a) Balanced scorecard can be defined as a tool used in strategic planning and management to align organizational activities to the organization’s vision and long term strategies, to evaluate performance against strategic goals, and to improve both internal and external communication.
The balanced scorecard framework has four parts; financial perspective, customers’ perspective, internal process perspective, and learning and growth perspective. Financial perspective measures financial performance aspects that are of interest to shareholders. Examples include; return on equity, return on capital employed, cash flow and economic value added. Consumer perspective evaluates the perception of the firm by its customers in terms of quality, time, performance and cost. Internal process perspective evaluates processes that are critical in satisfying customers’ needs and shareholders’ interests. Learning and growth perspective evaluates the organization ability to learn, improve existing processes and innovate new processes to achieve strategic goals.
b)Integration difficulties: A balanced scorecard is not a stand- alone system since it is a strategic planning and management tool. It involves integrating various disparate systems, monitoring approaches and measures which is difficult .
Conflicting objectives: A balanced scorecard allows staff to develop their own measures and objectives in addition to the central objectives. There is a possibility that the objectives that other staff members come up with may conflict with the central objectives making it impossible to implement the balanced score card .
Conceptual difficulties: Each organization balanced scorecard should be different depending on the industry, nature of the organization, organizational structure and strategy. It is therefore tedious to modify a generic balanced scorecard to suit an organization’s needs.
Mission statement is an account of an organization’s main reason for existence. The main expected shareholder returns. The organization measures actual performance against those projected returns. These measures of performance include; product qualities, growth margin, return on equity, market share changes, capital structure efficiency and competitive cost position .
Consumer satisfaction indicates the nature of service a sales representative gives to customers. Consumer satisfaction can therefore be used to measure the performance of a sales representative. Consumer satisfaction can be reflected by number of complaints received, sales returns, customers’ reviews and number of minutes a customer is on hold before being attended to by a sales representative .
Sales level is an indicator of how aggressive a sales representative markets an organization’s products. Sales level can therefore be used to measure the performance of a sales representative. Sales level can be measured in terms of changes in sales revenue, number of units sold and the amount of bad debts.
Learning and growth is another measure of a sales representative performance. This is because it will indicate how adoptive the sales representative is to changes needed to attain strategic goals. Learning and growth can be indicated by additional academic credentials acquired, time taken to adapt to new processes and changes the sales representative has initiated.
Under financial perspective, the critical success factors will be; growth in revenue and high levels of profitability .
Under customer perspective, the critical success factors will be; to be the preferred supplier of veterinary services, to perform veterinary surgeries on time as scheduled .
Under internal process perspective, the critical success factors will be; efficiency in performing veterinary surgeries and timely delivery of veterinary services .
Under learning and growth perspective, the critical success factors will be; learning new veterinary surgery techniques that will improve service delivery and minimize cost and retain skilled veterinary surgeons .
A performance measure for a baggage handler of time taken to get a bag to baggage reclaim may be flawed because sometimes there is a time lag between making a reclaim, the reclaim being approved and the reclaim being realized. It is also possible for an approved reclaim to be withdrawn much later on .
Nair, M. (2004). Essentials of balanced scorecard (John Wiley and Sons ed.). New York: John Wiley and Sons. Olve, N.-G., & Sjöstrand, A. (2006). Balanced Scorecard (2, illustrated ed.). Chicago: Capstone.