Introducing a balanced scorecard approach to monitoring the quality and performance of National Cancer Research Network (NCRN) education and training events in the northern region of England


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Robyn Peary1, Steve Glover1
1The Christie School of Oncology, Manchester, UK

Background

The balanced scorecard (BSC) was developed by Kaplan and Norton (1992, 1996) to help organisations map their performance goals to their strategy. Balance is achieved by moving away from traditional financial measures of performance by introducing four perspectives; the customer perspective, the internal processes perspective, the learning and growth perspective, and the financial perspective.

The balanced scorecard approach has been increasingly adopted by public sector organisations in an attempt to get the best value out of resources invested in non-profit public services.

In 2012 we developed a balanced scorecard to monitor the quality and performance of the education and training events delivered in the NCRN workforce northern region of England.

Method

The scorecard was developed in conjunction with the School of Oncology balanced scorecard using a set of tolerances and a red, amber, green traffic light system. The design of the scorecard allows at a glance monitoring of each of the criteria derived from feedback data capture from delegates attending the courses. The data collected is in the form of a Likert scoring system and each delegate feeds back on all aspects of the event including value for money, and friends and family net promoter test, the effectiveness of the presenter, quality of the venue facilities, relevancy of content, and suitability of education and training materials used.

Results

The scorecard has proved to be useful in collating feedback from multiple events and being able to present the data on a single sheet. The at-a-glance system allows trends to be highlighted to the education administrator and this can be fed back to education commissioners at regional meetings.

Conclusion

For the balanced scorecard to be a success it is important to get the right metrics to make sure you are reflecting the strategy in the design of the scorecard (Kaplan and Norton, 1992; 1996a). It is also important to involve staff who will be contributing to the population of the scorecard data on a regular basis.

Many scorecards fail in their objective to improve performance(Radnor and Lovell, 2003). One of the main reasons scorecards fail is that they are not given the time needed to become embedded and that when times get tough many organisations will revert to financial measures (Gumbus, 2005).

The balanced scorecard needs to be a fluid document that can support the adoption of new metrics when needed and to discontinue measures that become irrelevant over time.