Royal Navy, United Kingdom

 

The present case study, part of the larger PHD dissertation “Culture management through the Balanced Scorecard” (Woodley, 2006) examines the introduction of the Balanced Scorecard in the Royal British Navy.

 

Organizational climate before BSC introduction

According with the author of the study, before the introduction of the Balanced Scorecard the managing framework of the Royal Navy Forces was characterized by several elements as presented above:

 

Organizational climate before BSC introduction

  • Lacking corporate focus, reactive
  • The management plan consisted of a traditional collection of performance indicators measuring output in terms of ship readiness
  • Hierarchical management system, input rather than output based
  • Operated on a day by day bases tackling problems as they arose, with little considerations for cause and effect linkage and strategic issues

Source: Woodley, 2006

 

Purpose of introducing the Balanced Scorecard

Survey data interpretation (Woodley, 2006) suggests that the major purposes of introducing the Balanced Scorecard in the British Royal Navy were to:

  • Provide common process
  • Improve and provide common understanding of key issues
  • Improve management control of key issues

 

Involvement in the Balanced Scorecard implementation process

In the primary stages of the Balanced Scorecard implementation the key people involved were:

  • The CEO
  • The Planning Department
  • Internal consultants

 

In the subsequent stages of the BSC deployment, board members and senior manager became involved, while the middle management were the latter to get involved in the process. Junior managers and workforce had marginal or no involvement according with Woodley (2006).

 

Impact of introducing the Balanced Scorecard

The survey data shows that there was a positive impact of the Balanced Scorecard introduction by the Royal Navy in terms of management process improvement and strategic learning. Particularly, the following elements stood out:

 

Impact of introducing the Balanced Scorecard

  • Improvement in the management process and recognition for the need of better management tools
  • Shorter more focused management board meetings
  • A more strategic and holistic view
  • Better focus on the issues that required management
  • Improvements at the level of performance indicators (PIs) used

Source: Woodley, 2006

 

Lesson learned during the Balanced Scorecard implementation phase

As the survey results suggest most of the issues highlighted in the responses reinforce the lesson articulated by the Balanced Scorecard literature:

 

Lesson learned during the Balanced Scorecard implementation phase

  • The importance of top –level commitment and the need to demonstrate commitment
  • The need to restrict the number of measures used in the scorecard
  • Produce an initial scorecard and allow it to improve with use
  • Establishing of linkages with the scorecards at different levels
  • Need for predictive measures
  • Need patients to effect the cultural change needed
  • As a dynamic concept, Balanced Scorecard will evolve and change as the organization develops
  • Keep the BSC development team small

Source: Woodley, 2006

 

Extent to which the aims of introducing the Balanced Scorecard were met

According with the survey results, there is some degree of conflict over the Balanced Scorecard implementation success:

 

Extent to which the aims of introducing the Balanced Scorecard were met

  • Lack of initial understanding of the concept and its benefits
  • The benefit of having a strong champion or a corporate drive to introduce the BSC
  • The strength of the Balanced Scorecard concept
  • The problems and cost of introducing the BSC

Source: Woodley, 2006

 

Future planned changes to the Balanced Scorecard

Survey results suggested that although there is a certain degree of uncertainty in regards with the future developments of the BSC concept, specific commitment to developing and improving the process was clearly identified in regards with:

 

Future planned changes to the Balanced Scorecard

  • Development of key risk indicators
  • Improved alignment of BSC, both vertically and horizontally
  • Wider involvement in the performance management process
  • Better trend analysis and forecasting leading to more proactive management
  • Improved decision management and
  • The need to learn from experience

Source: Woodley, 2006

 

References

BSC in practice : Case studies

 

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