FITT (Fostering Interregional Exchange in ICT Technology Transfer)
The Balanced Scorecard methodology is used, to give managers a tool for translating a strategy or a vision into actions and a clear set targets.
The Balanced Scorecard methodology can solve the following management problems:
Clarify and translate vision and strategy
Communicate and link strategic objectives and actions
Plan, set targets and align strategic initiatives
Enhance strategic feedback and learning
Balanced Scorecard - Management Tool for Cluster Managers
5 steps for defining the Cluster Management Scorecard Step 1 : Checking the strategy Step 2 Define the structure of the balanced Scorecard Step 3: Setting objectives, targets and strategic initiatives Step 4: Implementation Step 5: Learning effects
Step 1: Checking the strategy
Strategy is needed
Most cluster initiatives don’t have a fully developed strategy
First step: identify the real focus and identify the most important objectives (e.g. workshops)
Step 2 : Define the structure of the BSC
Transform the strategy into four or five perspectives
Each perspective is one main topic for the cluster initiative
The value of this approach:
all relevant targets/aspects are taken into consideration for the strategy
it avoids the exclusive focus on just one limited aspect
Step 3: Setting objectives, targets and strategic initiatives
The objectives of the cluster initiative are conveyed directly from the strategy
Focus on the objectives, which are crucial for realising the strategy.
Not more than 20 objectives should be written down.
For each objective, the following aspects have to be developed:
Indicators and measurement categories Find indicators, which help to monitor the achievement of the objectives.
Targets For each indicator clear targets have to be defined.
Strategic initiatives Strategic initiatives are all actions, which help to reach the objective.
Step 4: Implementation
Implementation is a complex process
A consensus about which perspectives, objectives, indicators and strategic initiatives has to be found with all members of the initiative
Members of the cluster initiative need to be involved in the decision-making process (e.g. in workshops for strategy definition)
Organisation of workshops to involve all members : normally 1 or 2 workshops are needed to implement a functional Balanced Scorecard.
Step 5: Learning effects
Implementation of a balanced scorecard is only the first step
constant use has to be secured: organize scorecard meetings on a regular basis
In these meetings: discuss categories, strategic targets, the current status and problems
Collect learning effects: cluster managers can see, which actions supported the realisation of the defined strategy and which actions were without effect. Constant monitoring Control and overview of activities Optimization of actions
Cluster managers of German speaking area (Platform is currently only available in German)
Facts & Figures
MFG: 3 months planning and implementation of the tool
External BSC expert involved
Target for 2010: 5 cluster initiatives
Balanced Scorecards for Cluster Managers PRO’s
Improves cluster management
Very flexible tool: adoptable to any strategy and objectives
Cluster initiatives to structure the complexity of their objectives and to visualize their strategy
New ways to measure objectives, which are hard to measure
Success can be made ‘visible’ by demonstrating which targets they have reached
Implementation and acceptation of the Balanced Scorecard.
A long process to develop a functional scorecard, the benefit of this methodology is not evident immediately
The challenge is to convince the cluster managers that they really need this important tool
Balanced Scorecards for Cluster Managers PRO’s
Balance Scorecard creates transparency: why has an objective failed?
Supports the learning process, as the tool clearly shows the positive and negative effects of actions
Flexible, browser-based software
Interactive tool allows everybody’s participation
Every member of a cluster initiative can have access to the strategy and can follow objectives of his cluster initiative.
Finding of the objectives, targets, indicators and strategic initiatives for the cluster initiative is complex
Cluster initiative must find and agree on a common strategy and objectives
Why is a Balanced Scorecard useful for cluster initiatives?
Challenges rise for cluster initiatives:
1) To translate a vision or strategy into concrete objectives and actions
2) Impact analysis and evaluation is needed for effective management
3) Lack of transparency: the value of efforts and money cannot be proven without a serious evaluation
The MFG Monitoring Tool helps to solve these problems:
The operationalization of a strategy is the greatest value of the Balanced Scorecard methodology.
It offers the possibility to think about the real goals of a cluster initiative
It helps to discover the ways, how these goals can be achieved within the next years.
The tool enables cluster initiatives to show their success and the importance of their work in a clear and structured way.
It is not always easy to convince the cluster managers of the balanced scorecard methodology Need to show the benefits (e.g. case studies) and improvements of the management
Find a consensus about the vision and strategy of the cluster initiative
Involve the members of the cluster initiative
Have an (internal or external) cluster expert for the moderation of workshops
Define the targets as concrete as possible (SMART-Rule)
Do take into account that further developments, updates (technical and content-wise) and maintenance are time-consuming and costly
Link to bibliography: The cluster initiative Green book Clusters: Balancing Evolutionary and Constructive Forces
Link to code book: Cluster, Cluster management, Network