Good decisions are generally made within the correctly framed context, without which the degree of validity canâ€™t be proven. While skipping due process is faster line, it puts the quality of the decision at risk. If youâ€™re dealing with something where time sensitivity is high, you may have to rely on your intuition to a greater degree. However, in the case of selecting corporate level measures, there is a great deal of risk in not putting the appropriate level of thought and process into determining the â€œrightâ€ collection.
The scorecard, when used appropriately, drives all kinds of behaviors at all levels of the organization. What youâ€™re hoping for is that they drive the behaviors that support what youâ€™re trying to accomplishâ€¦ that support your strategy. To that end, measures either support there are essentially three categories of measures:
1) General business measures: they give you some sense of what is going on, but are essentially a distraction from a more dialed in metric
2) Those measures that drive the wrong behaviors: those measures that havenâ€™t been well thought through, and result in people focusing on behaviors that are either neutral to your success (distraction) or negative
3) Transformational measures: those few measures that drive all the right behaviors, as defined by your strategy
Most often, people respond to the accountability asserted by metrics in a very literal way. If your measure for success is the % of project deliverables completed, thatâ€™s what people will focus on. If you want people focusing on the quality of outcomes originally intended, you have the wrong measure. If your measure for success is employee satisfaction, that is what people will work to achieve. If you change that measure to employee engagement, the goal has fundamentally changedâ€¦ and behaviors will change in suit.
If you find that your scorecard is tired or lacks alignment to strategy, how might you approach a project to maintain appropriate context for each step in the decision making process:
1) Acknowledge the sensitivities and human tendencies: get this out of the way, determine how youâ€™ll manage it
2) Tie it to strategy â€“ determine how youâ€™re going to ground the output in your strategy: doing this well requires the thinking that goes into the construction of a strategy map
3) Start with measurement objectives, determine the exact metrics afterward: you canâ€™t select measures until you know what the strategy it meant to drive out â€“ once you have this, you can select and replace measures until they drive the right behaviors
4) Build the measures, define it in a lot of detail: define everything that youâ€™d need to know in order to understand the results â€“ this is the reason that measures exist, then you can share this across the organization
5) Think carefully about how youâ€™re going to roll it out: Link back to point 1 where we acknowledge all of the sensitivities â€“ and then do this in a way that positions people for success
6) Donâ€™t be married to measures that arenâ€™t working: Now that you have a strategy map and measurement objectives, youâ€™re no longer blindly married to metrics that may be hurting you or acting as a distraction from the real drives for your success â€“ stay flexible