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Balanced Scorecards and Operational Dashboards with Microsoft Excel, 2nd Edition by Ron Person

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Chapter 6

Step-by-Step to Selecting Metrics and Setting Targets

Get the data first! Then distort it with your judgment.

—Mark Twain

Satirist, author

1835–1910

There are two reasons for measures and targets. One is to drive change in behavior, and the other is to drive change in processes. It is that simple!

It is also that important! If you pick the wrong measure, you drive change in the wrong direction. If you pick a target that’s too easy, you don’t challenge people enough, which might result in unrealized gains. If you pick a target that’s too difficult, you overwhelm people. You need to get the right metric with a target that is a stretch, but achievable.

Don’t expect to get all your objectives and measures right the first time; few organizations do. Objectives and measures usually evolve as you test your model of what drives your organization.

Your Strategy Map is a map of where you want to go in the future. As you meet your strategic objective’s performance targets, initiative will go into a maintenance mode; but it is important to still monitor the objectives performance to ensure it continues to meet its target. Otherwise, as your focus (and resources) shift to other objectives you risk losing the gains you have made. You can also shift resources to other objectives to keep up your momentum and direction toward the goal described in your Strategic Destination Statement.

Achieving Balance in Your Balanced Scorecard

Most Balanced Scorecards are not balanced when first developed. ...

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