Saturday, July 24, 2004
Scorecards, can't tell the players without a scorecard
The balanced scorecard is one of those management toys that absolutely makes me cringe. Apparently the term "balanced scorecard" has even been copyrighted, trademarked or in some way registered by some consultants so as to make even using the term squirrelly, but the clients are asking for it, and being good little consultants we shall provide same to them. Most of my previous experience with them has been in an HR context (my opinion of HR is somewhere in the same vicinity as my opinion of Hamas), and of course these scorecards try to take the most subjective of opinions and turn them into quantifiable measurable criteria to use to decide if the employee will be granted the privilege of continuing to toil under conditions that are Disapproved By Bad Housekeeping Magazine, or given the Soviet-style retirement plan (e.g. kiss on left cheek, kiss on right cheek, bullet in back of head). The only measurement that counts on these things anyway is productivity, whether it be billable hours or lines of code produced.
My reading assignment for the weekend is to wade through a huge amount of intellectual capital (read as marketing bullshit) and try to make sense of it in such a way as we can say to the client that we can indeed give them what they want. The problem here is that the client has been astonishingly vague in what they've communicated to us, and without specifics it's Not A Good Thing to start throwing out mid-eight figure project costs unless we know what we're supposed to deliver. The sum total of requirements we've gotten is a bullet list that's about a third of a page long. Failure to plan is planning to fail, boys and girls.
On the Gallic gall front, the following note was posted to the French consulate's door in New York:
"Visas for France are not a right. Persons applying for visas are requested to show due respect for Consular personnel. Failure to do so will result in the denial of the application and denied entry into any of the EU [European Union] countries."