The purpose of the Session Long Project is to give you the opportunity to explore the applicability of the module to your own life and work. This is done in a number of different ways-sometimes with cumulative papers, sometimes with practical hands-on experimentation, sometimes with reflections on a place of work or life. The common thread is personal application, aimed at demonstrating a cumulative knowledge and understanding of the course material.
For this course, the Session Long Project will take the form of putting together background from each of the four perspectives for a balanced scorecard approach to an organization or organizational unit with which you are familiar. In the final module (Module 5), you will have a go at strategy mapping. You won't be building a complete Balanced Scorecard-that would be far beyond our current scope-but you'll have a chance to see what goes into it and how it gets put together into a coordinated whole. As in the Cases, you'll be drawing on your previous coursework to help.
The Module 1 assignment has two parts. First, identify an organization in which you have access to at least some information concerning financial data, staffing and human resource systems, marketing and customer relations, information systems, and operations. While most material on the Balanced Scorecard is written from the private, for-profit point of view, it's perfectly possible to use this approach with public or non-profit organizations as well.
For the second part of this assignment, consider the organization's mission and strategy from the perspective of its financial operations (from your work on the Case, your previous coursework, and your background reading, you should be reasonably clear what such operations are). In this section of the assignment you'll begin to identify objectives and measures relevant to that perspective. How to write them:
When you have thought about it and made your selection, specify (in 2-3 pages):
- The name of your organization
- What this organization does-its mission, vision, and overall strategy
- The access you have to information about this organization. Remember, you'll need information about its financial performance, marketing, internal operations, strategy, and management systems.
Once you're reasonably clear on what's involved, think about your organization and its finances, and then:
- Identify at least three objectives for improving the organization's financial position and show how they relate to the mission, vision, and strategy of the organization.
- For each objective, develop at least one meaningful performance measure (metric).
- For each objective, identify at least one expected level of performance (target).
- For each objective, identify at least one new action or program that needs to be developed to ensure successful implementation of the organization's strategy (initiative).