Start planning your strategy and tracking KPIs with a free plan of BSC Designer – no credit card is asked. Upgrade seamlessly to a paid plan when you need to scale.
Overview of the Free Plan
A free plan of BSC Designer includes all features of the paid plan:
- Templates for Balanced Scorecard and KPIs
- Strategy Wizard
- Strategy attributes (mission, vision, values)
- Strategy maps with four perspectives (you can add more)
- Business goals and KPIs
- Initiatives with budgets and timelines
- Dashboards and Reports
- Performance analysis
- Access rights and sharing
- Scorecard import/export
You will also enjoy:
The free plan is limited by the number of KPIs and scorecards you can create:
- Up to 5 scorecards in account
- Up to 36 goals/KPIs in scorecard
- In total, you can have up to 180 (=5 * 36) goals/KPIs in account
How the Free Plan Works in Practice
With the BSC Designer free plan, you have exactly the same features as under the paid plan.
- The only difference is some reasonable limitation on the number of scorecards and KPIs you can have in your account (see the limitations paragraph for details).
- We don’t ask for a credit card in order to sign up
- Start by defining your strategy attributes (mission, vision, values)
- Use one of the templates (Balanced Scorecard, PESTEL, Pareto, VRIO, 3 Horizons, SWOT+S) to define strategy
- Group business goals into the perspectives of the strategy scorecard
- Set up KPIs: specify the baselines, targets, measurement units, actualization intervals, weight
- Have performance/progress data calculated by the software
- Add initiatives to the business goals and KPIs – an initiative can include a detailed action plan, budget, timeline, and owners
- Create visually appealing strategy maps with strategic themes, perspectives, cause and effect connections
- Track the progress of your team via KPIs
- Map new insights via Initiatives
- Analyze trends with Dashboards and Analysis function
- Create performance reports in HTML or Excel format
- Connect to other business tools via API
Free Templates Included
Use it as a starting point for your own strategy scorecard, or pick some KPIs that resonate with your challenges. Templates are great time savers when it comes to working on new challenges!
Software that Can Replace Strategy Consultant
There is a tool called a strategy wizard. When we started working on it, we thought that only novices in strategic planning would use it, but it appeared to be really helpful even for users with expertise… the strategy wizard will ask you a number of questions about your challenges and will convert your answers into a strategy map. That’s an excellent way to get started with strategic planning!
Strategy Map Wizard – Balanced Scorecard in 6 Minutes
Answer simple questions - build a professional strategy map in 6 minutes.Strategy formulation and description might be a time-consuming project even for an experienced strategist. This Strategy Scorecard Wizard will make the whole process fast and intuitive.
The Limitations of a Free Plan
Here are the limitations of the free plan:
- You can have max 5 scorecards in your account
- In each scorecard, you can have max 36 indicators/goals
- Your account needs to remain active (login at least once in 6 months – we’ll remind you by email)
What do these limitations mean in practice? Basically, with a free plan, you can manage 180 KPIs (5 scorecards * 36 indicators in each). It’s more than enough to create a strategic plan, map important performance indicators and track their progress over time.
Spreadsheet Software vs. BSC Designer
What’s a better tool for a strategy scorecard – a spreadsheet software like Excel or some specialized tool? In the previous article, we did some comparative analysis.
Spreadsheet software is a popular way to get started as it is free, or you already have a license.
Spreadsheet software wins when you need to maintain a relatively short list of KPIs without cascading, complex math (indexes or weighted scores), used by few persons without needing to adjust access rights.
Specialized software involves license/subscription costs but provides additional value:
- It draws strategy maps for you
- It does all the calculations
- It helps to cascade a strategy
- It helps to implement access policies and trackback changes
The free plan of BSC Designer is a compromise:
- Freemium limitations are more than reasonable in order to get started with strategic planning and get things running
- Once there is a need to scale, a paid version is just a few clicks away
Typical Use Cases of the Free Plan
Adding Strategy Map to a Presentation
BSC Designer creates professionally looking strategy maps with almost no effort from the user, so one of the most popular applications of the tool is to build a strategy map, export a strategy map, and use it in the presentation.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Add some goals and KPIs – do it manually or use the wizard
- Switch to the strategy map tab and check out the map the software built automatically
- Click on the Edit button next to the strategy map name and then click Export to download the strategy map
Strategy consultants like using BSC Designer to share their work with clients. They use the share function of BSC Designer to give others view-only access to their scorecard.
Plus, it’s nice to have a scorecard “branded” with the consultant´s logo on the top. Changing the logo is possible on the Settings > Organization tab.
Those who are doing their first steps in strategic planning will find a lot of insights in a free strategic planning course.
The strategic planning course by BSC Designer + knowledge of professional strategic planning software looks good on a CV.
Strategy Planning Tool for a Classroom
Under the free plan, BSC Designer is widely used by business trainers and MBA course professors in a classroom. They use the tool for practical challenges to better explain complex topics of strategic planning.
For students, a free plan is easy to set up + they have some free templates (hopefully, your professor doesn’t mind that you are using this trick).
API for Developers
When it comes to automating data input, BSC Designer has an API that helps developers to work with the software.
Other vendors sell API as a premium feature, but we have it under the free plan to make sure your developers can “test waters” easier.
Strategic planning sounds like something from the world of top managers. That’s true; tools like BSC Designer are used by medium and large-size organizations.
At the same time, there are cases (we discussed four of them) when a strategic scorecard adds value on a personal level.
The free plan of BSC Designer is a good choice to automate personal scorecards; it gives strategic scorecards out of the box without any coding or installation efforts.
How to Cancel the Free Plan
We don’t ask for any credit card when you sign-up with an account, so there is nothing to cancel.
If you want to delete all your scorecard data, you can do it via Settings > Subscription by clicking on the Delete account button.
How to Export Your Data
Your data is under your full control. If you decide to switch to another tool one day, you can export your data to a spreadsheet format via Tools > Export indicator values command.
Upgrade to a Paid Version
Being on a free plan, you can create a comprehensive strategy plan for your organization. What if the limitations of the free plan start limiting your strategic planning?
Upgrade to the paid plan is seamless!