Business Goals in BSC
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
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
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
"New business goal" button on the tool bar. A new goal item will be
- 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.
A business goal item in BSC Designer has some important 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.
- Use "Strategy theme"
drop list to select a strategic theme for the business goal. BSC
Designer will use a different color coding for the business goals
associated with the different strategy themes.
The cause-and-effect connection
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.
- 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.
- Next to the "Contributes to" drop list, there is a button "Link to the external project." Use it to show how the business goal from your scorecard contributes to the higher level goals.
- Some types of strategy maps, like for example a
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
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
- 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.
Among visualization options there is "Indicator type" drop list. Use it to specify whether in this business context an aligned indicator is leading or lagging one:
- Leading indicators will be marked with a light green color on the strategy map,
- Lagging indicators will be marked with a light gray color on the strategy map,
- Indicators without a type specified will be marked with a white color.
- If a respective indicator of a business goal helps in
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
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