Live from Congility: The balanced scorecard

The balanced scorecard: measuring the success of enterprise cooperation, by Dawn Stevens

Congility2014Why measure success?

  • To prove that the promises, goals, etc were met
  • To validate (or correct) assumptions we made on the project
  • To alert the team to anything odd that happened in this project

What is important to measure?

  • How much money are we saving?
  • Are we moving fast enough to finish our goals?
  • Are we making errors, and how many? Are we reducing them?
  • Gather information on what customers think
  • Are we improving as we go along?
  • Are we making progress toward a long-term goal?

Different types of indicators:

  • Input
    • How many resources did we use?
    • How many hours did we spend?
  • Output
    • What were the outcomes?
    • How many of something did we create?
  • Process
    • Are we being efficient?
    • Are we being productive?
    • How much time are we spending editing?
  • Directional
    • Are we improving?
    • Are we reducing errors?
  • Financial
    • Translation costs
    • Other monetary concerns
  • Leading
    • Predictions – what do we think the outcome will be?
  • Lagging
    • Something we measure afterwards, to use for next time
    • Might measure customer satisfaction, for example
  • Actionable
    • We want to measure things within our own control
    • Otherwise it just ends up being frustrating


  • People will get focused on what you’re measuring, and may stop doing other thigns
    • i.e. measuring productivity may make people stop helping one another
  • People will not do what not asked, if they’re very aware of measurements
    • i.e. measuring bug fixed might result in writing sloppier code
  • People may fear they’re being evaluated personally, rather than see the measurements as neutral
  • Although there are tons of things you can measure, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are all things you should measure

How much to measure?

  • If you don’t gather enough information
    • You won’t get the full picture
    • It won’t be actionable
    • You won’t get the necessary insight into what would make you successful
    • You may end up treating the symptoms, and not the disease
  • If you gather too much information
    • You won’t learn what to focus on
    • It blurs the bigger picture information
    • The organization turns into a reporting factory
  • The right amount of information:
    • A clear vision and strategy
    • The concerns of customers, the team, the business
    • A variety of indicator types
    • Both quantitative and qualitative data

How do you create a balanced scorecard?

  • Identify your goals
  • Select 3-6 domains for measurement
  • Write down 1-3 critical success factors for each
  • Identify no more than 6 measurable key performance indicators for each success factor
  • Define success criteria for each performance indicator
  • Weight the success factors, performance indicators, and criteria as needed (determine the highest priorities and weight accordingly)

Don’t bother tracking metrics if you don’t intend to use them!!!

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