As it was discussed in “BSC implementation” article, a company’s strategy is not a responsibility of a strategist or CEO only. During a typical discussion around a strategy several participants might suggest their own business goals, KPIs, and action plans. The goal of the Balanced Scorecard software is to support this workflow and provide the best experience to the participants of the discussion.
Here are some typical situations that balanced scorecard software should manage:
- The team involved in the BSC project might be in the same office or it might be distributed across the globe;
- Some participants might not have an access to the Internet right now, but still might want to contribute to the strategy;
- Some members of the team might design the scorecard and have the full access, while others might be responsible for the data entry only.
The latest version of BSC Designer software brings this kind of collaboration to the next level. The software ensures data integrity and flexibility when several business professionals are collaborating on the business scorecard project:
- It doesn’t require all participants to be online to suggest their modifications;
- It handles possible modification conflicts and allows participants to choose the best modification;
- It permits assigning responsibilities and limit access to the certain data only.
Let’s review some typical challenges and how BSC Designer helps to solve them.
Just Starting BSC Project: Strategist Testing the Software
On the early stage of the adoption the software might be used by just one person. He or she might want to “play” with the tool, check it out with some data, and see how it supports business goals and strategy map. On this stage one just needs BSC Designer PRO to be installed locally.
With BSC Designer there is no need in databases or complicated installation. Anyone can download a 30-day trial version and give it a try right now.
Discussion Around Strategy: BSC Designer Supports Teamwork
When the software passes initial “approbation” stage, it’s time to start a work around strategy. If you want several people to participate in the strategy discussion, suggest their own business goals, and metrics, then you might want to upload your project to BSC Designer Online.
BSC Designer Online is web-based version of BSC Designer that:
- Stores your scorecard projects online securely
- Keeps the list of the users of the scorecard project and their access rights
- Provides interface to work with your .BSC projects
- Analyze suggested changes, merge them with the current version, and suggest to resolve conflicts if there are any
When you store your project in BSC Designer Online then you have two options:
- Work with it directly in BSC Designer Online (good for some quick edits), or
- Work with it in BSC Designer PRO (good for some big modifications)
An Example of How Modifications Are Merged by BSC Designer
Here is an example of how BSC Designer supports some discussion around the strategy. Let’s imagine a situation when three participants – Alex, Mary, and Peter suggest their own modifications to the business scorecard:
- Alex uses BSC Designer PRO, he added “Design engaging website” goal to the “Customers” perspective; and updated the current value for the “Engagement index” to 70%, and last month’s “engagement index” to 60%
- Mary logged in BSC Designer Online and modified existent business goal “Create New Product” and renamed it to the “Product Innovation.” She also added some new KPIs like “The number of ideas suggested by users.” Then she decided to measure users’ engagement accordingly and changed “Engagement index” to 85%.
- Peter checked in the current project from BSC Designer Online to his local installation of BSC Designer PRO and decided to come up with some metrics and initiatives for “Create New Product” business goal. He added a new action plan and also added a new KPI “% of returning defects” to ensure high quality of innovation.
Now, they all clicked “Save” button (or “Check out” in BSC Designer PRO) to save their modifications to BSC Designer Online. Let’s see how BSC Designer will handle these changes.
The new scorecard will have:
- “Design engaging website” in Customers perspective goal suggested by Alex
- “Product Innovation” goal with “The number of ideas suggested by users” KPI that was proposed by Mary. It will also be aligned with an action plan and “% of returning defects” KPI suggested by Peter
- The value of “Engagement index” for the last month will be 60% as suggested by Alex
The only conflict that BSC Designer detects is the current value of “Engagement index.”
- Alex thinks that it is 70% and
- Mary suggested 85% value.
The software won’t decide for you what value to use and who has a priority, it will just inform the user about the conflicting modification. He or she will be able to choose what modification to use.
- Conflict resolution engine now works for KPIs and business goals. We are in the process of extending it to the other objects in BSC Designer.
Running Project: Restrict Access to The Specific KPIs Only
The business scorecard project was successfully developed and is now running. Your team might want to provide participants with certain access and modify rights:
- There might be some users who are allowed to do a data input for the selected indicators only and don’t have an access to the rest of the scorecard
- You might have a scorecard (business goals and strategy map) that you want to share with certain members your team only
- You might have some modified version of the scorecard that you want to share with anyone who has the link
With BSC Designer Online you have a flexibility to setup these rights. You can give an access on the level of the scorecard, or limit it to certain indicators only.
Updating Project: Seamless Update of The .BSC Project by Various Participants
After a certain period your business scorecard will need to be updated. You might want to actualize some business goals, add some new ones, and revise some KPIs. BSC Designer will implement suggested modifications and warn if you there are any conflicting changes.