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Balanced Scorecard and KPI, performance-based management and benchmarking

In this article I combine well-known approaches to managing business basing the performance, using metrics and indicators. I will show the difference between Scorecard and KPI, I will talk about using Scorecard concept for benchmarking and performance-based management.

Find analysis possibility of usage Benchmarking with Scorecard in Balanced Scorecard Toolkit

Few words about Balanced Scorecard concept

How to measure Benchmarking Performance?

Use Benchmarking Metrics.

The full list of metrics in Business Intelligence group:

Competitor Analysis

Marketing Research

Benchmarking

Also, Subscribe to how-to Balanced Scorecard course;

Balanced Scorecard concept reefers to the theory of metrics linked by the specific rules, where the total value is calculated using specific formulas. Balanced Scorecard is talked a lot about, but there are some applications of Balanced Scorecard concept which are sometime overlooked.

Scorecard and benchmarking

For instance, combination of metrics, used in Balanced Scorecard can be easily used for benchmarking, e.g. comparing your product or service against competitors. What metrics should be used to compare your product to your rival's solution? There are many opinions, but the most reasonable answer sounds as: "Why should I reinvent something new, I can use the same metrics as I use for my business".

Learn more about using Balanced Scorecard for benchmarking purposes.

Actually, there is no need to create a specific metrics for benchmarking, when you already have some ready-to-use metrics. The metrics for benchmarking and metrics for evaluating the performance of your business should be the same.

Terminology: KPI vs. Balanced Scorecard

A note about terminology: what we call Balanced Scorecard is also called "kpi". KPI is for "Key Performance Indicators". What is the difference between KPI and Balanced Scorecard? Actually there is no much difference. What we call "Indicator" is equal to what we call "Metric". What metrics does Balanced Scorecard include? The most important one - the "key" metrics. And finally, the goal of Balanced Scorecard is to measure, yes, the performance of your business, focusing on some specific aspects.

It's a time now to think about scorecards and kpi as a set of key metrics, which help you to measure the performance of your business. When we talk about benchmarking, we actually talk about comparing products' or businesses' performance, so benchmarking is also based on key metrics and their comparison.

Measure performance and benchmark with Balanced Scorecard

How to use Balanced Scorecard concept to measure a business performance? It's actually easy. You will need to pass tree simple steps.

  1. First, you will need to design a set of proper metrics, which will describe your business well. It is very important step, as it will affect all your future estimations, so be carefully and as some expert to help you or consider purchasing ready-to-use metrics.
  2. Second, the metrics should be grouped. There should not be too many metrics and groups of metrics. It would be great if you will have four or five metric groups and about 3-5 metrics in each group. You will need to set the importance values for every metrics, you will need to describe the way, how do you measure the metric value, you will need to set a target values for metrics.
  3. The final step is calculating the performance, using your estimation of metric values, their weights and weights of their groups. The total values will tell you how the business is performing within the certain viewpoint.

It's important to understand benefits and limitations of estimating business performance in this way.

  • The main limitation is that your metrics will never describe all your business, so what you can see in numbers is some kind of abstraction.
  • The main benefit, is having performance described in numeric values. If you have these values you will be able to record performance, to benchmark your performance and to control your business.

Use cases: Balanced Scorecard vs. KPI

How to measure Benchmarking Performance?

Use Benchmarking Metrics.

The full list of metrics in Business Intelligence group:

Competitor Analysis

Marketing Research

Benchmarking

Also, Subscribe to how-to Balanced Scorecard course;

People are often talking about different ways of business measurement and control. The most popular approaches are KPI (Key Performance Indicators) and Balanced Scorecard. While both concepts refer to the business performance management, there is still a significant difference.

Actually, we can think about KPI as a part of Balanced Scorecard. Balanced Scorecard measures business using several (usually 4 or 5) basic groups. Each group has indicators inside. What indicators should be there? Correct! Key Performance Indicators.

Is Balanced Scorecard a better approach? Actually, yes. It gives more flexibility. For instance, you're able to specify relative importance of indicators, e.g. balance them. When KPI will do its job better than Balanced Scorecard? When you are not interested in global view over the performance problems (this is what Balanced Scorecard provides), but need to focus on a very tight niche, more over on some certain aspect of this niche, for instance, "Finances".

Let's give some samples. Scorecard for HR will include various viewpoints on HR process, including financial aspect, management and educational aspects. All Balanced Scorecard groups will include several indicators that will help to measure business.

HR KPI will focus only on some certain aspects of HR. For instance, it may cover the most valuable (with bigger weights) indicators from scorecard. Or will have only indicators from certain group.

Is there any other value with Balanced Scorecard? Again, Im happy to answer YES! The Balanced Scorecard concept suggests representing information about business performance in a four perspectives Finance, Customer Relations, Education and Internal Processes. It is important as in this way you are able to cover all your business or all aspects of some business unit.

Finally, both approaches deal with metrics, e.g. some way to measure non-numeric values. For instance, to tell how good your customer support service is (non-numeric value), you will be able to specify several metrics, that will cover various aspects of customer support service. These metrics will give estimation about response quality so that the final result will be a performance in percents.

More information

Read more about using Balanced Scorecard for Benchmarking in our Balanced Scorecard presentation toolkit.

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