Measuring school performance paper


The purpose of this report is to provide professional consultation to the management of Little Panda’s Kindergarten on the use of the Balanced Scorecard in measuring the performance of the school. The report starts with the dissection of peer-reviewed articles on the Balanced Scorecard approach to provide preliminary knowledge to the management about the contemporary performance measurement approach. Besides, an in-depth exposition of the four perspectives of the Balanced Scorecard is done. The paper explains the requirements of the financial aspect of measuring an organization’s performance, then digs into what needs to be done when measuring the performance of a firm in the customers’ perspective. The paper concludes the section on four perspectives by describing the shareholders’ aspect and the learning and growth perspective in performance measurement. Lastly, there is an evaluation of Little Panda’s Kindergarten on its level of adoption of the Balanced Scorecard approach.

The Balanced Scorecard

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Since time immemorial, the standard measure of an organization’s performance has been pegged on its financial achievements. Organizations have been ranking themselves based on their ability to reduce the costs of operation and maintain high financial stability. However, this criterion of measuring organizational performance is inefficient in some ways. Considering that an organization’s survival depends on its ability to gain and retain its customers and satisfy its shareholders, the modern-daybusiness community has shifted focus to the needs of the consumers and shareholders. There is a growing desire for organizations to expand the criterion they use in measuring their performance and include other aspects as outlined in the Balanced Scorecard. The Balanced Scorecard does not only judge performance by looking at the financial success of a firm but also gives weight to other non-financial factors. The Balanced Scorecard measures the performance of an organization from the financial perspective, the customers’ perspective, the shareholders’ perspective, and the learning and growth perspective.

Articles on the Balanced Scorecard System

Impact of the BSC on Financial Structure of a Business

The article by Iyibildiren & Karasioglu(2018) describeshow to use the Balanced Scorecard in measuring the performance of a business and the impact of the Balanced Scorecard on the financial structure. The article starts by elaborating on the concept of performance from a multidimensional approach, thereby discussing the Balanced Scorecard method. Inthe discussion of the multifaceted approach to the measurement of performance, the article gives some measures that canbe used in the assessment of the financial structures of businesses. Lastly, there is an evaluation of how a financial structure looks before the implementation of BSC and after implementation.

On the performance management concept, Iyibildiren & Karasioglu(2018) discuss the traditional methods that are used by enterprises in the measurement of performance. The methods include economic value added, financialstatement analysis, market value added, and residual income. The analysis of financial statements is the most commonly used approach in the evaluation of a business enterprise (Iyibildiren & Karasioglu, 2018). The method involves the analysis of financial data obtained from all activities of the business. Managers, creditors, the government, and other stakeholders use this information to evaluate the effectiveness of the various business units. The residual income was developed to compute the net profit of anenterpriseby subtracting the expected profit from the actual profit (Iyibildiren et al.,2018). The expected profit is the profit that anenterprise demands from the investments used.

The Economic Value Added is the result of the difference between the cost of capital and the net income from the investments of a business(Iyibildiren et al.,2018). The authors argue that enterprises aim at getting a positive figure when the cost of capital is subtracted from the profits after tax. The Market Value Added is the difference between the value of the firm on the market and the value of capital invested in the business(Iyibildiren et al.,2018). This type of performance indicator aims at showing how the business is benefitting the shareholders.

The four performance indicators mentioned above are based onfinancial data alone and hence not in line with the requirements of the Balanced Scorecard. According to the BSC, the performance of an organization should be measured in terms of the financial perspective, the customers’ perspective, the perspective of internal business processes, and the learning and growth perspective(Iyibildiren et al.,2018). It is worth noting that in the four aspects mentioned above, the last three are non-financial performance indicators. Organizations should measure their performance basing on how they satisfy the customer and the shareholders, their ability to learn and grow, and their ability to modify specific internal business processes as they strive to fulfill the needs of the customer and the shareholder. The article proposes that firms should use both financial and non-financial factors in the measurement of their success. The performance structure of firms after the adoption of the BSC should have the financial aspects as well as non-financial aspects.

Role of the Balanced Scorecard in Organizational Performance

The article byKhatoon et al.(2014) addresses the various ways the Balanced Scorecard method impacts organizational performance. The paper reviews the literature on the impact of the Balanced Scorecard on organizational performance. The findings of the literature examined indicate that the adoption of the Balanced Scorecardby organizations enhances their profitability. Besides, companies that effectively implement the Balanced Scorecard method in the measurement of their performance experience a positive impact on their corporate image.

However, companies face difficulties in the implementation of the Balanced Scorecard. It is quite challenging for evaluators to assign appropriate weights to the four performance indicators. In the assignment of weights to the financial dimension, the shareholder, the customer, and the learning and growth perspective, methods used have questionable consistency and validity (Khatoon et al.,(2014). The subjective approaches used by evaluators in the treatment of the four indicators of performance lead to biases. As such, companies need to be extra careful in the execution of the Balanced Scorecard approach. Standard measures should be taken in the treatment of each indicator of performance.

The article also addresses how Balanced Scorecard impacts some sectors of the economy separately. The sectors discussed include healthcare, education, and hospitality. It emerges that healthcare facilities face strategic challenges such as low levels of responsiveness to their customers. The Balanced Scorecard can positively impact hospitals because it addresses the needs of the customer. In the hospitality sector, the Balanced Scorecard is mostly used as a strategic tool for controlling the performance of hotels. Lastly, in the education sector, the Balanced Scorecard is used primarily in development of a framework that measure the performance of universities in terms of their impact on their external environments.

Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Tool for Higher Education Management

The article by Hladchenko(2015)depicts a Balanced Scorecard as a tool that most universities have adopted not only in the strategic management of their processes but also as a tool for monitoring the performance. It emerges that universities use customized terminologies to refer to the various perspectives of the Balanced Scorecard. Nevertheless, the concepts and objectives of the Balanced Scorecard are significantly visible. There are common areas, other thanfinancial that the universities use in their strategic management, control, and measurement of performance. These areas include the adherence to the quality requirements of external stakeholders, levels of education and research, and personnel development (Hladchenko, 2015).

The article highlights some areas that are impacted by the adoption of a Balanced Scorecard in the management of universities. It emerges from the article that a Balanced Scorecard impacts positively on universities. Universities strive to excel inthe non-financial perspectivesto remain competitive and as a strategy to win third party funding (Hladchenko, 2015). Another impact of the Balanced Scorecard to universities is that it eventually leads to balanced growth in all of its relevant divisions.

The article also highlights the downsides of the Balanced Scorecard. Hladchenko(2015) argues that the Balanced Scorecard is difficult to understand and implement. It appears that most of the managers of institutions of higher learning cannot implement the Balanced Scorecard. It also emerges that the Balanced Scorecard is time-consuming. Therefore, organizations spend a considerable length of time for effective implementation. The article, however, maintains that a Balanced Scorecard is an instrumental approach to the strategic management of institutions of higher learning.

Implementation of the Balanced Scorecard

Overview of a Balanced Scorecard

The Balanced Scorecard is a contemporary methodology for measuring the performance of an institution that is continuously gaining popularity among different institutions around the globe. The approach is regarded as a strategic management tool that provides a framework for the conversion of the vision and strategies of an organization into viable and measurable action(Kaplan et al., 1996). The Balanced Scorecard, once adopted, will entail anorganization’s strategic aims that are not only financial innature but also in non-financial perspectives. The Balanced Scorecard has four perspectives, namely, the financial perspective, the customers’ perspective, the stakeholder’s perspective, and the learning and growth perspective. The perspectives that a company decides to adopt should have strategic aims, performance objectives, and a performance indicator of each objective.

The Four Perspectives of the Balanced Scorecard

The financial perspective is a common performance measurement criterion adopted by many firms. It enables an organization to measure the efficiency of past business activities and processes. Evaluators also use the financial perspective incomparing firms across the industry or beyond. Some of the most essential areas in the financial perspective are the financial stability of a firm, effectiveness in the reduction of costs, and efficiency in the collection of debts.

The customer perspective focuses on the satisfaction of the customer. The traditional methods of performance measurement and management concentrate mainly on the efficiency and the needs of the company, such as technological advancements in the production of goods. However, in the contemporary Balanced Scorecard approach, businesses use customer-focused strategies such that the goods produced are those that will satisfy the needs of the customers. Such an approach enables the company to excel, not just in current times but also in the future.

The Internal Business Process Perspective allows firms to go beyond the quality triangle i.e., the cost, quality, and time while managing the internal business processes. In traditional performance management techniques, companies focus more on strategies that minimize costs, enhance quality, and shorten the processing time of goods. In the modern Balanced Scorecard, companies can explore other strategies that may not be necessarily cost-friendly, provided they enhance the satisfaction levels of the consumer and the shareholder. Companies should look for ways of balancing their operational needs with the needs of the customers and shareholders.

The Learning and Growth Perspective is another area that is not highly considered in traditional performance measurement techniques. In the Balanced Scorecard presents the Learning and Growth Perspective to recognize the resources used in personnel development. Organizations are supposed to measure their performance in terms of how their personnel is capable of producing positive change and making improvements in their operations. It should be noted that the overall satisfaction of the customer and the shareholder depend on the efficiency and effectiveness of the personnel.

Initially, organizations were measuring their performance using the financial perspective alone. After the emergence of the Balanced Scorecard, it is increasingly becoming necessary for organizations to start thinking of other ways through which they can measure their performance. The four perspectives form a basis upon which organizations can develop their goals and measure the performance of those goals. However, it is recommended that organizations should not strictly follow the four perspectives, but rather look for other multidimensional means by which they can measure their performance. The Balanced Scorecard should be treated as a template that guides organizations on how to measure their performance from various perspectives(Kaplan et al., 1996). The firms can only two or three of the four perspectives, but the organization can as well use other perspectives depending on the environment and the context that it operates(Iyibildiren et al.,2018). Therefore, the Balanced Scorecard is a flexible approach that can be adopted widely. Different organizations with varying objectives and goals can customize the perspectives of the Balanced Scorecard to achieve a multidimensional approach of measuring and monitoring their performance.

How to Effectively Implement a Balanced Scorecard

For effective implementation of the Balanced Scorecard, a firm has to consider two or more perspectives upon which the firm’s strategic goals are anchored. Each perspective should have one or more corresponding strategic aims. The strategic aims should also have matching performance objectives. It is worth noting that objectives should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Realistic, and Time-bound). Therefore, each objective should be accompanied by its performance indicator. The firm can then define the time interval where the performance of its performance in the various perspectives will be measured depending on the needs of the stakeholders. A firm can then measure the level of its performance at the current period, thencompare it with the level of the performance in the subsequent period. An improvement is expected to be visible through the figures obtained if the company made progress in the targeted areas.

It should be noted, however, that effective implementation of the Balanced Scorecard is time-consuming and requires consensus among stakeholders (Hladchenko, 2015). It is also essential to note that the success of the Balanced Scorecard depends on the technical capabilities of the patrons, i.e., the mangers of the company. An institution that seeks to adopt the tool should invest in the training of the custodians of the Balanced Scorecard to acquire the needed skills and experience.  Nevertheless, the benefits of the Balanced Scorecard supersede the cost of developing the tool and implementing it.

Little Panda’s Balanced Scorecard Performance Measurement.

Little Panda’s Level ofImplementation of the Balanced Scorecard

The institution has not only strategized in the financial perspective but also taken some consideration in the enhancement of customer satisfaction levels. Even though most of the items considered in the financial report are meant to improve the wellbeing of the organization, they do not have significant overall value. Considering the students and the parents as the customers, the level of investment that the school has made to satisfy them is quite overwhelming. Even though the school was established as a for-profit institution, it has minimized significantly on its returns due to low charges. According to Edarabia (2020), the average school fees for kindergarten in Qatar is over QAR 27,000 per student, butLittle Panda’s Kindergarten charges QAR 17,250. The school charges comparatively low tuition fees, a sign that parents are not overburdened.

Besides, the school spends a significant portion of its revenue on the payment of teachers. In its financial report, the school spends 59% of the total revenue on payment of the teachers’ salaries. The high number of teachers is an indicator of the high quality of teaching. Despite the low enrolment of learners in the school, the school has employed a teacher and an assistant in every class. Furthermore, to add more value to the service the school provides, there is an Arabic teacher and a religious teacher on the compound. The different categories of teachers are there to maximize value addition by sharing the available workload. Considering that the quality of service delivery deteriorates with an increase in the workload, the school has made tremendous progress in enhancing satisfaction levels of the customer by hiring enough teachers.

Also, the school has employed other employees to work as a subordinate staff. There is an accountant, a school nurse, a human resource manager, a receptionist, cleaners, and many other employees. The subordinate staff enhances the quality of service given to the parents. Whenever parents interact with the school in whichever way, it is apparent that the reception they get is satisfactory. For instance, if they visit the school, they can find the school clean and get attended to by the subordinate staff without interrupting the ongoing class activities.

Failures of the School in the Implementation of the Balanced Scorecard

The level of implementation of the Balanced Scorecard at Little Panda’s Kindergarten is relatively low. The school has only considered the financial aspect and to some extent the customer perspective in the measurement of its performance.First, there is no evidence in the school’s financial report of investments made towardslearning and growth. Meaning, there is no staff development and hence the school’s is not prepared enough to respond the changing needs of the educational environment. Secondly, there could be serious inefficiencies in the internalbusiness processes that impact negatively on the service delivery. There is no evidence in the support of internal business processes. Lastly, the school should look for other strategic aims related to the enhancement of the satisfaction levels of its customers other than investing too much in a huge staff.


First, the school should look for more viable and strategic aims in the performance perspectives selected for use. For instance, in the financial perspective, the school should consider strategic aims such as increasing the enrolment of the pupils now that it is barely above the break-even point. The increase in the enrolment of pupils canbe achieved by earning a good public image due to the provision of unmatched services.  Secondly, the school should not hire anymore staff because the staff to student ratio is already high. A high number of employees is not a guarantee of quality output. Instead of having a large number of employees, the school should consider having a relatively small but enough number, then invest in the enhancement of internal business processes. For instance, the school can invest in communication technology to enhance the quality of teaching using a smallernumber of teachers.

Assuming that the recommendations discussed above are adopted, the school will experience a higher enrolment rate and hence generate more income. The additional income will increase the financial stability of the school and evenincrease the availability of funds to invest in other areas that enhance the satisfaction of external stakeholders. Besides, the school will lower operational costs by incorporating new technology in internal business processes.

The recommendations mentioned above do not provide an exclusive approach to the enhancement of the school through the Balanced Scorecard approach. The school management and other stakeholders should discuss other available avenues that canbe explored to increase the benefits accruing to the customer and the shareholders. A consensus should also be reached to determine the most appropriate implementation technique of the Balanced Scorecard tool.


The Balanced Scorecard approach is a vital tool in strategic performance control and measurement. Unlike the traditional performance measurement techniques, the Balanced Scorecard does not rely only on the financial aspect in the measuring the performance of a firm. The Balanced Scorecard considers achievements of an organization innon-financial aspects such as the customers perspective, the shareholders perspective and the learning and growth perspective. Little Panda’s Kindergarten has made considerable strides to conform to the requirements of the Balanced Scorecard approach although to a limited extent. The school has managed to utilize the financial perspective as well as the recognition of finances utilized in the enhancement of customer satisfaction levels. The school should improve its enrolment of pupils and adopt informationcommunication technology to achieve its financialneeds and further expansion.

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