Use our free balanced scorecard template for Excel to aid your organizational strategic planning and management of long-term goals. It’s a great tool to communicate what you want to accomplish and align those goals with your day-to-day work. Get started with prioritizing projects, projects and services by downloading our free balanced scorecard template now.
What Is a Balanced Scorecard?
A balanced scorecard is a document that gets its name by looking at strategic measures and more traditional financial measures. That provides the balance in this scorecard. It started as a way to provide perspective and has evolved into a holistic approach to managing strategy. Therefore, a balanced scorecard is a strategic management performance metric that’s used by companies to improve their internal operations and improve external outcomes.
The balanced scorecard is divided into four perspectives: the financial, customer, internal process and learning or growth perspectives. The financial perspective is to increase a company’s revenue and profit. The customer perspective focuses on customer value, satisfaction or retention. The internal business process perspective deals with efficiency and quality. And the learning perspective is more about the culture of the company.
The balanced scorecard is used to define, set goals and determine how to meet those goals, but project management software is what fulfills the promise of the balanced scorecard. ProjectManager is award-winning software with the project portfolio management features you’ll need to plan, manage and track your organization’s initiatives. Our portfolio roadmap lets you build a strategic plan on a visual project timeline, link dependencies to understand relationships and filter by program, manager or team for in-depth insights. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.
Why Use This Balanced Scorecard Template for Excel?
Our free balanced scorecard template makes it easier to develop your strategic goals, the key performance indicators to measure them and the projects that will deliver those goals. It helps by having the balanced scorecard already mapped out and all that’s required for you is to fill in the blanks. Of course, those blanks are the hardest part, but at least you have a consistent document that’s pointing you in the right direction.
Beyond the ease provided by the free balanced scorecard template, the use of a balanced scorecard is that it integrates the external and internal measures and looks towards the future, where financial measures report on what occurred in the past or last quarter recorded. The balanced scorecard also defines and communicates priorities to managers, employees, investors and even the company’s customers. It’s the benchmark against which new projects are measured.
The balanced scorecard is also useful across many businesses and industries. It can be adapted to different market situations, product strategies and other competitive environments. By customizing the balanced scorecard template to fit a company’s mission, strategy, technology and culture, the competitive strategy should be clear and quickly communicated to all those who read it.
Who Is This Balanced Scorecard Template For?
The balanced scorecard is used by professionals in many industries. They can be found in all types of businesses and industries, but also government and nonprofit organizations use a balanced scorecard to define and achieve their strategic objectives. The balanced scorecard is used in all major companies across the globe, from ExxonMobil and Fannie Mae to the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and British Telecommunications Worldwide.
When Should You Use This Balanced Scorecard Template?
A balanced scorecard should be used when a business or organization is planning to rank its products, projects or services. This planning stage will be followed by using the balanced scorecard to communicate the targets and goals of the business or organization and then inform their day-to-day operations.
However, the balanced scorecard isn’t merely a planning tool or a means of communicating that plan to the business or organization. It can also track and assess the effectiveness of the plan and monitor how well it performed. The balanced scorecard has KPIs to report on management’s contribution to performance and success.
By using the stated goals and objectives as a benchmark, the balanced scorecard can be used when the business or organization wants to gauge its progress and compare it with the progress of its competitors. This also helps to demonstrate how management’s actions contributed to the company’s success and can be used when evaluating job promotions and salary reviews.
How to Use This Balanced Scorecard Template for Excel
Our free balanced scorecard template will help your company or organization measure its intellectual capital and financial data to identify successes and failures in its internal business processes. To use our free balanced scorecard template for Excel, follow these five steps.
1. Set Strategic Objectives for Your Organization
First, define the strategic objectives for your business or organization. You can start by taking your mission and vision statements and developing long-term goals from them. These strategic objectives should be SMART, this is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
2. Plan the Initiatives That Your Organization Will Take to Reach Its Strategic Objectives
At this point, you have a strategic objective and now you must create the steps to take you where you currently are as an organization or business to where you want to be. That means developing a comprehensive plan.
3. Establish Key Performance Indicators to Track the Progress and Success Rate of Strategic Objectives
KPIs ensure you’re progressing as planned and meeting your strategic goals within the timeline you scheduled. That is, you want to have a quantifiable measure of performance over time for your specific objectives.
4. Set the Expected KPI Targets
Once you have KPIs, such as budget, costs, time, etc., you’ll want to set the expected KPI targets. These will be how much of the established KPIs you want to achieve in a period. This will allow you to track how well you’re meeting the objectives of your plan and if you’re on track to meet your strategic goals within the timeframe you established.
5. Group Strategic Objectives Using the Four Balanced Scorecard Perspectives
As mentioned above, there are four balanced scorecard perspectives. Again, those four perspectives are as follows:
- Financial Perspective
- Customer Perspective
- Business Process Perspective
- Learning & Growth Perspective
You’ll probably have various strategic objectives, each of which will align with one of the four perspectives. Therefore, you’ll need to group each of the strategic objectives into one of these four strategic planning perspectives.
Balanced Scorecard Example
It can be helpful to better understand a concept by providing an example that illustrates how it would work in the real world. Let’s do that with a balanced scorecard example. Let’s look at how Apple Computers used a balanced scorecard.
In their case, the four perspectives were as follows: financial, increased shareholder value; customer, increased market share and customer satisfaction; internal processes, increased core competencies and learning and employee attitude.
Apple then used the balanced scorecard to create a plan that enables managers to understand and address these four perspectives by including shareholder value as a KPI to quantify the impact of proposed investments for business creation and development. For customer satisfaction, Apple had to adjust its orientation to being a customer-driven company by creating surveys to track key market segments.
For core competencies, the company focused on KPIs, such as user-friendly interfaces, powerful software architecture and effective distribution systems. In terms of its employee attitude, Apple wants employee commitment and alignment. They work towards this through a comprehensive employee survey every couple of years, while randomly selecting employees to participate in a more frequent survey. This helps Apple understand how its employees understand the company strategy and if they’re delivering results consistent with that strategy.
If you need help with your balanced scorecard, ProjectManager has dozens of free project management templates for Excel and Word that can give you a hand. We have free templates for every stage of a project, including helping you define and implement your strategic plan. Here are a few to get you started.
To achieve your strategic goal requires a strategic plan. Our free strategic plan template for Word covers all the bases, from your vision and mission statement to business goals and financial projections.
Before you get to strategic goals, you’ll want to make a SWOT analysis of your business to evaluate it and where you want to go in the future. Our free SWOT analysis template for Word helps you to evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
The balanced scorecard should inform your day-to-day operations, which is where our free operating budget template for Excel comes in handy. It helps you create a detailed operating budget for the coming year or quarter, with revenue and expenses.
How ProjectManager Helps with Strategic Management
Templates will help you get started, but if you want to achieve your strategic goals they’ll only hinder your progress. That’s because templates are static documents. They’re not efficient. You’ll be wasting valuable time updating them manually and they’re terrible for collaborating with your team. Project management software is going to be more effective in helping you achieve your strategic goals.
ProjectManager is award-winning project management software that allows you to plan, manage and track your projects in real time. That helps you keep to your schedule, stay on budget and collect more accurate KPIs.
Allocate Resources and Track Labor Costs
Managing your human and nonhuman resources starts when you plan your schedule on our powerful Gantt charts. You’ll be able to set the availability of your team members, including PTO, vacation and global holidays, which makes it easier to assign them to tasks.
Then you can go to our color-coded workload chart to see who is overallocated and reallocate their task right from the chart to balance the team’s workload and keep them working at capacity and productivity. We also have secure timesheets to streamline payroll and track your team’s progress on their tasks and how much it’s costing, so you can stay on budget.
Keep Track of Progress With Real-Time Dashboards
Whenever you want to get a high-level overview of your progress and performance just toggle over to our real-time project portfolio dashboard. It captures live data and displays it on easy-to-read graphs and charts that track project KPIs, such as time, cost and more. Best of all, unlike lightweight alternatives, there’s no time-consuming and complicated setup. Our dashboard is ready when you are. If you want more detailed information, use our customized reports. You can quickly generate a status or portfolio report or reports on variance, workload, timesheets and more.
If you’re still interested in exploring strategic goals and how to achieve them, then you’re in the right place. ProjectManager is an online hub for all things related to project management and the industries that use the discipline. We publish weekly blogs, tutorial videos and, of course, free templates. Here are some links to related content for you to read.
- Strategic Planning in Business
- How to Create a Strategic Roadmap for Your Business
- Strategic Planning Models: An Introduction to 5 Popular Models
- Creating a Tactical Plan for Your Business
- Operational Planning: How to Make an Operations Plan
ProjectManager is online project and portfolio management software that connects teams in the office, out in the field or anywhere in between. They can share files, comment at the task level and stay updated with email and in-app notifications. Join teams at Avis, Nestle and Siemens who are using our software to deliver successful projects. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.