Saturday, 28 July 2012

Book Review: Performance Drivers by Olve, Roy & Wetter

Performance Drivers by Olve, Roy & Wetter
John Wiley & Sons, 1999
Purchased from Amazon

On the one hand the topic of this book seemed old and faded - there must be 10 new methods for change and improvement being issued every day - yet on the other hand, it seemed fresh and comforting, like a newly washed pair of favourite socks. It was comforting because it answered the questions I had in a way which build on my existing knowledge, and fresh because it left me with new ideas and measurement strategies.

Part I covers the reasoning behind the need for a Balanced Scorecard and how it is effective for strategic control. I liked the way the authors explained how the dynamic between measures is so important. I think so often this interdependence is lost, with the result that we have undesirable knock on consequences in our systems or we miss valuable opportunities for improvement.

Part II takes you through the process of building a Balanced Scorecard. The cases from different industries illustrate the diverse ways you can do this. There is more detail in here about understanding and using causal relationships between measures.

Implementing a Scorecard is discussed separately to building and designing one. This section, Part III, covers IT systems that help as well as the facilitation process to ensure the scorecard is used to develop a learning culture rather than performance management straight jacket.

Part IV explains how you can use Scorecards to inform parties outside the organisation and there is also a chapter on their use in the Public Sector. If you are working in the Public Sector you may like to start with this chapter.

Finally, Part V has hints, tips and advice on making the scorecard process a success. If it were me I would have put these notes earlier in the book as they are important.

If you are bereft of any ideas on what measures to use then the authors have helpfully compiled a "starter for 10" list in a useful Appendix.

I recommend this as a handbook for those who are searching for ways to measure the dynamic variables in a system or organisation, with the aim of learning from the output.

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