June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.501.1 - 12.501.12
Development and Implementation of a Balanced Scorecard for Engineering Distance Learning Programs
Abstract For more than twenty years, engineering distance learning programs have provided post- baccalaureate education for working engineers and scientists. The programs are offered in various engineering disciplines that include civil engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, and industrial engineering. State of the art technology that includes interactive videoconferencing and online delivery methods are used to deliver classes to students. The programs did not have a performance indicator to help monitor and evaluate its performance. The Office of Distance Learning and Computing (ODLC) took the initiative to develop a balanced scorecard as a tool to monitor and indicate the performance of the programs. The initiative was driven by the continuous improvement process for one of its distance learning programs, the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP). After successfully developing and implementing a balance scorecard for CGEP, ODLC expanded the balance scorecard to incorporate all its distance learning programs including Master’s of Information Technology (MIT) program, National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) program, and School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences (SBES) program. This paper reviews development, implementation, and maintenance phases of the balance scorecard. Guidelines and lessons learned throughout these processes are presented. The process of selecting a software program to help maintain the balance scorecard is discussed.
Introduction Balanced scorecard was first introduced in the early 1990s by Dr. Robert Kaplan of Harvard Business School and Dr. David Norton, a president of a Massachusetts consulting firm. Balanced scorecard is a tool that “translates an organization's mission and strategy into a comprehensive set of performance measures that provides the framework for a strategic measurement and management system”.1 The balanced scorecard has replaced the traditional performance measurements that only concentrate on financial and accounting measures. These traditional measures fail to address many issues that businesses should be concerned with and fail to monitor multiple dimensions of performance.2 Traditional measures provide insufficient and distractive reports for managers to use to make decisions. Numerous studies indicate the limitations and ineffectiveness of the traditional financial performance measures. Kaplan and Norton3 pointed out that financial measures only focus on the past and are unable to reflect current value-added actions. Financial measures fail to include other critical factors such as customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and the quality of products or services.4 Financial measures only represent one perspective of an organization’s performance and focus only on the short term goal.5 On the other hand, the balanced scorecard measures four perspectives of the organizations. The four balanced scorecard perspectives are customers, internal process, learning and growth, and financial.1 The balanced scorecard helps translate mission, vision statements, and the organization’s strategy which are in words to measurements that help clarify and communicate the direction of the organization to all of its members.6
The Balanced Scorecard Detail of the four balanced scorecard perspectives are presented below:1,3 1. Customer perspective: How do customers see us?
Thongsamak, S., & Scales, G., & Peed, C. (2007, June), Development And Implementation Of A Balanced Scorecard For Engineering Distance Learning Programs At Virginia Tech Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1889
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