This is the visual representation of the RSPB’s balanced scorecard. It shows our strategy, our strategic objectives, our outcomes, an assessment of our achievement (using a RAG rating) and the cultural values we expect from our staff and volunteers.
This is how we are using it.As you might imagine, there is a lot of detail supporting this.How did we get here?
Although RSPB has had strategic KPIs before, what is hadn’t had was a single methodological framework for developing and reporting key indicators, and the result was non-matching approaches to our work, from area to area. We wanted this to change.We started by commissioning a team of Masters students from the University of Cambridge Judge Business School to research the available models for strategic monitoring and measurement, from which they presented us with a shortlist and a recommendation based on their observation of how we worked and what sort of organization we were. They also conducted an extensive literature review.From that project, we chose a framework, Norton and Kaplan’s Balanced Scorecard
Once we had determined the framework, it was time to take the plunge. But we tend to look before we leap. So we invested time in reading the literature and developing an understanding of how to introduce the Scorecard.
This is the outline of the approach we took to produce our first scorecard.Learn: There is some brilliant work done in this area by charities like SightSavers. I highly recommend looking at the resources on their website. Really inspirational.Listen and co-create: I recommend to anyone undertaking this journey that they are very inclusive from the start: a project like this needs dedicated expertise, but it also needs exposure to the whole organization. So we interviewed board members and trustees, and we used a cross-divisional group to progress the work. Invest and identify: Our approach was realistic and tied directly to those responsible for delivering each element of the strategy.
Scorecards are powerful and potentially disruptive tools.We commissioned a paper on the impact of using the tool, and among the key findings were: Ensuring that the measures are defined by the people responsible for the work, under the guidance of analysts Ensuring that the results are presented in a consistent and clear format, ideally on one piece of paper. Ensuring that there is a shared and clear understanding of what the data mean. Share the results with all staff, so they can all see the contribution they make.
The dashboard holds a mirror up to the organization, providing an honest reflection of its progress.I will take you through the key features of the dashboard. Quite a lot has been written about scorecards, dashboards and visualizations, so I hope it is useful to see a practical ‘in use’ example in our sector. I am told that even in the commercial sector, the approach is applied inconsistently.
We want to ensure we manage for the outcomes, not just for the measures, so we like to remind people that the measure is a ‘sufficient representation of the outcome, not the whole of the outcome’When you think about KPIs, think about how they will be communicated. Is it better to frame a number as a straight count, a percentage, or a ratio? Some approaches are more transparent, and clearer for staff, than others.In the future, we will be indicating the year-on-year change as well as the predicted outcome one year into the future. This will work in harmony with our risk management framework and our horizon scan.
Naturally, we use the results of the detailed assessment of measures to inform our overall assessment of our outcomes, bringing us full circle.Importantly, this representation shows the balance, giving equal weighting to the outcomes that support our conservation objectives as well as to those conservation aims themselves.
This might seem quite well advanced but we think we are really only just dipping our toes in the water. We will need to revise the measures, and some of the outcomes, as we go along, develop datasets to give more meaning to our reporting, and integrate financial and human resources into the assessment of our work.
Why (10) – Alan
How (5) – Rob
What (10) – Rob
Take home messages (5) – Alan & Rob
“... but does it work in theory?” (1)
This is us (3)
Net income £90m (2012/13)
Staff circa 2,100
Volunteers1.1m hours pa
Nature Reserves 213
Visits 2.5m pa
Internationally via BirdLife
President Miranda Krestovnikoff
Our challenge (4)
The Scorecard is
used to review our
results internally and
to help plan our work
It is the primary
means for informing
It is used as the
basis for our Annual
Choosing a model
Models/Framework Background Key features
Norton and Kaplan
The EFQM Business
European Foundation for
The Performance Prism
Cranfield School of
TNC Family of
The Nature Conservancy
Measures to assess
Developing our scorecard
Learn – find out what other organizations are doing
Listen – interviews with Board and Trustees
Co-create – cross-functional group devised the
perspectives and the outcomes: our strategy map
Invest – understand what can be measured in
association with our outcomes and develop the data
and visualizations needed to track progress
Identify – there is an owner for each of our outcomes
Research – understand the impact of introducing the
The perspectives –
The outcomes –
elements of the
Against each outcome, a
measure, or set of
For each measure, a visual
representation of current
performance, the current
year target, and the long
And a rating, with direction
We are also
of tolerances for each
measure, and we will
be showing history
Take home messages:
• Be very clear about why you want it –
communication, alignment, resource
allocation, motivation (man on moon)
• Perfection is the enemy of good
• What is it replacing?
• Invest in securing buy-in
• Senior sponsorship
• Challenge accepted wisdom