Who Should Manage Your Company’s Balanced Scorecard?

After dozens of years in the strategy management business, this truth is something I cannot stress enough: The person who manages your Balanced Scorecard (BSC) or management reporting process could be the determining factor in whether or

Ted, Founder and Managing Partner at ClearPoint, has over 25 years of experience working with organizations to improve their performance management and strategy execution processes.

After dozens of years in the strategy management business, this truth is something I cannot stress enough:

The person who manages your Balanced Scorecard (BSC) or management reporting process could be the determining factor in whether or not you’ll be successful in executing your strategy.

So if you’ve come to this article with the notion that Dan in accounting can take care of your company’s Balanced Scorecard management just because he’s good with numbers, think again. Dan—or anyone else, for that matter—cannot and should not be considered as a BSC manager unless they fit all of the criteria below.

Personality Traits Of A Great Balanced Scorecard Manager

While your BSC manager doesn’t own the strategy, they do manage the process—a role that requires a particular type of person who can pull it off successfully. We’ve found that the best candidates are take-charge, aggressive go-getters who have the following traits in common:

They are well-connected across the organization.

Management reports incorporate data from various departments and individuals. To track down that data (and keep after the people responsible for supplying it), your Balanced Scorecard manager needs to be able to interact well with everyone (and all the moving parts those people are tied to) in your company, at all levels. Additionally, this person needs to be able to convince people of the value of the reporting process, not just bully them into delivering data. Once they get people on board, getting the data each month—and ultimately automating that process—will be a lot easier.

They are organized and timely.

Management reports are produced on a monthly or quarterly basis. If a monthly report is a week late, you’re already backing up into the next month (and the month after that, and so on). Your reports must be ready for executive or board meetings that have been scheduled up to a year in advance. The person who runs your reporting process should be able to meet all deadlines, plan for these meetings, and show up in advance on meeting days. (They also usually have a backup plan for when things go wrong.) So if you’re considering someone who often shows up late or unprepared for meetings, think again.

They are optimistic and energetic.

This person has boundless energy and an optimistic outlook on what they can accomplish. They are hard-charging, and convince others that they should share the same goals for delivering data and analysis in a timely manner. They don’t need the spotlight, though—they gain satisfaction from seeing the job done right.

They pay close attention to detail.

There is a lot of data contained in management reports, all of which should be accurate and up to date. This person sweats the small stuff and ensures that all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed.

Side note: With the criteria above, you’ve likely identified who should be running your reporting process and/or Balanced Scorecard. But you should also consider where the ownership of your strategy should take place—which is largely dependent on the type of organization you are. Think about what department this person or team should report to. Where do they live in your organization?

  • If you are in a large organization, especially a large for-profit organization, there’s probably an Office of Strategy Management responsible for driving the strategy formulation process and for performing strategy evaluations. This office might also be responsible for project or portfolio management, and could either be independent or live in the finance department (or a separate strategy department).
  • If you are in a small- to mid-sized organization, you likely run your reporting through the Chief Operations Officer. His or her team typically originates and/or coordinates management reports. Those who work in operations typically have their hands in a lot of pots (so to speak), so it is a logical place to start looking at your strategy.
  • If you are in a nonprofit or government organization, reporting is usually handled by the Chief Financial Officer. These organizations rely heavily on the budgeting process, and thus, this office is responsible for creating the reports for all departments.

Putting Your Balanced Scorecard To Work Across Your Organization

It’s great that you’ve identified one fantastic individual who is able to help with management reporting, but the Balanced Scorecard shouldn’t be the job of just one individual! It requires effort from many departments and divisions, all the way up to the leadership team.

What features do you need in a reporting tool? This checklist will help you decide.

To see the results of your strategy-related activities, the person managing your Balanced Scorecard needs to be able to create a replicable, well-formatted monthly report. This requires gathering and formatting data, considering leadership feedback, and more—but if you’ve found the right person for the job, they won’t be daunted by this task. And while it’s admirable that this individual is ready to tackle a complex reporting process, you can help them out tremendously by taking the following steps:

  • Automate the data gathering process. Your go-getter might be perfectly willing to contact those involved in certain measures or projects and badger them for data. But if you use software, there’s no need for a middleman. Instead, you can set up your software so all parties involved can input their data directly into the application. This means your Balanced Scorecard manager only has to ensure that everyone sticks to a schedule—which is far easier than the alternative.
  • Automate the report itself. If your Balanced Scorecard manager is using an antiquated system for reporting (we’re looking at you, Excel and PowerPoint), they’re going to run into a plethora of version control issues. For example, if your leadership team requests different formatting for the report an hour before the big meeting, your go-getter is going to spend a lot of time piecing together a new version. Great reporting software—say hello to ClearPoint!—saves time and ensures that the new report is completely updated and accurate.

Once you have all your data in one, flexible system, you can roll the software out across all divisions and departments. Imagine how much more effective your leadership team will be when they only use “one version of the truth” to create strategy reports, operations reports, finance reports, HR reports, etc. Soon, everyone across your organization will be reporting!

With the right Balanced Scorecard manager on board, you can turn one effective person’s process into a company-wide effective reporting process.

In other words, reporting software can make the most effective person far more effective by replicating the processes they manage. Software shouldn’t be a burden to use—it should make those who use it more productive. If this isn’t the case in your organization, it’s time to consider whether you’re using the right software or system.

If you’re not certain what features your software needs to have, don’t worry—we have a free reporting tool checklist you can download chock-full of helpful information. It outlines 10 categories of tools you might need, over 40 features you should consider, and criteria for determining if the software is right for your company. Download it below!

Who Should Manage Your Company’s Balanced Scorecard?