and companies no longer consider the financial aspect as the only measure of performance. Robert Kaplan and David Norton of the Harvard Business School found out that there should be other aspects in the business process that need to be measured for performance in order for the business to be successful and move into the future. Their study was published and called the Balanced Scorecard. Today, the Balanced Scorecard has been used in other industries from businesses to universities. A University Balanced Scorecard typically follows the same aspects of the studies done by Kaplan and Norton.

A University Balanced Scorecard utilizes an institution ‘s intangible assets so as to include it in their future growth. It no longer recognizes just the financial assessment of the university but also includes it ‘s relationships with its clients and employees as a performance measurement. The University Balanced Scorecard will assess the public ‘s reaction on university continuing changes. It will also be maximizing their internal and external client base in order to take advantage of what they excel at before finally measuring their financial standing and cost-optimizing measures. The same four aspects are used–financial, customer, business, and learning–but all in a level that is specifically customized for the university.

The University Balanced Scorecard aims to reduce information overload by focusing only on the Kaplan-Norton assessment perspective. Again, it is important for the university to understand clearly and translate properly how their vision will be tested in order to implement the mission.

Measuring strategic plans, business processes and team performance has never been the same again after the introduction of the balanced scorecard in the early 1990s. The concept was originated by Dr. Robert Kaplan and Dr. David Norton as a way to determine by means of measuring whether the processes, practices and activities done within the organization are indeed meeting its objectives. The balanced scorecard does not only focus on financial results but it addresses human issues as well. Balanced scorecards results help the management determine what strategies truly work and what needs to be changed in the future.

Implementing the balanced scorecard approach typically involves four processes. These are as follows: (a) Translate company mission and vision into operational goals; (b) Communicate company vision and link it to individual performance; (c) Develop business plans; and (d) Learn and adjust strategies whenever appropriate.

Kaplan and Norton even cited the advantages of balanced scorecards in an organization and these are: (a) Drive strategy execution for changes to happen; (b) Simplify strategies and make them operational; (c) Identify strategic initiatives to be assigned to qualified individuals; (d) Link financial elements with strategy; (e) Align the organization with its strategic plans; and (f) Conduct performance reviews regularly to improve strategy.

If you think that the balanced scorecard can only be applied to large corporations, well think again. The balanced scorecard concept was so popular that it was even implemented by military units, government agencies and scholastic institutions. Though there may be other approaches introduced recently, still the balanced scorecard ‘s appeal is unprecedented. Definitely, the balanced scorecard approach is here to stay.

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