BSC Designer – Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions about Balanced Scorecard concept

What is 3-level Balanced Scorecard model?

Check the mini-training Video Tutorial Strategy map and 3 level BSC model“. In this bonus mini-lesson, we will discuss how to use the strategy map in the process of designing and implementing the Balanced Scorecard.

What Does “Balanced”  in Balanced Scorecard mean?

Check the mini-training Video Tutorial What Does “Balanced” Mean?“. In this bonus mini-lesson, we will consider the idea of “balance” in the Balanced Scorecard.  What does it mean?  Why is it important to have a balanced view of your company or project?

I need the Balanced Scorecard for some business area, can you help?

We have a large set of Balanced Scorecard online in our KPI library. But the better idea is to design indicators yourself. We discuss how to do this in the eTraining: How to design winning KPIs. Right now you can check the free mini-training: Video Tutorial Designing Winning Indicators. You can also use our BSC consulting service in this case.

What is “Cascading”?

Cascading is a process of linking together several scorecards. Normally scorecard of the top-manager with low-level scorecard. There a mini-training about cascading available online: Video TutorialCascading Balanced Scorecard

Balanced Scorecard with BSC Designer

Do I need to install any Database to work with BSC Designer? What about team work with BSC Designer?

No, you don’t. The idea is that BSC Designer store its files in .bsc format (which is actually an XML file). The approach makes it easy to adopt data from BSC Designer in 3rd party applications.

You can easily  organize team work with BSC Designer. What you will need is a FTP server to check out your files so that they will be accessible by other members of your team.

To limit users’ rights you can use user-specific access data (username, password) to FTP and/or you can protect the .BSC project itself with the password using password tab in Project Options.

How to change project’s properties – author name and project description?

Learn more about project’s properties. Also, check the Video Tutorial Managing your KPIs video.

How to add indicators? How to change indicator’s weight?

Learn How to add new category or indicator, learn How to change indicator’s properties – value, min, max, optimization method.

Check this article to learn more about changing indicator’s weight and balancing indicators. Video Tutorial Managing your KPIs video will also be helpful.

What means baseline, target, min, max values?

  • Learn more about indicator’s properties in the online manual. There is Fields and values section that explains in details the difference.

How do I add measure unit(s)?

Select some of indicators in the Balanced Scorecard project. Find the “Measure” drop-list on the bottom of the window (it is next to indicator’s “Value” field). Select <New> command in the drop list.

To edit current measure units select “Properties” command in “File” menu. Then choose the tab “Measure Units” to access all measure units available in the project. Learn How to add custom units for indicator.

Are qualitative facts included in the calculation?

In any case software need to “translate” qualitative facts in numbers, but with custom measure units this process is easier. For example, instead of entering 1, 2 and 3 expect can select “bad”, “average”, “good”.

How do I add initiatives?

First select any category or indicator. Then click “Initiatives” button, which is next to the “Target description” text box. In the “Initiatives” dialog you can specify certain text for your objective or attach some files. Learn more about adding initiatives and attaching external documents.

How to get summarize data by week/month/year?

Starting version 4.0. it is possible using “Group by” drop-list. You can select there the grouping period. It applies to charts and reports. Learn more about grouping data.

How to plan indicators’ values for one year with BSC Designer?

Learn how to create a Balanced Scorecard with annual objectives and intermediate checkpoint for every month.

How to create indicators where the lower value of indicator means higher performance value? How to change indicator’s performance formula.

You need to change optimization method. For information about performance formula check the relevant article in the manual.

What is the difference between Progress and Performance?

Check the answer in the special article on progress and performance comparison.

What formulas are used to calculate Performance and Progress?

In order to understand how the calculations work for the performance\progress, I do recommend to do the following:

  1. First, check this video for general information.
  2. Export the BSC Project into Excel (using “Export to MS Excel” command in “Reports” menu). When exporting you will be suggested to create performance- or progress-based Excel report.
  • If you will select performance-based report you will see in Excel formulas for Performance for various items.
  • If you will select progress-based report you will see formulas for Progress for various items.

How to adjust stop-lights and dynamic thresholds?

Check this article in the BSC Designer manual.

What are time points – how to work with them?

Learn more about time points in BSC Designer.

What is the difference between “specified” and “inherited” values?

“Specified” means that you have selected certain indicator and entered there value manually. For instance, you can do this for 15th of October. You can select 15.10 in calendar and then enter value, for instance “98”.

Then, if you select, 20th of October the program will display in “Value” field the value, which will be “98” (which is not actually entered by you, but was inherited). In this case “value” field is in gray color.

Detailed explanation is in this article with video guide:
http://www.bscdesigner.com/kpi_designer_manual/time-points.htm

How to enter data into the BSC? What if company has multiple data entry points?

There are are a lot of possibilities:

Importing data (one-time values import)
SQL indicators (create connection to external data source, like CRM or ERP system)
Imported Indicators (allow to link together several projects of BSC Designer). These indicators are similar to “Delegate” function.

How to export values to MS Excel?

You can Export Indicators‘ values into the CSV file that can be opened in MS Excel.

Reports in BSC Designer

How to add company’s logo or other information into reports?
How to generate reports with BSC Designer using command line?

BSC Designer Sales and Support

We are interested in BSC Designer – how many licenses do we need?

The number of licenses that you need depends on your company and plans to use BSC Designer. For instance, if there is just one person in company who will use the BSC Designer (for instance you are just testing the concept), then I’d recommend 1 PRO license. If there are more employees involved in Balanced Scorecard then you will need a combination of PRO and Standard licenses. Check suggested implementation plans.

BSC Designer Support

I’ve lost my registration key and I need to reinstall the software, what should I do?

To recover registration key use registration key recovery form on the support page. Then download and install the latest version of BSC Designer. Then enter your registration key to activate it.

I cannot access some of the functions (i.e. Strategy Map, Delegate and Import indicators and others) mentioned on your website

In case you use Light or Standard editions, the is no ability to use Strategy Maps, Delegate and Import indicators, use SQL indicators. Some functions are available only in Pro edition. Please check the functionality compare chart.

I have found a bug / technical problem in your software. How do I report it?

Use our support form to notify us about the problem. Please try to be clear when describing the circumstances when the problem appeared. Use images if needed. Please mention the following information in case of bug report:

– Version and the edition of BSC Designer, you are using (i.e.: v.3.5.0.39, Pro edition);
— You operating system (i.e.: Windows XP);
— What project are you working on (please send the project (*.bsc file) along with other attachments to support <at> bscdesigner.com.

Our specialists will do their best to fix the bug as soon as possible.

Are updates/upgrades for free?

BSC Designer update is free for all registered users. BSC Designer upgrade is not free, but all registered users will have a discount. Also, registered users of BSC Designer will be able to upgrade and update for free for a one year period after registration. Learn in the “Upgrade” section on the ordering page.

How do I update the program?

You can download the latest version of BSC Designer directly from our official download page and install it, overwriting the previous version. Another option is to run the BSC Designer and select “Update the latest version” command in the “Help” menu .

How do I become a partner? 

Check partners page for more information about the existing partnership opportunities.

Do you have Mac, Mobile, Pocket PC or Blackberry version of BSC Designer?

At the moment we have only PC version for Windows platform. Please find the full system requirements on our download page. The BSC Designer online service is web-based, so it doesn’t depend on user’s operating system.

BSC Designer Online

Is online version exactly the same as desktop version?

No, please, check the comparison table for details.

Is there any way to backup data from BSC Online into local copy?

Yes, it is always possible to export data from the system into the .bsc file. BSC file is a native format of BSC Designer, it can be opened by BSC Designer Standard or Professional. More over, .bsc file is open-format XML file, which is easy adoptable by 3-rd party developers.

Is there any way to access online projects with desktop version?

With Online Version the project can be checked out to the external FTP server. User of BSC Designer can check-in the project from the FTP server.

What Does “Balanced” Mean?

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