Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 40 credits / 60 HE credits
In recent years, the area of financial control of companies has developed substantially. Traditionally, companies were using budget and simple product calculation but today companies need complementary methods for control in a broad perspective. Among these methods, the Balanced Scorecard has developed as a tool to meet the needs for financial control and measurement systems. The aim of the Balanced Scorecard is to increase the efficiency of companies both in the long and short time-perspectives by controlling, measuring, and implementing the results of a specific strategy.
Today, many companies suffer from internal problems associated with a lack of strategy in the integration of different departments. It is important for the business process to focus on obtaining favourable conditions for creation of new products and services, for increasing quality while reducing the costs by rationalization and simplification, and for reaching a faster delivery in terms of lead time. In order to become top of the line in the area of integration, Volvo IT has decided to perform an integration project incorporating a Balanced Scorecard.
The main objective for this thesis is to develop a proposal for the Balanced Scorecard, and to identify the critical factors for success and the corresponding strategic measures. The Balanced Scorecard methodology can be used to monitor and balance the whole company, as well as individual divisions, both on the long- and short-term time perspectives. At Volvo IT the vision is to be regarded as the ideal IT supplier among its customers. For Volvo IT we found that the following four perspectives are suitable: the financial, customer, internal, and development perspectives. These perspectives can be applied to processes and activities at all divisions and levels of the company where it is judged to be useful. The idea is that everyone in the organization should know exactly what he or she should be working on for increasing the efficiency both at the level of the own division and for the company as a whole. To reach its vision, the strategy of Volvo IT is to develop a profound competence in the area of integration.
Since introducing a Balanced Scorecard into an organization is a rather demanding project that normally takes one to two years, we have limited our work to create a proposal for Volvo IT. The design of the Balanced Scorecard also needs to be discussed in detail on the different levels at the company before the actual implementation. For the implementation phase, patience and flexibility is a prerequisite in order to obtain acceptance and understanding on all levels in the organization. Moreover, the use of a Balanced Scorecard is a dynamic process, where modifications are made regularly as internal and external conditions of the company are changing. We recommend Volvo IT to use the Balanced Scorecard, as described in this thesis, as a starting-point for the implementation phase. Based on the information obtained from our research interviews with key personnel, we have identified several critical factors for success and the corresponding strategic measures. We believe that introducing the Balanced Scorecard will be useful for the integration project at Volvo IT, strengthening the company with respect to future challenges.
2003. , 63 p.
Master Thesis in Business Administration (Magisteruppsats i Företagsekonomi)