BSC expertise sourcing


Implementing the Balanced Scorecard system in an organization is a sustained effort that requires knowledge and expertise. There are two ways in which this knowledge and expertise can be sourced, whenever an organization decides to embark in a change program that has at its core the implementation of a Balanced Scorecard.


One way to do it is internally, by exploiting the knowledge capabilities the organization already detains. Another way to do it is by engaging the services of an external consultant. Both ways were documented in the specialty literature as having been pursued by companies around the world who reported successful Balanced Scorecard implementation programs.


As Balanced Scorecard is a flexible structure that reflects the unique strategic path of each individual organization, its implementation requires different levels of expertise and knowledge according with the size of the organization and organizational levels at which is intended to be applied.


Implementing BSC with external consultant expertise

The number of organizations who are applying and using today the Balanced Scorecard framework is continuously increasing. Many of these are medium or large organizations. As one of the latest Bain & Company surveys completed by 1430 international executives from large companies shows there is a 53 percent adoption of the Balanced Scorecard concept in these corporations (Rigby and Bilodeau, 2009).


According with Andersen et al (2001), one of the reasons for the predominantly focus of Balanced Scorecard implementation in large corporations may be found in the multiple challenges that the management of these multilayered corporations imposed in terms of change, communication, coordination and control issues.


As Balanced Scorecard implementations in large organizations needs to address multiple and complex issues, external consultant sourcing is one of the preferred solutions by many medium and large companies. However smaller companies, must not be neglected. Practical experience showed that small organizations when lacking the necessary expertise may embark on the same path, requesting external expertise.


Benefits of using an external consultant expertise

There are several benefits brought by using an external consultant expertise in the Balanced Scorecard implementation projects.

  • the experience these consultants can potentially bring from several BSC implementations
  • expertise and profound knowledge of the latest developments in the field, as performance management is an area under continuous research and development
  • facilitation of the implementation, leading  and orchestrating  the strategic planning process
  • reconciling divergent opinions and keeping the strategic planning process on track  as external consultant are neutral and apolitical to the organization
  • project manage the implementation
  • facilitating the knowledge transfer into the organization


The last point emphasized above represents a very important part of a Balanced Scorecard implementation whenever the services of an external consultant are engaged. As Balanced Scorecard is a dynamic framework, flexible and capable of change whenever the business conditions request that, it is not self sustaining in its nature (Niven, 2002). Accordingly, a custodian of the Balanced Scorecard must be chosen from the inside of the organization, to manage the Balanced Scorecard system once implemented.


This person will be equated with the Balanced Scorecard and seen as its ambassador and thought leader (Niven, 2002). Thus, an intensive transfer of knowledge must be performed between the external consultant facilitating the BSC implementation process and the future custodian of the Balanced Scorecard and its team (where the case).


Implementing the BSC internally

As an alternative to the engagement of the external consultant for facilitating and conducting the Balanced Scorecard implementation, the adoption of the BSC can be orchestrated internally, by using the organizational knowledge capabilities.


Despite the fact that this solution, was not adopted on a large scale in the first years from the promotion of the BSC concept due to lack of a necessary body of knowledge and expertise, the availability of an increased volume of information on the subject in the last decade due to intensive research, has made the internal BSC implementation practice more common. 


As the practice of organizational performance management spreads and becomes more common, an increased number of startups and small companies are starting to adopt the BSC.  However, as in many of these companies, financial resources necessary to hire an external consultant are scarce, internal solutions for Balanced Scorecard implementations are preferred.


These are facilitated by the large body of knowledge on the subject and the availability of different standardized BSC packages that can be easily customized with minimal intervention. These solutions usually consist of performance scorecards and dashboards grouped by industry, functional area or type of activity that can be easily purchased from the internet and then customized to the needs of the organizations.



  • Andersen, H., Cobbold, I. & Lawrie, G. (2001), Balanced Scorecard implementation in SMEs: reflection in literature and practice.
  • Niven, P. (2002), Balanced Scorecard step by step: Maximizing Performance and Maintaining Results, Wiley, New York, NY.
  • Rigby, D. & Bilodeau, B. (2009), Management tools and trends 2009, Bain & Company, retrieved at 18 August 2010 from

BSC system : Implementation


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