Vague goals and specific objectives form any well-defined strategy. Find below some best practices about using following up and achieving these objectives. If you have any questions or ideas, feel free to share in the comments below.
Drill down objectives and support business intelligence system
We are using BSC Designer as a tool in our management group, to drill down our objectives and support our business intelligence system and internal contracts.
Torben Lindbak-Larsen, Head of department, Municipality of Aabenraa, Aabenraa, Denmark
I find your tool easy to use and also find it to be a good support for people who are not familiar with balanced scorecards. It makes it easier to discuss and find the right objectives and metrics, as it supports the team discussions and interpretations of the tasks ahead of us. It is great and easy to use software.
A note from developers:
Torben, it is interesting that you mentioned the discussion process. I believe that is an excellent example of how Balanced Scorecard helps you to see the big picture. On WinningKPIs.com we are often asked a question about KPIs that might help to measure a specific part of a business performance. The most typical problem that is managers that ask a question don’t think about the big picture and as a result they fail to come up with a correct KPI.
In this sense the Balanced Scorecard approach makes a difference. When one has a properly designed strategy map, and business objectives on this map are linked by cause and effect connections, then it is much easier to come up with relevant KPIs to measure the business performance.
Also, I do recommend checking out the latest version to improve your team’s work. BSC Designer (both desktop and online editions) can now inform involved team members about important changes. For example, it can let you know about a new initiative added or about KPIs that have gotten into the red zone.
I’d like to address this question to other business professionals. What is your experience with BSC Designer and Balanced Scorecard. How does it support your strategy and objectives discussion process? Feel free to share your experience in the comments.
With BSC Designer I have to measure managers’ performance in order to decide if they have reached their objectives.
Isotta, Controller, Telecom Italia, Rome – Italy
I think BSC Designer is really a good product. I evaluated also the use of other software, such as Hyperion, SAP or Microsoft BSC, but all of them have a disadvantage. They all require installing a DB (Oracle, MySQL, SQLServer, and so on). BSC Designer instead has all you need built in and it is extremely easy to install. From a functionality point of view, BSC Designer Pro has all of the features you need: strategy maps, a KPI designer, many graphical representations, analysis tools and so on. And, last but not least, the price is really competitive with respect to the other competitors.
A note from developers:
Talking about competitors, I would say that they are in the BI field, not in performance management. Most corporate products are focused on gathering large volumes of data from all of the organization and is presented in the form of dashboards.
There are huge data volumes, but it is not information, it’s data. The difference is critical. Executives still need to find some business insights from this data in order to be able to execute their strategy. In BSC Designer we focus on performance management, which doesn’t require working with huge data sources. That’s why it is easy to install. Still, you can access the data from other sources if you need to.
A business professional needs to choose a tool according to his or her needs. When it is at a prototype stage, then MS Excel is fine. When it comes to detailed strategic maps, KPIs, and actions plans, then we believe BSC Designer is a great choice. That’s confirmed by the opinions of our customers.
BSC Designer helps to follow up objectives and initiatives
We use BSC Designer to follow up on objectives, initiatives and demonstrate in a map how they can be linked to actual strategy.
Wilfredo Taveras, Budget Manager, Ferreteria Ochoa, Dominican Republic
It’s really very good, since it allows performing a variety of objectives. It facilitates the metrics with flexibility, helps me see in plain terms what exactly is going on in every aspect of those four basics perspectives of the company and once they’ve all been aligned you will find in what point of performance you are exactly in!
A note from developers:
Wilfredo, thank you for your feedback. I’m happy to let you know that we have recently released a new version of BSC Designer where the process of building a strategic map and aligning of objectives and action plans was significantly improved.
The old functionality still remains in the software. We added more functions that make business objectives a starting point for the Balanced Scorecard. Recent studies showed that most KPIs don’t work because they are not aligned with a business objective. We think that this problem is a challenge for all authors of business performance software as the software should support the right process and help end users to follow a business framework. That’s what we did in BSC Designer. Now, the design of a strategy map is easier than ever.
When you switch to the “Business Goals” tab, the program will suggest for you to build a Balanced Scorecard style strategic map automatically. Four top level categories of business goals will be used on the strategic map. BSC Designer will take into account a cause-and-effect connection between business objectives and put them into appropriate perspectives.
Review the company’s goals with BSC Designer
One of my main activities as an advanced project management consultant is to help my clients to identify what projects contribute toward the business’ vision and mission achievement.
This activity is not simple, it requires constant review and evaluation of the company’s goals and objectives.
Ivan Rivera, Project Manager, PMP, Mexico
The best way to review the company’s goals and objectives is using the right set of tools. It is better if these tools are computer based.
I find really useful the option that lets me present my data as HTML or PowerPoint reports. And I can also export it to Excel and use my info in our third party software.
A note from developers
Thank you for your feedback! I really like your approach; you don’t just take a problem out of context, but you identify how it contributes to the end result. Talking about the Balanced Scorecard approach, I believe that finding a cause-and-effect relationship between business objectives is one of the most interesting ideas of the concept.
With the latest version of BSC Designer we followed these key ideas of the Balanced Scorecard method even more. I think that now one can use BSC Designer as a single tool to create, manage and review strategies regularly. The new version allows specifying cause-and-effect relationships between business goals. You can use it to improve your process of addressing business projects. Now you will be able to see what contributes to the general strategy and how it works and to learn more about the new strategy map design process.
Reporting features in BSC Designer are great. What we noticed is that more users have started reporting with the software itself. Instead of sending an HTML report to stake-holders users prefer to show their results directly in BSC Designer. It is now easier to do this as many users keep their projects in BSC Designer Online, so the only thing that is needed is to create an account for a stakeholder to show the details of the Balanced Scorecard and strategy map.
Useful and user friendly BSC software
We use BSC Designer for establishing Strategy Maps for our company, establishing strategic goals and KPIs on the BSC and trace the KPIs and targets using the software.
Haluk Dingiloglu, Project Manager, Hidromek A.S, Turkey
It is one of the best software among the ones in the sector. The program is definitely user friendly and I recommend it for all organizations regardless of their structure. The approach is very easy to understand and very easy to use. The BSC Designer team puts a lot of effort into improving the software depending on the customer’s requests, which is a very vital factor for the customer’s satisfaction. Thanks to all the team for this very valuable software.
A note from developers
Thank you for your detailed feedback. I’m glad that you have explored all of the major benefits of the BSC Designer. The software has a lot of functions that make a KPI management easy, but it is not just another dashboarding software that only represents the data in a nice way. There is an important difference between a dashboard and a scorecard and in BSC Designer we are focused more on a scorecard functionality. Specifically, we are concentrated on the Balanced Scorecard framework.
In the latest version the process of building a strategy map was made much easier. You enter the data about your business objectives; KPIs, action plan in BSC Designer and the program builds a strategy map automatically. You save a huge amount of time that in other cases you would spend on drawing. With the latest version of BSC Designer you can now focus on what’s important – on an execution of your strategy.
In the beginning of my comment I’ve underlined the difference between a dashboard and a scorecard. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have all these nice dashboards, charts and diagrams in BSC Designer. You will find various charts and diagrams and you will be able create your own dashboard(s). What’s really interesting is that BSC Designer will visualize KPIs aligned with business objectives directly onto the strategy map. So you can have a kind of “hybrid” of a dashboard, strategy map and a scorecard.
By the way, our partners from Turkey are working on localization of the software for a local market. Soon users from Turkey will be able to enjoy the software in their language.