Checking up on the progress your organization is making or isn’t making is a balancing act. If you check too often you can easily be accused of micro-managing your people. If you don’t check often enough, a serious problem can go undetected and keep you from achieving desired results.
The Entrepreneurial Operating System implements weekly scorecards throughout your organization to give you an absolute, objective pulse on your business. Don’t confuse scorecards with dashboards, KPI’s or other snapshots of your company.
There are two keys to using scorecards effectively:
- Measure critical business activities. Like a scorecard in a sports event, they are keeping track of key activities. In this case, not touchdowns or points above or below par, but rather key activities at each level in the company that lead to “touchdowns”. Think of any function in your business – customer service for example. Would knowing whether the number of unresolved customer complaints is rising or falling over time be important? What would the pattern tracked weekly over time be able to tell you?
- Assign responsibility for each number. One person must be responsible for delivering each critical activity at the level required to succeed. In fact, best practice is for the person to report the “activity result” in their weekly team meeting. If the critical business activities are happening each week, you can be assured things are on-track and going well. Weekly reporting makes it more personal and generally results in greater commitment and accountability.
Start defining your critical business activities and measurables at the leadership team level first and then work down from there to create scorecards and measurables for each department. Track your numbers quarterly, in thirteen week segments. See what the numbers and trends tell you. Refine as needed.
You will be happy you did. No more chasing after people to see how your company is doing. The objective data you need flows from the individual contributors up to you. And you will know for sure if you are making progress.