I’m a big fan of one page management reports. Clear, concise, well-presented management reports are a critical element in achieving a firm’s strategic objectives. They provide partners and practice managers with the necessary feedback to check whether their day to day decisions are progressing the firm towards achieving its goals.
Depending on the firm’s vision and strategy the information and metrics will be very different. For recently established firms, revenue growth will be of most importance. For more mature firms, revenue growth will still be a focus but attention will also be on productivity improvements and cost reductions.
One framework to use in deciding what information to include in your one page management report is Kaplan and Norton’s Balanced Scorecard framework. The Balanced Scorecard framework is a methodology that is useful in establishing the key financial and non-financial objectives and measures that will guide the firm in achieving its strategy.
The more typical balance scorecard will include objectives and measures across four elements being financial, client, internal business processes and people. However, the use of these elements is not mandatory and a firm can choose more appropriate elements based on their own circumstances.
As an example, a newly established firm whose focus is on revenue growth may have strategic objectives and measures as follows:
When choosing your strategic objectives keep in mind what competitive advantages your firm is seeking to build. The objectives chosen should easily convey what the firm’s strategy is, what the drivers of competitive advantage are, and how it is going to be achieved.
In the table above, I have included both lag and lead measures. It is a good idea to include a number of these lead measures that are your performance drivers. These lead measures reinforce what actions are required from the firm to achieve its strategic objectives. The movements in the lag measures over time will provide feedback as to whether the actions chosen are delivering the expected results and if not adjustments can be made.
When the one page management report is thoughtfully constructed and is aligned to the firm’s strategy it creates a feedback loop that is an essential tool for partners and managers to use in driving the firm forward.
- Posted by Steve Pickering
- On August 22, 2014
- 0 Comments