The Balanced Scorecard
Robert S. Kaplan & David P. Norton
The “Balanced Scorecard” is about creating a management environment that focuses on long-
term systems and product development that enables a company to live up to its mission
statement. It is about achieving long-term strategic goals.
The first 60% of the book is exciting. The last portion of the book becomes boring and
repetitive. So pick your spots.
While this book is meant for larger companies it has some ideas that can be utilized by all who
are in business. Making changes is always difficult. Anything we can learn about
implementing changes in an effective and meaningful way will decrease the number of mistakes
we make and will enable us to become better change artists.
The “Balanced Scorecard” system of management needs to be driven by a senior person. It is
much more than a measurement system. In establishing objectives it integrates various
components of the business to meet those objectives. It requires consensus of all facets of the
business in order to achieve focus. Without this integration of purpose the different components
of the business will compete for resources and, therefore, work at cross-purposes. Perhaps the
more practical person should read the appendix early on in the reading of this book for it
provides some measure of “how to”.
Strategic objectives must be summarized under the headings of Financial, Customer, Internal
and Learning. Each of these objectives has strategic measurements. Remember “what you
can measure, you can manage”.
Internal systems are an area we neglect. Processes are so important for success. The process
of determining objectives and measures in a Balanced Scorecard are so very different than
traditional management systems. Read and find out why – it is a key area of difference with the
It is interesting that learning is held in such high esteem. It is always a strategic objective. Too
often we put this objective in the form of productivity. We emphasize the result without
placing enough emphasis, and investment, in learning. Learning is not only about
employee capabilities but also about information system capabilities and motivation,
empowerment and focus.
The book talks about business units versus corporate strategies. Learn the difference and
you will better understand this process of change.
A good book and worth your time