When expensive assets and lives are at risk
A modern airliner uses thousands of sensors placed around the aircraft to inform the pilots on how the plane is performing.
Thousands of sensors could mean hundreds of instruments to check. Yet the dashboard in the cockpit of a modern airliner displays only the critical things the pilot needs to know to safely reach their planned destination.
To ensure a safe flight, the pilot plans the journey in advance and enters it into the aircraft’s computer. The information entered is an ideal picture of the journey ahead when everything goes as planned. In effect it’s a strategic plan that is shared with the airspace controllers along the route. Those responsible for each flight are constantly asking “Is this aircraft operating as expected” and “Is it tracking to the planned destination?”
Dashboards and scorecards are the business leaders best friends
Leaders of growing businesses need to constantly know how the whole company is performing and get accurate feedback on the leader’s attempts to improve the company. The right information is critical. Senior leaders receive lots of information that is NOT important to their businesses unique journey and often too little of what they actually need. Leaders who ‘hold’ a clear picture of the strategic ‘flight path’ their business must hold to, have a much better idea of the information they need than leaders who don’t have a clear strategic ‘flight’ plan.
Dashboard: A single place where critical ‘real-time’ information about major functions is displayed - available ‘at a glance’ to those who carry the responsibility for the vehicle or business performance. The dashboard answers the question ‘Is this vehicle/business currently fit for our purpose?”
Scorecard: A unique set of critical parameters and objectives necessary for a vehicle or business to safely reach its planned destination. The scorecard answers the question ‘Are we on track to reach our planned destination?”
The right sort of measures ensures that everyone focuses on the right things for this business.
Combined, the business dashboard and scorecard provide a highly effective means to achieving the strategic objectives that the owners wish to achieve. Like the warning parameters built in to an airliner by the aircraft designers, the scorecard is a system designed to make sure each part of the business stays on track as it grows in order to reach its big objectives as directly and effectively as possible.
All parts of the business should be improved together. If one area of the business becomes weaker the dashboard will warn the directors who know, that like an aircraft, the business is only as strong as the weakest area. The right scorecard for the business will get strategies, big goals, people and performance targets working together in ways that make complete sense to everyone.
Scorecards are an essential business leaders aid. It’s difficult to have an efficient and effective business without them.
Corporate River can show company directors how to introduce a well-tested dashboard and scorecard into their monthly business meetings. This is not an expensive or a disruptive process, but it does take a desire for the directors to step their business up to a new level and run their business more effectively.