A Balanced Scorecard for Public Agencies


I work with a lot of public agencies and their Boards of Directors. Typically, my focus is on helping these Board develop a high-level scorecard that the Board can rely on for measuring the organization’s performance. This, in turn, will accelerate the organization to attain higher levels of performance.

The important thing about the scorecard is that it has to be balanced. It has to balance all the aspects of what is essential to the organization’s success – from financial sustainability to customer satisfaction, from product reliability to ethical integrity.

The organization’s core values are the things that, if the organization could speak for itself, it would say are most important to it. Each of them can be measured. A balanced scorecard will look at 8-10 different categories of core values and assign metrics and targets to each of them. A tool on our website called Developing Core Values explains this in detail.

An unbalanced scorecard, in contrast, will have too many metrics. They won’t be focused on outcomes, but rather on outputs. Too many of them will fall into one category, like financial. Other core values, like integrity or environmental stewardship, may be neglected.

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