QuickScore and Scoreboard
In this short series of three articles, we will be looking at some of the features of QuickScore and Scoreboard. These products can be used to automate business strategy and KPI management.
Why endorse this software?
As a consultancy, Intrafocus is often asked why we endorse Spider Strategies QuickScore and Scoreboard rather than independently reviewing KPI and Scorecard management products? The first answer is simple – QuickScore and Scoreboard are market leaders and are clearly the best KPI and Scorecard managers available today. The second answer is probably a bit more useful:
Intrafocus started life as a business strategy consultancy. Our founders understood in today’s competitive and constantly changing environment that business strategy required automation. Our business strategy methodology, which is based on the Balanced Scorecard, needed to be underpinned by some highly robust and secure automation software. This would ensure the method was sustainable and could be rolled out across an organisation effectively. After months of evaluation, one software package stood out. QuickScore from Spider Strategies.
QuickScore is the only software that is recommended by the Balanced Scorecard Institute. That in itself is a good enough endorsement for the product. However, Scoreboard, which is exactly the same product but uses general business terminology rather than balanced scorecard terminology, is used by some of the biggest organisations in the world. Scoreboard is used by the US Army. They manage over 30,000 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in their Strategic Management System. The system is highly secure as one would expect; more than this, the US Army has an annual budget of $140 Billion. The Strategic Management System is designed to bring focus, visibility and accountability to the Army’s strategic initiatives from the top down and the bottom up.
So, the credentials for the application are not in doubt. Intrafocus endorses the application simply because it is the best software available.
What does the software do?
The fundamental principle behind the software is to enable organisations to build and manage scorecards. A scorecard may consist of Perspectives, Themes, Key Areas, Objectives and Measures in any combination or order. The application provides a visualisation of the result and the ability to combine information in a meaningful way using a ‘Dashboard’. In addition, the objects in the Scorecard can be linked to Initiatives, Tasks and Milestones. A typical scorecard view might look like this:
Here we can see a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) or ‘Measure’ called Net profit. To the left, we can see that it is part of a scorecard called the HQ Scorecard that contains four areas of interest or ‘Perspectives’ called Financial, Customer, Internal Processes and Organisational Capacity. This view of the KPI is useful but not especially informative as it is only looking at one aspect of the business: Net Profit. To be more useful, this KPI should be viewed in ‘context’. To do this the application has a Dashboard function. By clicking on Dashboards in the menu on the left, the dashboard area is presented with a list of available dashboards. The one below is a financial dashboard. Here we can see the Net Profit KPI in the context of other useful KPIs:
The application allows the users to analyse and present the data held in the scorecards. Unlike a spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation, the data is centralised in a database and therefore can be looked at by multiple users who can search, look at specific dates, analyse and drill down to the source KPIs/Measures in the scorecards.
Owners and Updaters
One of the most important features of the system is the ability to allocate ownership to any object in the database. An owner and updater can be assigned to several measures. It then becomes their responsibility to ensure that they update the measures during the update cycle. For example, a Marketing Manager might be assigned as an Owner of the marketing objective ‘To Improve Customer Satisfaction’. One of the people in the manager’s team might be assigned as the Updater of the measures; Customer Satisfaction, Customer Retention, and On-Site Contact Days. As everyone can see the system, it becomes very obvious when measures are or are not updated. Thus, an accountability is created that may not have been in place before.
Clearly, it becomes very important to ensure a ‘cultural’ change of this sort is handled well, however, evidence shows that this type of responsibility and accountability is a key feature of high performing teams.
The above provides an introduction to QuickScore and Scoreboard in overview with a quick look at data organisation. In the next article, we will dig deeper into how to construct a scorecard and the use of internal calculations to create complex measures.