Alignment of Business Objectives, KPIs and Action Plan in BSC Designer

Business people like talking about “alignment.” It is important to align business actions and KPIs with strategic objectives. What is missing is a “how” part. In most cases behind a buzz word there is no actual tool, just a few Excel spreadsheets, where relevant KPIs are listed next to a business goal and that is supposed to be “alignment.”

Alignment in BSC Designer

In BSC Designer we provide some automation for the alignment. The result is that a manager always knows why he or she needs a certain KPI and how a business objective is supported by an action plan.

Alignment in BSC Designer

There are several levels of alignment in BSC Designer:

1. Business objectives are linked with each other using cause-and-effect links.

2. A KPI can be linked to a business objective.

You are working with these types of alignment when you build a strategy map. Learn how to build a strategy map.

3. An action plan can be linked to a business objective and/or KPI using initiatives. Learn how to work with initiatives.

Cascading or alignment between tiers

As we discussed before, the idea of cascading/alignment is to link local scorecards with higher level scorecards. In BSC Designer this connection can be achieved in two different ways:

  • By KPIs. For example a parent scorecard can aggregate some data from low-level scorecards.
  • By Business Goals. A goal in the individual level scorecard might be linked to the goal in a department level scorecard.

Alignment by KPIs

Here is an example of how two scorecards can be linked by a KPI:

  1. Open parent scorecard.
  2. Go to KPIs tab and create a new KPI.
  3. Click “KPI data source” button.
  4. Select “Link to BSC Designer project” option.
  5. Select a child project that you want to link to.

Sources of KPI data

Please note: A child project might be available locally or might be uploaded to the BSC Designer Online. The last option is recommended for easier data sharing.

Alignment by business goals

Here is an example of how you can align two projects by business goal:

  1. Open a child project.
  2. Go to the “business goal” tab and select a business goal.
  3. Click the “Link to the external project” button and select a parent project.
  4. Business goals from the parent project will appear in the “Contributes to” and “Contributed by” drop down lists. Choose the appropriate business goal.
  5. Go to the “Strategy map” tab and create a “Balanced Scorecard” map. The software will visualize the relationship between two scorecards.

New button allows to specify cause-and-effect links to the business goals in external projects

In this way you will provide users of the child scorecard with an explanation about how their goals contribute to the overall strategy.

Results of an alignment

Visually the result of an alignment can be seen on a strategy map. Business objectives have a relevant KPI and initiatives linked. What is the main benefit of this type of alignment for a company? Let’s compare the business picture before and after alignment.

Presentation of an alignment visually

Before you had business objectives, KPIs and an action plan. Afterward you also have business objectives, KPIs and action plans. The difference is that a manager and employees know why they need a specific KPI and action plan. They understand how an action plan helps to achieve a business objective and how the progress towards a business objective can be measured by a KPI.

Employees are not just doing their job, they are focusing on what actually matters to the end result. That’s where companies start reporting a cultural shift from “I am doing my job” to “I’m helping a company achieve its stated objectives.”

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What is BSC Designer?

BSC Designer is a balanced scorecard software available as a cloud-based service and Windows desktop application.

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According to our users, BSC Designer is easy to install, configure and it helps a lot with Balanced Scorecard, strategy maps, and KPIs.

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What Balanced Scorecard is all about?

Fast Track explains complex ideas in a simple way Check out Strategy Scorecard Fast Track to find easy explanation of the most important complex ideas.
  • What is a Balanced/Strategy Scorecard?
  • How to build a good strategy map?
  • How to find winning KPIs?
  • How to cascade strategy?
  • How to implement scorecard
Learn all the nuances quickly and ask follow-up questions to BSC expert. Learn more...

What are your current challenges?

We help our users to get started with Balanced Scorecard, strategy maps, and KPIs. Here is a list of frequently asked questions and respective answers to them.

Q: What is the Balanced Scorecard?

Big picture about Balanced Scorecard A: Check out: Get the big picture about Balanced Scorecard article.

Q: I'm looking for a KPIs... how do I find good ones for our business?

How to find a KPI for... A: Check out our recommendations.

Q: Do you have some examples of the Balanced Scorecard?

Examples of Balanced ScorecardA: Sure, we have some here.

Q: Balanced Scorecard is about strategy execution, right? But what is a strategy?

Define strategy, create strategy mapA: Check these articles about strategy definition and creating strategy map.

Q: How do we cascade our top level scorecard throughout the company?

How to cascade a strategy mapA: Do it by business goals, some examples will also be useful.

More questions and answers...

BSC Lessons

Download BSC Designer and we will follow up with you with lessons about the Balanced Scorecard:

BSC Designer experts

Aleksey Savkin Performance Management and Balanced Scorecard

Kazim Ladimeji HR KPIs and Performance Expert

Levi Newman Effective KPIs and social metrics

Oana Boteanu Performance Management

Oleg Tumarkin Business Measurements

Upcoming events and talks

We organize, sponsor, and participate in various events related to the strategy execution.

  • “Building Balanced Scorecard Step by Step.” 15th August, 2017, online training. Read more…
  • VIP Training sessions: Practical Business Scorecard and KPIs for CEOs and Strategists” 16th November, 2017, Lisbon, Portugal. Read more…

Drop us a note if you want to meet up at these events.

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The best way to get started with the Balanced Scorecard is to join our online training.

Balanced Scorecard Training Online Strategy map, KPIs, cascading - it might be hard to put it all together. In the online training "Building BSC Step by Step" we explain all the nuances in simple words and help companies to build a prototype of their balanced scorecards.

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