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Dashboards and Balance Scorecard

By now many of you will have started to notice dashboards appearing in your respective departments. But what exactly is a dashboard and what does it tell people.

Simply put, dashboards are an opportunity for staff, and depending on the department, the public, to see quickly what the department does, what the goals and objectives of the department are, and how well the City is meeting those objectives; in a nutshell, a continuous report card of sorts.

“Dashboards are an integral part of not only communicating with staff and the public, but also serving as a daily reminder of what our goals as an organization are and whether we are meeting those goals,” said Corporate Services Director and Director of Initiative Management Mary-Anne Dempster. “In order to continually improve we need to be able to see very clearly where we are meeting our targets and where we aren’t.”

Ms. Dempster explained that the dashboards are an opportunity to pull back the curtains and be open and transparent as a municipality with how customer needs are being met.

Depending on the department there are three or four components to the dashboard:

  • The City’s Strategy Map.
  • The Department Service Profile.
  • Balance Scorecard
  • Additional KPI measurements.

“We want to include the City’s strategy map with the dashboard to highlight how each department and the work of the department ties in with the strategy map,” said Ms. Dempster. “The department Service Profile is a blueprint for why the department exists, why are we here, what service do we provide and who are our customers. And the Balance Scorecard shows us how we are doing with respect to our Service Profiles.”

KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are used to display a percentage and letter grade regarding how each department is doing in certain categories.

For example, a KPI in Corporate Services might be completing training for Green and Black Belts under the Initiative Management program. In Economic Development a KPI might be the number of tourist or business inquiries that the City receives and addresses. In Asset Management a KPI might include how long it takes to input a new process or procedure.

Each Division will have their own dashboard, the Department has a dashboard and the City will have a dashboard. Each dashboard contains the Strategy Map, Balance Scorecard, Service Profile and a visual display of some of the KPI results from the Balance Scorecard.

“By looking at the Service Profile and the Balance Scorecard, staff can see clearly what the purpose of the department is and how we as a City are doing with respect to that particular department,” explained Ms. Dempster. “This is about being accountable and transparent with our staff and the public, and it is about keeping us focused on the things we aren’t doing well at that we need to keep improving on.”

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