Tag Archives: Microsoft SharePoint

Using the Balanced Scorecard to design your Digital Strategy

The Balanced Scorecard1 was developed by Kaplan and Norton as a strategic approach and performance management system, which enables organisations to translate a company’s vision and strategy into implementation. It works  from 4 perspectives:

  • Financial perspective;
  • Customer perspective;
  • Business process perspective; and
  • Learning and growth perspective.

These perspectives are a useful departure point for translating Organisational Strategies into implementable Digital Strategies.

The Financial Perspective

Timely and accurate financial data is always be a priority, but the emphasis on financial issues can lead to an unbalanced situation with regard to other perspectives, therefore we use the financial perspective as a quantification of the success of the other elements of the Digital strategy and programmes.

The Financial perspective is satisfied when we are able to capture financial information to report on the period. Generally, when implementing a Balanced Scorecard Digital Strategy, we determine which numbers we will be interested in seeing at the end of the financial period and how we will quantify the success of the implementation and applications.

These numbers could include ROI on the digital investment, percentage increase in sales, reduced cost of attrition and recruitment, increased margin on innovation, R&D etc. The numbers are determined by the organisational strategy and the metrics which the organisation choose to report on. They could be as simple as Balance Sheet and Income Statement line items.

The Customer Perspective

Using the Customer perspective to develop digital strategies should be the most lucrative aspect of the digital strategy.

The customer perspective elements of the Digital Strategy include providing information through the website, sales enablers including eCommerce applications, customer self service where customers can manage their own portfolios through extranets, building communities of value where customers can network and engage with each other, crowd-sourcing initiatives so that the customer can help the organisation design products, using social media such as blogs to educate the customer, social tools to create and retain relationships and a host more applications.

When developing customer facing applications it is important to note that these are not just transactional applications and that the their value is also derived from the data that we can collect around the clients which may be lead indicators of future value. For example on-line community satisfaction is a lead indicator; if members are not satisfied, they will find other suppliers that will meet their needs. Poor performance is a lead indicator of future decline.

The Business Process perspective

This perspective refers to internal business processes. Key applications for digital strategies include the development of collaboration tools, document management, content management, online project management, leave management and in-situ knowledge management tools to name a few. These applications are more successful when accessed through the Intranet, and perceived by the employee to be part of the Intranet, rather than a stand alone application.

Learning and Growth perspective

This perspective includes employee training and corporate cultural attitudes related to both individual and business improvement.

The Intranet is the key application for managing employees, programmes that can be run through the Intranet include employee relationship programmes, on-line learning and education, strategic behavioural alignment, succession programmes and performance management dashboards.

Management by Fact

The use of the Balanced Scorecard enables us to measure our Digital Strategies, applications and implementations effectively.

The goal of measuring is to see more clearly and to make wise long-term decisions. Measurements are derived from strategy to provide critical data and information about key processes, outputs and results. Data and information needed for performance measurement and improvement could include: customers, sales, market, competitive comparisons, supplier, employees, cost and financial data. Analysis uses data to determine trends, projections, and cause and effect. Data and analysis is used to support a variety of company purposes, such as planning, reviewing company performance, improving operations, and comparing company performance with competitors’ or with ‘best practices’ benchmarks.

A major consideration in performance improvement involves the creation and use of performance measures or indicators. A comprehensive set of indicators tied to performance requirements will align all business activities with organisational goals.

1 Kaplan, R.S. and Norton, D.P. (2006) Alignment Using the Balanced Scorecard to Create Corporate Synergies Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation.

About Digital Bridges

Digital Bridges creates high performance organisations by unlocking the business value of the web. We create digital strategies, user requirement and functional specifications for Intranets, websites and web applications. We also develop and implement social media strategies and create powerful digital brands using eMarketing and Communication.

Digital Bridges is technology agnostic and partners with great technology companies in order to ensure that our solutions are fit for purpose and deliver on organisational strategy.

Digital Bridges approaches the web from a management consulting position and relies heavily on rigorous academic thinking as well as business experience. It is headed up by Kate Elphick who has a Law degree and an MBA from GIBS. Kate has spent the last fifteen years of her career on the business side of the IT industry with companies such as Datatec, Didata, Business ConneXion and Primedia. Her skills include innovation and growth through marketing, communication, collaboration, knowledge management, human capital, performance management, process engineering and BI.

Digital Bridges has a broad range of experience working with significant, successful clients in the Financial, Gaming, Tourism, Pharmaceutical, ICT, Legal, Airline, Professional Services, Media and Public Sectors.

To find out more about Digital Bridges, please visit www.digitalbridges.co.za or contact Kate Elphick on katee@digitalbridges.co.za.

24 Comments

Filed under Business, eMarketing, Enterprise 2.0, HR Intranet, Interactive Intranets, Web 2.0

Employee Engagement using the Interactive Intranet

The Interactive Intranet is an Intranet that has been enabled with web 2.0 tools in order to facilitate interactions between the organisation and its employees and communication and collaboration between the employees themselves.

It is important, as an organisation, to use the Interactive Intranet to engage with your employees rather than merely using it as a tool to communicate at them. By engaging with your employees, you enter into a meaningful conversation with them that is based on a deep understanding of their needs, interests and behaviours. This improves morale, motivation, productivity and loyalty.

The Interactive Intranet is a complex and fragmented environment that offers you multiple channels to create relationships with employees, for example in their communities of interest, forums, eNewsletters, blogs, on Twitter, Linked-in and more.

One of the ways that an Interactive Intranet facilitates this engagement is through the use of profiling. Employees throughout the organisation from the CEO, communication managers, personal assistants debtors clerks etc. should have profiles on the Intranet which they create with their photographs, contact details, qualifications, skills and experience.

These profiles should be, in some part visible to the entire organisation, in other parts visible only to those people who need to see it. For example, leave management on the profile needs only to be visible between the employee, her boss and the payroll team, whereas, when the employee is on leave, everyone needs to be able to see it so that they don’t make assumptions about what is getting done.

As employees work on specific projects, their profiles could be linked to these projects. Awards and commendations could also be featured on their profiles.

Employees should also be given the facility to blog and comment on other people’s blogs. These profiles are an important way for employees to build up their personal brands within the organisation, and for the organisation to understand the skill-sets and experience they have within the employee base.

Employees also need to be enabled to create or join communities of interest, for example a CRM forum, or an employment equity forum. Here they can share ideas and knowledge which improves their ability to do their job more effectively.

When communicating with employees you can segment your communication into groups such as “Frontline Staff”, “The Executive Team”, “Marketing” “The HR Payroll Team” etc. However with your employees’ profiles you can also use these to see the way they conduct their profiles, the projects they are involved in and the communities of interest they join. This makes the Interactive Intranet an extremely powerful tool for understanding your employees’ behaviour. This will give you a better idea of where to engage with them and what they’ll respond to.

Initially you will need to focus a lot of your energy on experimenting to understand exactly what works for your organisation and its employees. The important point to remember is that every interaction with your employees is an opportunity to learn more about them, to strengthen their relationship with the organisation make the most of each interaction.

You’ll need track the success of your campaigns and conversations to see which message employees are responding to. You also need to be tracking the employees’ routes through the Intranet once they’ve logged in so that you can understand their on-line behaviour, where do they go first, what is popular, where do they stop using the functions available to them, do they create communities of interest, collaborate on projects, search for skills, share documents, instant message etc. The use of business intelligence tools and analytics could surface some important employee behaviour patterns. You could develop a mood indicator to measure the state of your organisational culture

What is the content of employees’ public communication with the organisation? One of the most important words in on-line employee engagement is ‘relevancy.’ You need to understand their needs and interests so that you can target them with messages that are relevant to them in the work context within the time frames that they are thinking about what they are doing.

Armed with this information, you are able to filter employees through a conversion funnel that begins with communicating meaningfully with them and ends with a loyal, productive workforce aligned behind your brand.

Interactive Intranets give you the tools you need to understand your employees better so that you can constantly tweak your engagement process and address them with the right messages at the right time to deliver on your strategic mandate.

About Digital Bridges

Digital Bridges creates high performance organisations by unlocking the business value of the web. We create digital strategies, user requirement and functional specifications for Intranets, websites and web applications. We also develop and implement social media strategies and create powerful digital brands using eMarketing and Communication.

Digital Bridges is technology agnostic and partners with great technology companies in order to ensure that our solutions are fit for purpose and deliver on organisational strategy.

Digital Bridges approaches the web from a management consulting position and relies heavily on rigorous academic thinking as well as business experience. It is headed up by Kate Elphick who has a Law degree and an MBA from GIBS. Kate has spent the last fifteen years of her career on the business side of the IT industry with companies such as Datatec, Didata, Business ConneXion and Primedia. Her skills include innovation and growth through marketing, communication, collaboration, knowledge management, human capital, performance management, process engineering and BI.

Digital Bridges has a broad range of experience working with significant, successful clients in the Financial, Gaming, Tourism, Pharmaceutical, ICT, Legal, Airline, Professional Services, Media and Public Sectors.

To find out more about Digital Bridges, please visit www.digitalbridges.co.za or contact Kate Elphick on katee@digitalbridges.co.za.

9 Comments

Filed under Enterprise 2.0, HR Intranet, Interactive Intranets, Web 2.0