Within today's complex environments many organisations have pinpointed that an accurate understanding of their particular goals and the methods that they implement in order to achieve these goals is vital.
In conjunction with this organisations have come to the conclusion that no simple one measure can provide a clear performance target or focus attention on the critical areas of the business. Managers, today, want a balanced presentation of both financial and operational measures. Therefore, while they still require the financial measures, associated with the traditional approach, in order to assess the overall health of the organisation, they also require measures that will allow them to concentrate more directly on their strategic performance and long term vision. The Concept of the balance scorecard was developed in order to provide managers with such a tool. .
The Balanced scorecard can therefore be described as comprehensive framework that translates an organisations mission and strategy into a comprehensive set of performance measures that provides the structure for creating a strategic measurement and management system. As a result the objectives and measures of the balance scorecard are more than a somewhat ad hoc collection of financial and non financial performance measures; they are derived from a top down process driven by the mission and strategy of the business.
As already stated, the balance scorecard translates mission and strategy into a coherent set of objectives and measures. These measures in turn span across four different perspectives: the financial perspective is complemented with a customer perspective, an internal perspective and an innovation and learning perspective. The set of measures that that are developed in each of the perspectives can be considered to be a direct translation of the company's strategic objectives. They should be used to articulate and communicate the strategy of the organisation throughout the company as well as providing managers with a means of evaluating how well the organisation is positioned to face future challenges.