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How A Small Organization Can Develop Itís Own Scorecard

 By: Godwin C. Nwaogwugwu

 First Published March 12, 2007

What Is A Scorecard?

A scorecard is a tool that helps businesses, organizations, and governments monitor progress and track measurable outputs against their set goals, and objectives. It is a snapshot of where an organization stands at a given point in time against the overall goals.

Fiscal responsibility requires sound stewardship, not just making promises, but ensuring delivery, completion, performance and results. Scorecard encourages a result-oriented workforce, where programs, projects, and initiatives are managed professionally, and efficiently to achieve the expected results. When employees know that the progress of the projects and tasks they are working on is being tracked and measured, it encourages productivity. 

The United States Government, for instance, employs a 'Presidentís Management Agenda (PMA)' to measure the Governmentís progress toward its goals. It uses the Executive Branch Management Scorecard to track how well US departments and agencies are executing their initiatives towards that agenda.  

Scorecard As An Essential Management Tool:

Scorecard is a useful management report because:  

         It aligns the work program of an organization, ensuring that resources and efforts are not wasted on activities and initiatives that are not related to the organizationís goals, and strategies.

      It presents a summary of where the organization stands on implementing its programs and projects, where either too-little efforts or too many efforts are currently expended.

     It provides useful feedback to staff and management on progress, making it an essential decision-making tool for everyone in the organization.

     It helps to track overall performance of a project or program on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.

Using A Deliverable Report As A Scorecard

A lot of small business owners sent me requests for information based on a simple qualitative and improvised ĎDeliverable Reportí I developed in 2002 to track work programs. That scorecard model became very popular that I was getting an average of 5 emails a day requesting for more information on how to adapt it to various business situations and environments. At one point a World Bank department adopted this model to monitor its work programs, and track their outputs.

The magic of this scorecard (which I called Deliverable Report)  is that: 

     It is not conventional, and therefore, does not require an MBA or college education to develop. Moreover, any person can read and understand it.

     It combines both qualitative and competitive outputs, as against conventional ĎBalance Scorecardsí that are very quantitative.

     The outputs were easy to track, involved staff inputs and interaction. Therefore, it promoted dialogue and teamwork. Staff knew they were being measured without feeling the usual tension associated with some automated scorecard systems that they are being monitored.

     Itís cheap, developed in-house, no system development, or special software involved, thereby saving costs.

How To Develop And Use The Deliverable Report:

The following steps can be employed to develop an in-house deliverable report. It can be readapted. The general idea is to set realistic goals for the year, develop expected outputs (deliverables) towards achieving the goals, track efforts (actual outputs) accomplished or a monthly or quarterly basis, and presenting it in a simple summary report. 

Step1:  The management team first set the goals and objectives  the organization hopes to achieve during the fiscal year (FY) in consideration. It is important to ensure that the goals are in line with the organizationís overall plan and strategy. 

Example of an objective:  Reach a sales target of $2 Million at the end of the fiscal year.

Step 2:  The CEO or Director will either sit one-on-one with each head of department or have a group management meeting to agree on a set of outputs expected from each department or unit for the fiscal year. It is important that these set of outputs are measurable (tangible).

 Example of measurable outputs for the IT department:

IT Department:

  • 2 new databases (A distribution list, and a customer database) developed

  • 1 new website developed and maintained

  • Link exchange with 300 relevant websites

  • 10 affiliate programs developed

Notice that all the deliverables have numbers (measurable outputs) attached. This numbers are what will be measured.

Step 3: Someone in the organization with a great interpersonal skill and good in Microsoft Excel is assigned the task of developing a simple Excel report (the Scorecard) to track the outputs and deliverables on a monthly or quarterly basis. 

One simple method I encourage is to design a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel, with five columns on top. Then divide the report into sections; each section representing a unit or department in the organization. The column headings will have the following titles:

  1. Objectives: A specific object set by the organization for the FY

  2. Expected Outputs: Measurable outputs each department agrees to achieve towards the goal

  3. Actual Outputs: The number of deliverables already achieved as at the date the report is generated)

  4. Comment: A field to accommodate notes, explanations, status reports, or assumptions.

  5. Remaining Output: The difference between the expected and actual output.

The title of the report should read something like:

  ĎThe XYZ Deliverable Report As Of (date)í

Step 4: Each month or quarter, the assigned staff will go round and update the report with new figures. Final report is shown to all unit heads before submitting to the management. The Director or CEO can then discuss the reports with unit heads during management meetings. 

A deliverable report should not be used to either allocate resources, witch-hunt staff, or chide under-performing employees but rather to encourage dialogue with staff on what is going wrong and what can be done better to realize corporate goals. If employees know that promotion or compensation is not tied to the report they will be more willing to report their efforts or outputs correctly, as well as accept criticism more constructively.

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Publications By This Mentor

'Preparing For Life After School' by Mr. Godwin C. Nwaogwugwu is a very popular career counseling booklet for Nigerian  youths

 

'Guide To Micro, Small, & Medium Business Development' by Mr. Godwin C. Nwaogwugwu is an award-winning publication that teaches how to prepare business plans for  Micro, Small, & Medium Enterprises

 

'Microsoft Office, A Student Hands-on Manual' by Mr. Godwin C. Nwaogwugwu is a hand-on computer training manual for African schools

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   

 

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