Tips on implementing a Balanced Scorecard

If you’re considering using a Balanced Scorecard approach at your facility, consider the following advice from Bruce Harber, CEO and president of Northshore Health Board in Vancouver, BC:

• Conduct an environmental assessment to evaluate the state of readiness, strengths and weaknesses, critical success factors and implementation challenges.

• Take a top down-bottom up approach, allowing teams to create their own performance indicators, ensuring ownership of the process.

• Don’t pass off accountability for the scorecard project to a single person. The scorecard is a core management tool that should be "owned" by the entire leadership team.

• Conduct regular team meetings to compare performance measures and progress against the corporate goals.

• Be prepared to change what you measure — especially the "soft," non-financial measures that are the drivers of all the other performance results.

• Start looking at the cause-and-effect relationships between the data elements to ensure that resources are being correctly allocated.

• Use a packaged, user-friendly software solution where programs are loaded from a server.

• Commit to a periodic, organizationwide assessment of your performance against all the data elements.

• Balanced Scorecard structures succeed when they provide relevant facts and data about current performance and show what needs to be improved, either immediately or in the future.

• Team-based environments are best equipped for effective roll-out of the scorecard.