The Balanced Scorecard system was developed by Harvard professors Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton to give organizations a more rigorous way to measure performance by quantifying human capital, information, and culture using four perspectives: financial measures; customers; internal processes; and learning and growth. Their newest book is “Strategy Maps.” Kaplan says that a strategy map framework allows companies to identify and link together “the critical internal processes and human, information, and organization capital that deliver the value proposition differently or better. Thus, the process of creating a strategy map and Balanced Scorecard translates the formulated strategy into specific objectives, measures, targets, and initiatives in the four inter-related perspectives.” Kaplan argues that whichever strategic framework an organization is using, it “still needs to translate and communicate it across all business units and to all employees if the strategy is to be implemented effectively.” That’s where a strategy map comes in, because it offers a visual representation of the organization’s strategy.

HBS Working Knowledge 2 Feb 2004