How Do You Rate?
Here's a balanced scorecard for your company's performance.
- By Ken Thoreson
- January 01, 2006
It's January 2006. Do you know where your company is? Chances are that,
every year around this time, you assess how your organization is doing.
You probably consider factors such as past successes, areas needing improvement
and, most importantly, where you're headed.
Over the next year, I'll cover a series of topics intended to help boost
your organization's performance. My goal is that by January 2007, your
company will have exceeded your sales goals for this year.
Of course, it's helpful to have a tool to track your progress. From working
with hundreds of Microsoft partners over the past eight years, we've developed
a list of traits and values that characterize successful organizations.
Grading your company against this list can provide a quick snapshot of
how you're doing.
|Corporate culture is deep and consistent
|Business strategies come first
|Business development effectiveness
|The best practices are consistent
within my organization
|Sales is a corporate priority
|Structured process is key to success
and we are focused in all departments
|Teamwork prevails in all departments
|Training and recruitment are critically
important to our success
|Compensation is linked to corporate
|Corporate image and branding is important
|Key to Scorecard Results
|Minor tuning may be needed
|Improvement needed in specific areas
|Multiple issues require prompt action
|Problems organization-wide need immediate
Our scorecard isn't arranged to indicate any priority of importance.
However, for accurate results, you should ask "How would my employees
or other management team members score the organization on these topics?"
and consider their likely responses, as well as your own, in your answer.
(Tip: This quiz could be a great exercise for your next management
Grade your organization on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best.
If you rate your company as a 5 in a particular area, it means that you
feel you've done everything possible to excel in that category. A rating
of 3 indicates that you're making progress on addressing issues in this
area; a 1 means that you know you're in trouble! Take a moment now to
compile your ratings.
Based upon your scores, the next questions you need to answer are: What
are you going to do to achieve improvement where it's most needed -- and
how and when are you going to do it?
From working with Microsoft partners, we know that many need to address
several scorecard issues, but aren't sure where to start. They need to
focus on a specific action plan for making change.
I like to use pizza to illustrate the most effective approach. We all
can easily describe our vision for the perfect pizza. We can see it and
smell it; our mouths water at the mere thought of it. Your vision for
your business should be at least that real. But, like a pizza, the list
above is also divided into many "slices:Ó that is, topics that need
to be addressed. And, as with a pizza, you're probably best off tackling
just one slice at a time.
If you rated your company low in several categories, pick just one. Focus
on fixing that segment for the next 30 to 60 days. Then choose another
area to address for another month or two. Meanwhile, keep this column
handy so that in, say, July, you can check your progress. When you take
the test for the again next January, you're likely to be amazed at how
far your company has come. Between now and then, watch this column for
ideas to help you along the way.
Ken Thoreson is managing director of the Acumen Management Group Ltd., a North American consulting organization focused on improving sales management functions within growing and transitional organizations. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.