Performance management tools The balanced scorecard approach has become justifiably popular in recent years because of its utility in providing accurate and thorough reviews of performance. Such data is of big help to managers because such information provides them with objective criteria upon which to base important policy and procedural decisions. Of course, though, working with larger organizations entails using a robust, scalable system for both gathering and analyzing scorecard data. This is where a select scorecard tool could prove itself very handy. The balanced scorecard approach refers to a strategic management approach that focuses on the use of measurements or metrics drawn from a broad set of categories. It was originally proposed as a better alternative to just considering financial performance. Instead of restricting the use of metrics to just the financial perspective, three other perspectives are considered. These are the Learning & Growth, Internal Business Processes, and Customer perspectives. Taken as a set, these four categories cover almost every significant aspect of an organization's performance. Hence, a balanced scorecard would represent a whole or complete picture of performance, and being able to consider such a complete set of information would definitely lead to better decisions. The essential idea behind this approach is simple. Metrics are relevant parameters that measure particular aspects of performance. The balanced scorecard gathers a wide array of these metrics in hopes of being able to accurately assess overall efficiency. These metrics are chosen in alignment with an organizational goal or mission, which would then be supported by more specific subgoals, and so on. These goals are thus developed top down until they represent specific, measurable objectives for particular departments and even individual employees. Of course, the basic methodology in itself does not require any fancy tools or programs. In theory, this approach could be implemented using just paper and pencil! However, in practice, other factors such as efficiency and the time it takes to perform surveys and compile data must be taken into consideration. Scorecard software tools aim to reduce these practical obstacles and let management focus on getting results instead of the implementation details. This is why digital forms for collecting data, databases for storing the data in, and statistical and graphical analysis software for displaying the results, while not necessary, are very helpful. They can help in almost every step in the process. When developing goals, visualization tools can help clarify and facilitate discussions. When collecting metric data, automated software can make it easier. Gathering the data into a single database and then performing analysis on it to get useful information can be done using special programs. And finally, the results of this analysis can be displayed and broadcast throughout the organization using scorecard tools as well. All in all, a select scorecard tool can do wonders for helping managers implement the balanced scorecard approach. And with this powerful performance management tool, any organization should be able to improve itself on all fronts. No manager should ignore such a potentially helpful approach, especially in times of crisis when quick, accurate decisions are critical. http://performanceappraisalebooks.info/ : Over 200 ebooks, templates, forms for performance appraisal.