MS Excel is a popular business tool, many people use it for scorecards, and KPIs. However, when it comes to the complex Strategy Scorecard or Balanced Scorecard, it might be not an adequate choice any more. Find below some thoughts from our users about the problem; follow the discussion of the alternatives to Excel they find.
Strategic planning and management alternative to Excel
This tool has contributed a lot as a strategic planning and operation management solution that enabled everyone to track results at real-time and achieve assigned goals. It provides a dynamic approach to work-flow planning unlike using Excel spreadsheet. Now we saved about 50% of time wasted in understanding who was responsible for a particular task. We have got a clear picture of the time-frame for a particular job. It’s amazing tool to save resources.
A note from developers:
Emmanuel, nice to hear BSC Designer is used in Mumbai as well. After reading your feedback, I’d like to share some of my thoughts with visitors of our website.
You are getting to the point with your comments about Excel spreadsheets. Excel today is one of the most popular business tools in a toolbox of any manager, but it is simply not designed for the Balanced Scorecard. I saw a lot of examples of the Balanced Scorecard in Excel, and they work fine until you need to do some little change. Also, with Excel, the user has to forget about balanced scorecard cascading.
What you described sounds like a cultural shift from “doing a job” to “making informed decisions.. Make clients report something similar. The understanding of responsibilities that you described is one thing, another important change is that people are starting to see “the goal.” When you have your business objectives on the strategy map and a responsible person is assigned to each objective, then you are starting to see the big picture of the business.
Have you tried strategic planing in your company? What are the results? Feel free to share your thoughts with our in the comments.
Translating Excel scorecard in BSC Designer
We will try to translate our Balanced Scorecard to this software. The idea is to see there indicators for strategic and operational processes.
Pablo, IT Manager, Ventalum, Bs As, Argentina
We continue to translate our Balanced Scorecard to BSC Designer and hopefully this software will be an excellent choice compared to the scorecard in Excel. The actual problem in the translation is the structure of our Excel spreadsheet. For each indicator there we have a numerator and a denominator. The value of an indicator is the result of the division of these two variables. I am trying to make an easier structure in the BSC Designer software in order to stop using Excel for this task.
I’ve contacted BSC Designer support several times with questions regarding translating our Balance Scorecard in BSC Designer. For each of the questions I’ve gotten excellent replies.
A note from developers
Thank you for sharing your opinion and for contacting our team with your questions. It helps us to suggest to you the best solution to your translation problem.
Many users have reported about the problem of having a BSC in Excel. Check this out: the problem with “home-made” Excel sheets, difficulties with Excel, Excel spreadsheets for BSC that are hard to update. So you are on the right track translating your scorecard from Excel to BSC Designer. This translation will ensure that you have a technical base to grow your project and use it in a more effective manner.
When we were discussing the possible translation process I’ve showed you how it can be organized with BSC Designer. I believe this information might be useful for others as well. Let me summarize the process once again:
- You can create a necessary KPI. In your case it will be two KPIs with actual and planned value. If you have your data in Excel you can link a KPI to Excel spreadsheet.
- Then you can create a tracking KPI. The value for this KPI will be calculated using a formula. In your case you divide the values of two KPIs in order to have the resulting value.
- If you plan to grow your scorecard project, you can import the value of KPIs from the local scorecard into the main scorecard project.
You can still continue using Excel forms that require you to enter data. The difference is now that the Balanced Scorecard part will be in BSC Designer. So you don’t need to worry about updating formulas and adding cells in MS Excel.
Measure how well we are doing with our strategic plan
I will be using BSC Designer to build BSC to help measure the impact of our team’s activity with the rest of the organization.
I’ve only started to use your product, but I can see it as a great way to help measure how well we are doing with our strategic plan and how each tactical initiative fits within our strategic plan.
We have a wealth of measured information and BSC will help us to distill the data and provide a summary of where we stand insofar as our strategic plan.
We take pride in the quality of work we do for our customers, but for our internal reports, up until now, we were using MS Excel over multiple tabs and it was not easy to follow. BSC Designer will make it easier to build high quality BSC.
A note from developers:
Daniel, we thank you very much for your feedback. As I was commenting on another testimonial, Excel is good for a prototype, but when the BSC project growths, like in your case, a company choose a tool that is designed specifically for the Balanced Scorecard.
Today, many companies face the problem of information overload. So called “big data” has a potential to generate a lot of business insights, but what is important is to find these insights and what is more important is to find insights that will help to make not only tactical, but strategic decisions. In this same way, the Balanced Scorecard gives a good framework. The role of our software is to automate this and similar business methods.
I think you are on the right track with using the Balanced Scorecard and BSC Designer to see how various tactical initiatives fit with a strategic plan. We call this “seeing the big picture.” For sure, the most valuable tool for this is a strategic map.
Keep us informed about you project, we’ll be happy to help.