Previously I’ve written about our company’s performance measurement system (also known as the SR5). To further explain how each element works, my next three blog entries will break down the components of our performance measurement system and describe each in detail. Today, let’s talk scorecards. What are Scorecards? We like to think of scorecards as the story of our performance in graphic form. Each graph on the scorecard shows how we’re progressing against a specific goal over a number of months. Creating Scorecards Each year, managers and employees at Service Express brainstorm together to identify measures that represent their department’s key performance indicators. Their goal is to track 8 to 12 activities that best indicate performance (tracking more than this can cause us to spread our focus too thin). To gauge success, they set a monthly goal for each measure. We also review and update the measures and goals annually to accommodate new business ventures or revised goals. Service Express has been creating scorecards for more than 10 years. We started out by tracking measures in Excel. Today, with 24 offices in 12 states, we’ve moved our scorecards to our company intranet so that everyone has real-time access.
But no matter how you decide to track your measures, getting started is what’s important. Using Scorecards Scorecards can provide valuable information about how your business works and the actions you can take to improve.
At Service Express, we use scorecards in the following ways: Tracking trends – Scorecards give us the information we need to understand our situation, and they keep us from overreacting. For example, after experiencing a down revenue month, we went to the scorecards to understand why. We could see that we had six better-than-projected months previously. We also saw that we had fewer first meetings prior to the down month and a lot of work in the pipeline, which ate up time that normally went to first meetings. So, we refocused on getting in front of prospects – and revenue results followed. Identifying ways one department’s results can help another – Sharing scorecards internally can help educate departments on all aspects of the company’s business. It also shows how the work of one department affects another. For example, because we track service statistics, our salespeople can use this information to speak confidently to potential customers, who, in turn, trust that Service Express will exceed their expectations.
Finding areas to provide support – Although we look at scorecards on a department level, we can also drill down to the regional or office level to identify areas that need support. Scorecards can help us identify these needs and address them through resources and/or training to help offices achieve their performance goals. Driving organizational growth – By tracking and sharing our performance on scorecards, we stay focused on our goals (always keeping our Four Core Objectives in mind). This creates synergy and boosts productivity.
And, as an employee, it’s empowering to know that at any given moment you can know how your company is performing and even take part in creating new initiatives to help it soar to new heights or get back on track when needed. The Benefits of Scorecards We believe that what gets measured gets done. So even though it takes time to develop a reliable scorecard and learn to trust its measures, we’ve found the benefits to be worth it:
- Scorecards outline priorities and goals on a corporate, team and individual level.
- They provide valuable feedback on our performance.
- They communicate results in a non-verbal, concise format.
Scorecards have been an extremely effective tool in our performance measurement system and are a reliable indicator of performance. Watch for our next blog post in which we’ll talk about our second performance measurement tool – ROIs.