Author(s): Kaplan RS, Norton DP
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Abstract Frustrated by the inadequacies of traditional performance measurement systems, some managers have abandoned financial measures like return on equity and earnings per share. "Make operational improvements and the numbers will follow," the argument goes. But managers do not want to choose between financial and operational measures. Executives want a balanced presentation of measures that allow them to view the company from several perspectives simultaneously. During a year-long research project with 12 companies at the leading edge of performance measurement, the authors developed a "balanced scorecard," a new performance measurement system that gives top managers a fast but comprehensive view of the business. The balanced scorecard includes financial measures that tell the results of actions already taken. And it complements those financial measures with three sets of operational measures having to do with customer satisfaction, internal processes, and the organization's ability to learn and improve--the activities that drive future financial performance. Managers can create a balanced scorecard by translating their company's strategy and mission statements into specific goals and measures. To create the part of the scorecard that focuses on the customer perspective, for example, executives at Electronic Circuits Inc. established general goals for customer performance: get standard products to market sooner, improve customers' time-to-market, become customers' supplier of choice through partnerships, and develop innovative products tailored to customer needs. Managers translated these elements of strategy into four specific goals and identified a measure for each.
This article was published in Harv Bus Rev
and referenced in Business and Economics Journal