Blame it on the balanced scorecard. Though not the first to devise a business scorecard, Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton set off a flurry of interest in people-related metrics with the publication of their 1996 book The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy Into Action. In a Kaplan-Norton type scorecard, there are four buckets, one of which is for people. That bucket is usually handed to HR to populate with data, says Alec Levenson, senior research scientist at the University of Southern California's Center for Effective Organizations. Levenson believes that the renewed interest in metrics today comes from the need for HR and training people to be strategic and relevant and show where training makes a difference. Establishing standard metrics for the HR profession will be part of a large project undertaken by SHRM under the aegis of the American National Standards Institute, whose proposal to create International Standards on Human Resource Management was recently accepted by the International Organization for Standardization.