This paper proposes an application of the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) method at Touch Tecnologia, a company that develops software solutions for clients in the health-care industry (medical laboratories, hospitals and clinics).
In order to achieve so, a brief review about the subject is carried out. BSC is essentially a strategic planning and management tool that supports both tracking and monitoring of activities performed by a company. The main attributes of BSC are the following (LAWRIE; COBBOLD, 2004) the use of an integration of financial and non-financial indicators, choosing a limited number of indicators, clustering indicators into four groups (perspectives); "financial", "customer", "internal processes", and "innovation and learning". BSC selects indicators that relate to specific strategic goals, so that they can be recognized and actively endorsed by senior managers within the organization. In order to guide the BSC proposal, some of the company partners are interviewed, and the main strategic goals of the organization are discussed. Based on the interviews, several objectives are listed and clustered into the four perspectives of BSC. Performance indicators as well as methods for measuring them are proposed and entered on the BSC for each of the company goals. During the interviews, a clear emphasis is given on the "financial" and "customer" perspectives, indicating that the current focus of the company should be on these areas. Nevertheless, indicators from the other perspectives are analyzed as well, because BSC requires a balance among indicators. This paper concludes that at the software development industry, managing goals and indicators in the "financial" and "customer" perspectives tend to be more straightforward than in the "internal process" and "innovation and learning" perspectives. In the latter groups, it becomes evident that the evolution of the company in terms of team performance and staff knowledge is difficult to measure. Several metrics aimed at evaluating team performance end up focusing on the technical aspects of the software that is being developed instead, so metrics can be vulnerable to both manipulation and exploitation. Moreover, staff knowledge often acquired in intuitive and practical ways can be a potential pitfall in terms of quantification. Despite the obstacles that were pointed out, it becomes evident that controlling performance indicators speed up a company's strategic goal process.
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