Balanced Scorecards in Project Management

Oct 9 / Essowe Abalo
The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is renowned as a strategic planning and management tool, enabling organisations to align business activities to the vision and strategy, improve internal and external communications, and monitor performance against strategic goals. However, its application is not limited to just organisational strategy; it's also a potent instrument in the realm of project management. In this exploration, we'll discern how the BSC can be adapted to gauge and elevate project performance, coupled with relevant trainings and certifications to enhance its implementation.


Adapting the Balanced Scorecard for Project Management

1. Define Clear Objectives for Each Perspective
The four traditional perspectives of the BSC are:
  • Financial
  • Customer
  • Internal Processes
  • Learning and Growth

For each perspective, delineate clear objectives pertinent to the project. For instance, under 'Financial', one might target staying within budget, while 'Customer' could emphasise achieving project deliverables that align with client needs.

2. Develop Relevant KPIs
For each objective, define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will measure success. If your objective under 'Internal Processes' is to streamline communication, a KPI could be the frequency of team meetings or the utilisation of project management tools.

3. Set Target Values
Determine benchmark values for each KPI. This provides a clear metric for the team to aspire to and aids in measuring actual performance against these set benchmarks.

4. Monitor and Measure
Regularly track and measure the set KPIs to determine how the project is progressing concerning the set targets.

5. Feedback and Learning
Use the information gathered from monitoring to gain insights into areas that need improvement. Adapt strategies and processes based on these insights.

6. Align with Overall Strategy
Ensure that the project's objectives and KPIs are in harmony with the broader organisational strategy. This alignment ensures that projects contribute effectively to the overarching goals of the organisation.


Trainings and Certifications to Enhance BSC Implementation

1. Balanced Scorecard Professional (BSP)
Offered by the Balanced Scorecard Institute, this certification equips professionals with the skills to design, implement, and manage a BSC system effectively.

2. Kaplan-Norton BSC Certification
Developed by the creators of the Balanced Scorecard, this certification provides deep insights into the nuances of BSC and its application in various scenarios, including project management.

3. PMP (Project Management Professional)
While primarily a project management certification, the PMP from PMI does delve into performance measurement techniques, including the Balanced Scorecard, ensuring a holistic approach to project performance enhancement.

4. Strategic Project Management
This training, while not exclusive to BSC, provides knowledge on integrating strategic tools like the Balanced Scorecard into project management for maximised outcomes.

5. Performance Measurement and Management
This training offers a deep dive into various performance measurement tools, including the BSC, and their practical application in managing and improving project outcomes.

Conclusion
The Balanced Scorecard, while traditionally a strategic tool, has significant potential when adapted for project management. It offers a comprehensive framework to measure and improve performance, ensuring projects align with organisational goals and deliver optimal outcomes. Coupled with the right training and certifications, project managers can leverage the BSC to its fullest potential, ensuring projects that not only meet but exceed expectations.

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