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Business Goal in BSC Designer

Video manual Check the video manual for Business Goals online.

Business executives always have many insights about their company. It is important to formalize these insights in the form of business goals and objectives. Unlike in the simple to-do list, in the business scorecard the cause-and-effect connections between objectives are important. BSC Designer allows formalizing business goals, aligning them with indicators or process maps, and presenting them on the strategy map.

Business Goals in BSC Designer

All of the control for business goals in BSC Designer are located on the "Business goals" tab.
  • The tool bar at the top allows adding new business goals and aligning indicators with them.
  • The area in the middle displays all of the business goals of the scorecard project.
  • The panel on the bottom is to specify and modify the properties of a business goal.

Goals and objectives in BSC Designer


By the way, sometimes the words "goal" and "objective" are used interchangeably. Actually, there is a difference. The word "goal" refers to some vague idea, or a business dream, while "objective" is more specific and quantifiable. Any business professional knows that all excellent objectives start with vague goals, so in BSC Designer we don't obligate you to be specific. You can manage vague goals, as well as specific business objectives.   To create and set up a new business goal follow these steps:
  • Select a parent item for a new business goal and then click the "New business goal" button on the tool bar. A new goal item will be created.
  • As you can see, you are not limited to just a list of business goals, you can create a hierarchical goals structure with many parent and child items.

Goal's properties

A business goal item in BSC Designer has some important properties:

Business goal properties

  • The Name and the Description fields help to identify a goal and to add some more details about it.
  • With an Initiatives button one can align a new initiative with a selected business goal. Check the "Initiatives" section of the manual for more details about supported types of initiatives.

Cause-and-effect connection

The cause-and-effect connection between business goals is important as it helps to answer the "Why?" and the "How?" questions of the strategy. BSC Designer allows managing and visualizing these connections.

How a business goal contributes to other goals

  • There are two properties of a business goal item in BSC Designer: "Contributes to" and "Contributed by." With these fields you can specify the cause-and-effect connection for a selected business goal.
  • Some types of strategy maps, like for example a "Balanced Scorecard" strategy map, supports the visualization of these cause-and-effect connections in the form of arrow links.
Using "Contributes to" and "Contributed by" fields is one way to tell BSC Designer about the connection between business goals. It is also possible to create some new business goals and establish cause-and-effect connections between them directly onto the strategy map. Check out the "Strategy map" section of the manual for the details.

Goal on the strategy map

  • Sometimes, a business goal that you have is important, but not "strategic" enough to put it on the strategy map. In this case you can have this business goal listed in BSC Designer, but you can choose not to display it on the strategy map. For this purpose, use "display on the strategy map" check box, which is available on the goal's properties panel.
Once a new business goal is created in BSC Designer there are two important things to do:
  • Use the "Initiatives" button to align specific action plans and initiatives with this business goal.
  • Use the "Align with KPI" button to link some indicators to this business goal.
Indicators that are aligned with business goals will be shown below the respective business goal item. You can select an aligned indicator and specify how you want it to be visualized on the strategy map.
Indicators aligned with a business goal

For example:
  • If a respective indicator of a business goal helps in monitoring the current business performance, then you might want to choose "Stoplight" and "Gauge" to be visualized on the strategy map.
  • If the indicator helps in tracking the progress towards some target value, then you might want to have "Progress bar" and "Value chart" to visualize the indicator's state on the strategy.
Switch to the "Strategy map" tab to see how the business goals and aligned indicators are visualized.
  • Some business goals are related to a specific process. In BSC Designer you can create a detailed process map using drawing functions provided by the "Strategy map" tab. After this, you can align the created process map with a specific business goal as you did it with an indicator.

Conclusion


In contrast from project management where we deal with the minor tasks and the distribution of specific resources, a business scorecard is about a company's strategy. You don't need to put into the scorecard all of the smallest tasks you have. The goal is to have a big picture of what's going on in your business, and to understand the reasons and the consequences better. The connected business goals, aligned indicators, and strategy maps will help you with this.
   
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