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Performance measurement at work: the Balanced Scorecard model will enable CMA Canada to effectively implement strategy, manage risk, and address stakeholder expectations.

For any organization to achieve operational and strategic excellence, it must have a rigorous set of performance measures to ensure it effectively implements strategy, manages risk, and proactively addresses stakeholder expectations. As a result, the CMA Canada partnership has developed performance measures based on the Balanced Scorecard model.

"The Balanced Scorecard uses a blend of financial and non-financial, leading and lagging performance indicators that address an organization's strategy across various perspectives," said Ron Stoesz, Chair of CMA Canada's National Board of Directors. "In the case of CMA Canada and the CMA Canada partnership, the perspectives include risk management, stakeholder expectations, internal business processes, learning and growth, fiscal accountability, and partnership effectiveness."

The right measures

The Strategic Review Performance Committee observed that there has been some commonality among the measures of the partners related to member growth and retention; however, some partners appeared to have more depth to some measures than others. It was noted that generally the partnership "practises what it preaches" since the partners do generally measure their performance.

"Using the principles of the Balanced Scorecard as a reference point, the Committee developed major groupings or components of performance measures and their relationship," explained Stoesz. "It determined that the performance measurement model must be linked to CMA Canada's strategic plan. Accordingly, the Committee devoted considerable time to the strategic plan, its key strategies and strategic objectives."

He said that the CMA Canada national partner and partnership have distinct areas of focus. The CMA Canada national partner will focus on risk management, stakeholder, internal business processes, and learning and growth. The CMA Canada partnership will in turn focus on fiscal accountability, stakeholder, and partnership effectiveness.

Eight principles have been chosen to determine the performance measures for CMA Canada and the partnership, as follows:

Controllable -- the organization, CMA Canada, must have a high degree of control of the measure.

Measurable -- the measure must be quantitative, not qualitative.

Consistent -- the measure must be consistent over a long period.

Link to the Strategic Plan -- the measure must be directly linked to CMA Canada strategies.

Fewer Rather than More -- the number of measures should be sufficiently few so that Directors can focus on a manageable number.


Common Across Partnership -- in the event that a measure applies to the partners of CMA Canada, the term must be appropriately defined to ensure each partner provides consistent data.

Simple -- the measure must be easily defined as it will provide for ease of communication and understanding.

Balanced -- the measures must provide a balanced perspective of CMA Canada. (Indicators that provide leading data should be balanced against lagging data. There must also be consistent weighting between financial and non-financial indicators.)

CMA Canada and partnership overview

"The Balanced Scorecard framework developed for CMA Canada and the partnership recognizes CMA Canada as one constituency and the partnership as an equal constituency, forming a partnership with a common vision and strategy," said Stoesz. "It is also important to note that the implementation strategies of the constituencies may differ as their contribution to the vision and mission are performed through different implementation strategies."

As indicated in the accompanying graphic, a variety of objectives have been identified in the strategic perspectives of the CMA Canada national partner and partnership (e.g. risk management, stakeholder expectations, internal business processes, learning and growth, fiscal accountability, and partnership effectiveness).

"We have developed specific performance measures and targets for each of these objectives," said Stoesz. "Our Balanced Scorecard model will be of tremendous value in enabling us to accurately monitor and measure our effectiveness in implementing strategy, managing risk, and proactively addressing stakeholder expectations."

Pursuing excellence

In the pursuit of organizational excellence, the CMA Canada national partner has also implemented a formal process to position it as the model organization of partners dedicated to quality in everything CMA Canada does.

"Our quality journey started with critically evaluating our status across seven key criteria: planning, leadership, customer service, people focus, process management, supplier and partner focus, and organization performance," noted Richard Benn, Vice-President of Program Development for CMA Canada. "This was followed by an external objective evaluation of our quality process, conducted by the National Quality Institute (NQI). NQI is an independent organization that promotes quality in Canadian organizations through a strategic approach and application of quality principles, practices and certification based on established criteria. Certification by NQI recognizes an organization's achievement in implementing and sustaining a strategic management system focused on excellence."

The CMA Canada national partner has received Level 1 certification in organizational excellence under NQI's Professional Excellence Program.

"This certification demonstrates to members, employers, clients and other stakeholders CMA Canada's commitment to meeting and exceeding customer expectations in all the products and services we offer," Benn continued. "In earning NQI's Level 1 certification, we have demonstrated that CMA Canada has a defined mission, vision and values statement, and that processes have been established for their continuous renewal."

The certification also recognizes strong leadership at both the volunteer and staff levels. All staff participate in implementing quality processes. In addition, the organization has developed a structured program to engage, educate and involve staff in quality initiatives, and to acquire a sound knowledge of CMA Canada markets and customers.

The CMA Canada national partner is now developing a work plan to qualify for Level 2 certification in NQI's program. In striving to achieve Level 2 certification, CMA Canada will use various problem-solving tools, establish performance measures in areas where the need for improvement has been identified and fully implement cross-functional work teams.
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Title Annotation:Certified Management Accountants
Publication:CMA Management
Article Type:Company overview
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Dec 1, 2005
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