A lot of call centers use balanced scorecards to track their performance. On the opposite end, there are some who are still not familiar with the concept of a balanced scorecard and how it works. A balanced scorecard is now a popular methodology to describe one’s business from the standpoint of the organizational performance. It constitutes of all the elements of a business that cannot be quantified or defined in terms of functions and costs otherwise.
Background of Balanced Scorecard
Initially, the first generation of balanced scorecard was designed at the Harvard Business School in early nineties of last century under the championship of Dr. Norton and Dr. Kaplan. However, it was not the first time that some work was done on such a scorecard. During the 1980s, some senior consultants had already initiated work on its foundation.
Since then, the technique has gone through various evolutions so that newer organizational developments can be taken into account. At present, the version of balance scorecard followed is commonly known as the “Fourth generational methodology” so that those new business concepts can be reflected.
There have been traditional models where measurements were defined and monitored wherever they could be done. Some examples would be profit, margin and financial cost. However, those techniques did not reflect the corporate strategy completely and their in-depth organizational structures.
Today, it is a widely-practiced phenomenon that many business elements do not measure a direct cost unit module or cost-related data. For many other companies, ‘profit & losses’ may not be the primary agenda. There may be other vital priorities that are lined up in their corporate road map.
When a call center uses a balanced scorecard methodology, it ideally signifies that there are 4 key segments that describe an organization to its entirety. These segments are as follows:
Balanced scorecard should be matched to the objectives set by management
A balanced scorecard is an effective tool in the hands of the management to find out the performance of a call center in a much wider context.
One of the key benefits of using such a scorecard is that their development can be in sync with the strategic road map defined by the senior management team. A balanced scorecard can help in measuring the actual performance achieved vis-à-vis the blueprint.
How a balanced scorecard is developed?
Each of the above four segments can be decomposed into similar core elements to ensure proper consistency performance measurement within separate segments. A balanced card can be further divided into 4 parts. These are as follows:
The road map gives the blueprint to be used to design and specify MI or management information. Data can be pulled in from a number of available data sources that are then fed into an executive dashboard.
When scorecards are used, managers and senior analysts can create a group of KPI or key performance indicators and benchmark them. Each of these KPIs can be measured and their performance can be declared against the road map set by the management.
The real merit of using a balanced scorecard is that after you have shortlisted the important business elements, the data sources can be used by you for routine feed, Reports can then be automated thus ensuring that you have useful, timely, consistent and accurate information.
If the relevant benchmarks are already in place, the next step would be to ensure incremental efficiencies so that improvement can happen on a continuous basis. They can be adjusted and refined further according to the changing business scenarios.
Merits of using a balanced scorecard
The main merit of using a scorecard is, it reflects all those traditional business elements that can essentially define and measure the commercial and all those other functions of an organization that cannot be identifiable otherwise.
A balanced scorecard can be used by a call center to maintain, monitor, create and identify reports in a highly consistent manner cutting across all the various organizational segments.
Once a matrix for these key components is constructed, they can be refined from time to time based on changing requirements.
Balanced scorecards are also helpful in digging into all such areas where measurement of performance is usually absent but once done will improve the report’s quality.
What are the resource requirements for developing a balanced scorecard?
There are many special software applications that can be purchased by you based on the complexity, nature and size of your call center. However, they may be costly with respect to design, purchase, as well as, implementation.
A majority of the modern day balanced scorecard have an easy to understand but effective interface. This is managed using a 3 dimensional view that makes it easier for the users to look at the status and the condition of the KPI’s performance. There are many companies where the balanced scorecards are prepared using an Excel workbook.