1. They are not responsible for results
Dirty trick 1: They are not responsible for results, just for job done. As we found out the biggest frustration about Balanced Scorecard is motivation and actual usage of the system. If consultant is responsible only for physical implementation of the Balanced Scorecard, but not for actual results – you’d better solve this in the very beginning.
- when you discuss plans of Balanced Scorecard implementation
ask more “what if…“ questions. What if top managers won’t use the Balanced Scorecard? What if line-level employees won’t use the system. If consultant don’t suggest you any solution then they most likely have not faced this problems.
We’ve discussed motivation issues of Balanced Scorecard in
- the most important – Balanced Scorecard is not just about KPIs and Dashboards, it is more important to understand the relationship between various scorecards, integration of BSC in the business system. Make sure your consultant understands this and not try just to sell you any KPI system.
2. One consultant sells, another one actually works on your project.
Dirty trick 2: One consultant sells, another one actually works on your project. It happens often. Good Balanced Scorecard consultant will “sell” you the idea of Balanced Scorecard implementation, but when it comes to actual implementation there is some less experienced consultant doing all the job.
- from the very beginning get in touch with real team
- understand the role of each member in the team
- ask more about particular tasks that each member will solve
In this way you will understand who is going to work with your project and who is there just to sell ideas.
3. The longer they work the more you pay
Dirty trick 3: The longer they work the more you pay. Balanced Scorecard consultants like to be paid on hour base and as a result you might be overpaying much without getting expected result.
- agree on payment that depends on results, not on hours spent;
- if you have per hour tasks make them as specific as possible, e.g. there should be no items in report like “Consulting for project A … 5 hours“. If consultant charge you per hour he should give you a detailed explanation about how he uses hours that you have paid for.
4. Do they really know the solution?
Dirty trick 4: Do they really know the solution? When you ask Balanced Scorecard consultant if he or she can solve this problem they normally answer “yes”, but do they actually can solve it or they going to find some mediocre solution and then bill you their “learning” hours?
- as you hire someone you need to find mean to control him or her;
- invest time in your education about the problem;
- prepare 3-5 questions that you will ask consultant to understand if he knows about this problem or not
- ask to give an estimation in terms of time, normally when people don’t know something they answer that they can do this job, but they suggest longer time frame;
- know your project, know time estimations, if consultant fail to do correct time estimation that’s probably because he
- don’t understand important details;
5. Third-party product recommendation
Dirty trick 5: Third-party product recommendation. They will recommend you third-party products. Are you sure they are honest enough and are recommending you the best third-party product?
- ask for product comparison;
- do independent research in terms of pricing, technical support, flexibility;
Here is a detailed review of Balanced Scorecard solutions.
BSC Designer PRO suggests one of the most competitive pricing mode in the market.
6. Selling you the latest version
Dirty trick 6: Selling you the latest version. They are recommending you some latest, best, could-based, SAAS model solution, but does your project actually need it?
- if you are using some Balanced Scorecard system consultant may come to you with another great “update” offer;
- first: analyze details of update, if there are something you actually want to pay for?
- second: update policy is critical when you choose Balanced Scorecard software.
7. Do you own results?
Dirty trick 7: Do you own results? If the Balanced Scorecard is hosted by you? Do you have access to online Balanced Scorecard? They suggested you to use some online dashboarding and Balanced Scorecard solution, but are you sure you have all admin access data and can control the project? Are there hidden fees? What if the next day the price of this cloud service will grow up twice?
- it sounds obvious, but make sure you have admin password to all systems that consultants install to you;
- check if installed solutions use third-parties and what are agreements between your company and third-parties;
- when discussing the pricing of the Balanced Scorecard solution it is always better to check the total “owning” cost, rather than just license price.
8. They bid low, but later bill high
Dirty trick 8: They bid low, but later bill high. It is classic. They ARE Balanced Scorecard consultants, so they have to know about all the difficulties when implementing the Balanced Scorecard and they have to estimate project correctly, but they do not do it!
- just get rid of consultants that behave like this, you can never trust them in long term perspective!