Overview: This provides quantifiable measures to the project team and stakeholder groups. This task helps communicate on-going results. An easy to understand measure of the change is tracked as a function of time. Depending on the complexity and importance of the PBC, a tracking scorecard might be sufficient. For some initiatives and in some organizations, a more robust “balanced scorecard” approach may be preferred.

A widely adopted approach to strategic management was developed in the early 1990’s by Drs. Robert Kaplan (Harvard Business School) and David Norton. Their system is called a ‘balanced scorecard’ and minimizes some of the weaknesses of earlier management approaches. A balanced scorecard includes measures of financial health, customer attention, process efficiency, and people (learning and growth) management. Adopting a robust balanced scorecard approach within an organization can take up to several months. A specialty organization, The Balanced Scorecard Institute, has insights worthy of reviewing at their web site. This organization provides a central source of balanced scorecard information applicable to government, nonprofit and commercial organizations.

Considerations: Changes can seem intangible. Changes are often very difficult to quantify. Even so, it is important to have a way to measure the change. Caution should be taken not to make the measurement difficult to understand. Ideally, the presentation of the scorecard will be interesting to look at or to provide a quick synopsis without having to deeply analyze its meaning. Who needs to know about the progress being made? Who will be motivated by progress? Why is the progress important to the business? Who might be able to creatively assist in developing a concise way to track and report progress? What are the primary interests of executive management regarding this change initiative?

Practices:

  • Gather potential measurement items. Review project goals, cost and benefit, change opportunities, and main features of the change.
  • Select up to five items (depending on the magnitude of change) as the project Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  • Brainstorm some creative ideas about how to track, measure, and report each of the KPI measurements.
  • Make a data collection notebook or central area for maintaining measurement values as a function of time.
  • Create a graphic that can be published in a prominent area. Label with a title, a brief explanation of the change; the graphic itself; an explanation of how to interpret the graphic and key dates.