AUG 4, 2005 1:00am ET

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The Promise and Perils of the Balanced Scorecard


The balanced scorecard, the methodology developed by Drs. Robert S. Kaplan and David Norton, recognizes executive management's excessive emphasis on after-the-fact, short-term financial results and improves organizational performance by shifting attention to measuring and managing the non-financial operational measures of customers, internal processes, and learning and growth that lead to better financial results. The balanced scorecard is one of the underpinnings needed to complete the full vision of a performance management system. Will the adoption rate of the balanced scorecard find the same difficulty crossing the chasms encountered by activity-based costing (ABC) systems in the 1990s? It took many failures in ABC system implementations before organizations learned what ABC is and how to shape, size, and level them before organizations began to get them right for use. Are balanced scorecard implementations going to travel down the same bumpy road?

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