Choosing appropriate software tool for the Balanced Scorecard
Once a company or an independent BSC consultant makes a decision to use the Balanced Scorecard business framework, it is important to choose an appropriate automation tool. In this article we will discuss questions that one needs to ask in order to choose the appropriate tool and decide on the correct number of licenses.
Excel is great for a prototype
MS Excel is one of the most popular business tools today. Talking about the usage of Excel for the Balanced Scorecard, it is:
- Great for creating a prototype of the Balanced Scorecard or
- for the Balanced Scorecard that will be used by a single person only.
Obviously, the BSC won’t help to provide any noticeable business change if used by only one person. When the project grows from the prototype to the working business tool it starts getting hard to update the Balanced Scorecard. Also, having the BSC without a strategy map and KPIs aligned with specific business objectives doesn’t make any sense; in this case Excel won’t help as it is not designed for this task.
These who tried doing the Balanced Scorecard project in Excel reported that it is hard to present BSC structure, difficult to implement, hard to maintain, complicated to update, and not easy to follow.
Questions that help in choosing the correct number of licenses
Before you start your search for the BSC automation software, make sure that you know the answers to these questions:
- How many employees will be involved in your BSC project? If the answer is “just me,” then you need to reconsider your implementation strategy. The Balanced Scorecard should be accepted by all stakeholders and it doesn’t make much sense if it is used by a one top manager only. If you plan that there will be various stakeholders, then Excel will work for you only in the prototype stage and you will eventually need to switch to a professional BSC automation tool. To avoid migration costs consider using BSC software in the trial period to create a prototype. For BSC Designer we have 30-day fully functional trial period that can be extended upon request.
- How many employees will design the Balanced Scorecard? This question focuses specifically on the process of BSC design that includes the design of the strategy map and the design of the appropriate KPIs. Normally, the BSC software tools differentiate the role of the BSC project manager and input user. For BSC Designer the answer to this question will help to choose an appropriate number of PRO licenses.
- How many employees will be doing any data input? These are people who will work with an automation software regularly. There might be a data input for KPIs or for initiatives. For example, if you know that each department will have a manger responsible for the data input, then you can calculate the number of licenses that you need. For BSC Designer you can use a Standard license in this case.
- How many employees will have access to reports only? There are employees in your company that don’t need a direct access to the BSC software. They use reports generated by the software. They are still a part of your Balanced Scorecard project, but they don’t need to have a separate license for the BSC software, as they are using reports only. In BSC Designer various reports can be generated (including report that contains a strategy map). These reports are in an HTML format that is easy to share and can be printed as a PDF if needed.
- Do you need a web-base access? There are companies that prefer to keep all strategic information on local computers only, in this case you need to decide on the desktop software only. If you want to provide a web-based access to the company’s Balanced Scorecard or to some of its parts, then make sure that you have an account in BSC Designer Online.
License for BSC Designer
BSC Designer is a professional Balanced Scorecard automation software recognized by professionals. Find out how you can decide on the right number of licenses for BSC Designer. BSC Designer is available in 3 editions – Standard, PRO and Online. Check the difference between editions.
|Implementation plan||Suggested licenses
|Plan: “Independent consultant”||
|Plan: “Implementation in one business unit”|
|Plan: “Company-wide implementation”|
Please note: using of BSC Designer Online is recommended not only for distributed teams, but for independent professionals.
If you have any questions about implementation plans for BSC Designer, contact our sales using online form.