No clear champion for Balanced Scorecards is key barrier to their implementation
Research by Source for Consulting (Source) in partnership with Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) has revealed that less that 20 per cent of UK mid-sized organisations are using Balanced Scorecards for performance measurement. Source surveyed and interviewed 21 IT consultants who have experience of working with over 500 UK mid-sized organisations.
Based on the consultants’ experience, it was highlighted that less than 20 per cent of the 500+ organisations they have worked with use Balanced Scorecards –also known as Dashboards - in some way, with just over half of these using them as the primary focus for managing the business. Given that these statistics represent companies who have used IT consultants, the actual rate of Balanced Scorecard implementation across all UK mid-sized companies is likely to be even lower than these numbers suggest.
The research identifies that the key barrier to implementation of Balanced Scorecards amongst mid-sized organisations is the lack of a clear owner or champion for the project (over 40 per cent of respondents highlighted this as an issue). Another key barrier is an organisational culture that doesn’t support analysis and objective decision making.
Simon Fowler, Managing Director of Advanced Business Solutions (Commercial Division), says, “The majority of UK mid-sized organisations haven’t even begun to consider using a Balanced Scorecard approach for performance measurement. With the economy in turmoil, it’s understandable if companies aren’t looking at investing in Scorecards right now; however the smart organisation will recognise the intrinsic value of having clear measures for tracking the business’ progress, especially during a challenging climate.”
According to Source’s research, in order for a mid-sized organisation to successfully implement Balanced Scorecards, a number of key actions are required. These include obtaining the buy-in of key executives; ensuring senior management spend time developing the measures; sending out the right messages about the importance of the Scorecards and making sure they are aligned with individual performance measures; and leveraging the right technology to ensure the Scorecard implementation is a success.
With over 70 per cent of those surveyed identifying that the main benefit of a well-implemented Balanced Scorecard approach is the alignment of the senior management team, this provides a strong case for investing in Scorecards. The second and third most important benefits highlighted by respondents is the positive impact that Scorecards have on an organisation’s ability to track progress towards agreed goals and the clarity they provide throughout the organisation on what needs to be done.
Fiona Czerniawska, Joint Managing Director from Source for Consulting adds, “Starting down the Balanced Scorecard route may seem a challenging journey, however it needn’t be costly and disruptive to the business. By considering the key elements of success from engaging senior management through to harnessing the right technology, a Balanced Scorecard approach can be implemented effectively, providing mid-sized organisations with valuable performance insight.”
Note to Editor
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About Advanced Business Solutions www.advancedcomputersoftware.com/abs
Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) provides leading integrated business applications and services that enable public, private and third sector organisations to retain control, improve visibility and gain efficiencies whilst continually improving corporate performance. Advanced prides itself on getting close to its customers by understanding their businesses and responding to their evolving needs.
Advanced’s software systems comprise core accounting/financial management, procurement, human resource and payroll systems, integrated with a range of collaborative, document management and business intelligence solutions to extend the value and effectiveness of the finance, human resource and payroll departments. These can be delivered as a managed or bureau service.
Customers are from both the public and private sectors and include Companies House, Newcastle City Council, WH Smith, Royal Bank of Scotland, Aer Lingus, National Express Group, DFS, RSPB and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust.
Advanced Business Solutions is a division of Advanced Computer Software Group plc, a leading supplier of software and IT services to the health, care and business services sectors.
Liz Ebbrell and Angela Mycock, Advanced Computer Software Group
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