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The 9 Best Balanced Scorecard Resources
There are thousands of Balanced Scorecard resources out there—but nine of them are outstanding. Check them out.
The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a more than 20-year-old strategic planning and management system, used worldwide in nonprofit organizations, businesses, and government entities alike. It is used to help organizations align their business activities with their vision and strategy. Because of its popularity, a great deal has been written on the subject.
So how do you know where to start and what to read in order to educate yourself about the BSC?
First, you need to understand that learning about the BSC and implementing the BSC are two very different things. So while you’re reading through this list, think about whether you need academic journals and examples of scorecards (so you can create and adopt the system yourself) or software or consulting (to help you build your scorecard).
Without further ado, here are nine of our favorite Balanced Scorecard resources (organized alphabetically).
1. Balanced Scorecard Institute
The Balanced Scorecard Institute (BSI) offers consulting, training, certifications, software, resources, and more about—you guessed it—the Balanced Scorecard. For those who are looking to implement the BSC themselves, the BSI suggests reading “The Institute Way: Simplify Strategic Planning and Management with the Balanced Scorecard.” Or, if you’re not sure how to get started with the Balanced Scorecard, BSI recommends their training and certification program. Their resources section is home to BSC articles, blog posts, white papers, and more.
2. ClearPoint Strategy
We’d be remiss to not mention our resources right here at ClearPoint. Sure, we’re a little biased, but we don’t want you to miss out on the loads of free BSC resources we have. If you’re new here, take a look through our Balanced Scorecard portal. It will give you some introductory information and access to our free BSC ebooks and white papers, plus it links to our most recent articles on the topic. (And if you’re ready to implement your BSC, take a look at our innovative reporting solutions.)
3. Harvard Business Review
The Harvard Business Review (HBR) was created in 1994, with the goal “to improve the practice of management in a changing world.” It is a very well-respected management magazine, with topics ranging from communication, to decision-making, to entrepreneurship. There is an entire section dedicated to the Balanced Scorecard—it features some of our favorite articles on the topic, including many by Kaplan and Norton (see #4). If you’re interested in the academic side of the Balanced Scorecard, don’t miss this resource.
4. Kaplan & Norton
You couldn’t fully flesh out a list of Balanced Scorecard resources without including BSC creators Drs. Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton. Together, they have authored a handful of books on the subject, including:
- The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action
- The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment
- Strategy Maps: Converting Intangible Assets into Tangible Outcomes
- Alignment: Using the Balanced Scorecard to Create Corporate Synergies
- The Execution Premium: Linking Strategy to Operations for Competitive Advantage
If you’re serious about implementing a scorecard—and you want to do it yourself, without the help of a strategic consultant—these texts should be first in your shopping cart.
5. Palladium Group
The Palladium Group is a strategy execution consulting firm, which centers its practices around the Balanced Scorecard. The “Knowledge” section on their website is chock-full of Balanced Scorecard news and thought leadership, so make sure to read through some of their scholarship on the topic.
7. PM2 Consulting
Performance Measurement and Management—or PM2 Consulting—is a Balanced-Scorecard-based consulting firm led by Brett Knowles and Peter Watson. The group has helped companies integrate the BSC into their organization for over 20 years. There is a section on their website containing articles, newsletters, white papers, and other publications that they have either contributed to or been referenced in. These PDFs can be a great help if you’re interested in integrating a BSC in your organization.
8. Paul Niven
Paul Niven is a consultant, speaker, writer, and all-around expert on the Balanced Scorecard. He has penned several excellent books on the subject, including Balanced Scorecard Step-by-Step: Maximizing Performance and Maintaining Results. Additionally, he is the founder and management consultant for The Senalosa Group, a strategic consulting firm.
Tantum runs global summits, conducts certification trainings, teaches graduate-level classes, and conducts consulting projects. They have implemented more than 750 projects to help organizations execute strategy, and have offices around the globe. They are partnered with many thought leaders and have written books on strategy execution. If you are near one of Tantum’s many offices, you will find them to be a great resource for the Balanced Scorecard.
Remember: The Balanced Scorecard framework itself is most successful when it’s customized to the strategy of your organization. Therefore, you need to take these resources for what they are. If you try to apply someone else’s example of a BSC or use the exact academic framework listed in one of the above resources, you likely won’t be successful.