Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Building a Balanced Scorecard in K-12

The Balanced Scorecard is a method for measuring progress towards systemic strategic objectives. The BSC was created by two Harvard B-School Professors that argued that businesses spent too much energy focusing on a large number of metrics only related to the bottom line. Many companies, they argued, did not measure customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, or the preparedness of their employees to address their strategic objectives. Kaplan and Norton argued that companies needed to understand the relationship between well-trained employees, operational efficiency, happy customers, and meeting financial targets. The BSC is the resulting framework.

The BSC includes measurable objectives related to staff development, operations, customers, and finances (profit). The BSC is then used to continuously tracked the performance of your organization in achieving these objectives. The BSC has helped many businesses better understand their progress. In fact, half of the Fortune 500 use the BSC.

Public schools are frequently wary of adopting methods from the business sector and the BSC is no exception. However, as a framework it makes perfect sense and is easily adaptable. Move finance to the bottom of the hierarchy and it makes sense. Customers (students) become the focus of the organization rather than Financial. The stream of questions is as follows: How do we manage budgets to ensure that we can provide great professional development? What do we do in professional development to ensure great teaching? What does great teaching look like to guarantee students (customers) thrive in our system?

Adams 14 is working hard to create own BSC now for the educational division.

Here are some school districts that use the BSC: