As with any emerging organizational improvement methodology, the balanced scorecard will experience speed bumps in its initial years before organizations recognize how to leverage its full power. One glaring problem is a lack of consensus as to what is a balanced scorecard - and what is its purpose? I routinely ask executives from organizations allegedly using a balanced scorecard to describe it, and I get broadly varying answers. Some recognize that they had far too many measures and consequently put their measures on a diet by reducing them to the vital few. Others say they need hundreds of measures to create accountability monitoring of managers and their employees. Neither approach may be correct.

Michael Hammer, the author who introduced the concept of business process reengineering, described the sad situation of measurement abuse in his 2001 book, The Agenda: What Every Business Must Do to Dominate the Decade.

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