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An intense and complex strategic plan, with no less than 30 indicators

The Legal and Corporate Affairs Department of Microsoft has one or more people dedicated to looking at the company’s strategy and trying to define the goals and develop scenarios for the Department to support those strategies. “The department’s Strategic Framework consists of a three-year strategy with defined outcomes that summarize a course of action assembled on a scorecard with 30 indicators spread across seven headings that are directly tied to goals and outcomes of the business. Thus, Economic (four indicators), IQ and IP (nine indicators), Software and Additional Services (four), Citizenship (one), Interoperability and Anti-trust (four), Operational Excellence (3) and People and Culture (five indicators).” Thirty indicators on one dashboard (See my post of May 19, 2009: dashboards with 6 references.)!

This description comes from an article by Richard Stock at Catalyst Consulting, where he reports comments in late 2009 by a deputy general counsel at Microsoft. It’s hard to imagine how the Department keeps track of 30 metrics, harder still to align the lawyers on all those business strategies (IQ anyone?).

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One response to “An intense and complex strategic plan, with no less than 30 indicators”

  1. The so-called “balanced scorecard” (not really a dashboard) is a style that many numerically driven companies like to use. It has pluses and minuses. Biggest plus: reflects a complex world in which various folks two or three levels down are doing necessary work that might not be in the exec’s top-three buckets — e.g., diversity. Biggest minus: The map is not the terrain — people work to make their own (or their manager’s) numbers look good rather than focus on the far messier business of making the company work well.