Implementing the Institute’s award-winning framework, Nine steps to success ™ means your Strategic planning process includes a disciplined, practical approach to developing a strategic and management system based on the balanced scorecard. Training is an integral part of the framework, as is coaching, change management, and problem solving. Emphasis is placed on “teaching clients to fish, not handing them a fish”, so the scorecard system can be sustained.
A key benefit of using a disciplined framework is that it gives organizations a way to ‘connect the dots’ between the various components of strategic planning and management, meaning that there will be a visible connection between the projects and programs that people are working on, the measurements being used to track success, the strategic objectives the organization is trying to accomplish and the mission, vision and strategy of the organization.
How do all this terminology fit together?
The components of the management system are shown in the figure above (©1997-2012 Balanced Scorecard Institute). Starting at “high altitude”, Mission, Vision, and Core Values are translated into desired Strategic Results. The organization’s “Pillars of Excellence”, or Strategic Themes, are selected to focus effort on the strategies that matter the most to success. Strategic Objectives are used to decompose strategy into actionable components that can be monitored using Performance Measures. Measures allow the organization to track results against targets, and to celebrate success and identify potential problems early enough to fix them. Finally, Strategic Initiatives translate strategy into a set of high-priority projects that need to be implemented to ensure the success of strategy. Engaged leadership and interactive, two-way communication are the cornerstones of a successful management system. Once the strategic thinking and necessary actions are determined, annual program plans, projects and service level agreements can be developed and translated into budget requests.