Balanced Scorecard: Deconstructing Strategy Maps


It would make for a fascinating study to understand what makes a framework stick i.e. gain widespread adoption while others fizzle away. Porters’ five forces, an arguably academic framework lacking implementation detail, is “the” strategy framework. Zachman Framework for enterprise architecture, despite its obvious and copiously documented limitations, has been the de-facto enterprise architecture framework for decades. The list is long and predictable.

The use of the Balanced Scorecard framework reminds me of a Chris Rock comedy routine where he describes growing up poor. His father had one medicine for all ailments – Robitussin. Cough and cold? Drink Robitussin. Broken bone? Sprinkle some “tussin” on it…

Balanced Scorecard is the “tussin” for all business issues. Business Strategy? Drink some scorecard. IT Alignment? Sprinkle some scorecard on it. The list is endless.

One of the USP – unique selling proposition – of the Balanced Scorecard is the “cause and effect” principle which manifests itself in the form of a strategy map. This “cause and effect” principle is what distinguishes Balanced Scorecard from other “KPI scorecards” in your armory.

Some pundits have argued against this cause and effect principle as used in the Balanced Scorecard because no such thing exists between measurement areas.

This paper examines the “cause and effect” principle of the Balanced Scorecard in depth and argues that BSC is a practical framework i.e. cause and effect rules. Good Discussion.


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