Creating a Customized Balanced Scorecard: Assessing and Optimizing Processes and Practices


The case deals with the creation of a performance scorecard for a division of the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), a public administrative training institute in India. The Joint Director of the LBSNAA, having observed government functionaries being obsessed with financial prudence resulting in “low cost delivery strategies” and cost-cutting as primary tools for optimization, was afraid that top-quality training would be difficult to impart at the LBSNAA. Hence, he proposed the creation of a scorecard, based on Norton and Kaplan’s balanced scorecard (BSC), but exclusively suited for the purpose, that is, assessing the training division that conducts the Foundation Course for Indian Civil Service Officers. The case argues that essential parameters need to be considered when creating a BSC to assess performance of participants and/or employees, particularly in the public sector and not-for-profit sector, to optimize the organization from all angles and not just the economic standpoint.

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Appendix I: Objectives of the Foundation Course

The Foundation Course aims to:

  • Instill the right attitude and values such as self-discipline, propriety, dignity of labor, commitment to the Constitution, and sensitivity to the rights of citizens, particularly the disadvantaged and differently-abled.
  • Build a spirit of public service and set norms of behavior and standards of performance.
  • Impart an understanding of the “machinery of the government” and of the political, social, economic, and administrative environment.
  • Promote all-round development of the personality of officer trainees and develop their leadership ability.
  • Build esprit de corps in order to foster greater coordination among different public services.

At the end of the Foundation Course, a trainee will be able to:

  • Display the right values, ethical standards, norms of behavior, and personal conduct expected of civil servants.
  • Have full appreciation of the principles of good governance, and their application to meet the needs of the citizens of India.
  • Possess basic administrative skills, knowledge and competencies required for their job.
  • Work in coordination with others and imbibe the esprit de corps of the services.
  • To appreciate the country’s rich traditions, history, culture and diversity, and develop a nationalist perspective.
  • To apply to administrative situations, concepts from the fields of economics, law, management, public administration, political and constitutional theory, and information and communication technology.
  • Have a greater appreciation of the interrelationship between the administrative and the political, economic and social environment, and of the implications of governmental action on the nation’s socio-economic system.
  • Have an all-round personality by participation in extra-curricular activities.
  • Imbibe the spirit of physical fitness and be in sound health.
  • Use the computer as an office productivity tool and learn the application of computer software packages.

Source: Course Manual of the 87th Foundation Course, LBSNAA, 2012. Retrieved from

Appendix II: Abridged Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the Foundation Course

  • The Course Team should have a preliminary meeting with staff of the Training Section and responsibilities should be allocated by the Course Coordinator (CC).
  • The CC should prepare a basic course design. Once the design has been firmed up within the Course Team, the same may be presented before all the faculty members, at least two months prior to commencement of the course.
  • A meeting must be convened by the CC with representatives of all sections regarding the broad action plan of the course, at least 2 months prior to commencement of the course.
  • Work must be initiated on preparation of the Course Planner and Course Manual within the Team while Faculty Coordinators must be requested to update the reading material and send the same to the Training Section at least 3 months before the commencement of the course. Around 45 days must be reserved for Hindi (the official language of the Government of India along with English. All official government documents are made available in both languages) translation of the Course Material.
  • Demand for all stationeries and similar items are to be estimated and must be placed at least two months in advance.
  • Preparatory arrangements regarding trek and village visits must be initiated at least two months prior to commencement of the course for which separate SOPs have been issued.
  • A letter of invitation from the Director would be sent to the Chief Guest for the inaugural and valediction at least two months in advance of the given dates.
  • Letters to eminent speakers and guests to be invited must be sent out at least two months prior to commencement of the course.
  • The timetable for the first 4 weeks must be firmed up before the start of the course.
Joining Formalities and Inauguration
  • A detailed program and list of responsibilities of various sections must be issued for the Foundation Course (FC) inauguration at least 7 days in advance.
  • Welcome banners and staff would be deployed at airport/railway station/bus stand to receive the FC officer trainees and facilitate their onward journey to Mussoorie by taxi/public transport. Orders must be issued 2 weeks prior to the inauguration.
  • Travel program of the Chief Guest and guest speakers must be secured in time and arrangements regarding stay and transport made accordingly.
Course Briefing
  • As part of course briefing, officer trainees (OTs) will be explained the system of attendance, Discipline, “Shistachar” or acceptable professional behavior, mess etiquette, academy email, academy facilities and system of online feedback and behavior with staff in the academy.
  • An ice-breaking session (in small groups of 30–40 OTs) is also held on the first day of the course to help OTs get to know each other. Special efforts must be made by the Course Team in the first 2 weeks to schedule activities in which OTs interact across sections to facilitate greater interaction.
  • A “Who’s Who” directory of all OTs would be prepared and placed on the academy website within the first 12 days of commencement of the course.
Physical Training and Games
  • Morning compulsory physical training would be organized on every working day during the FC and would commence from the day after the inauguration of the course. The reporting time at the polo ground would be 05:55 hrs.
  • Evening team games would be organized after 16:00 hrs. (as per timetable) in quarter groups, at least twice a week. Inter-section competitions would be organized by the Officers’ Club towards the last 3–4 weeks of the course.
Counsellor Groups and Mentoring (CGM)
  • CGMs form an integral part of academy training and OTs would be divided into small groups of 8–10 attached with one faculty member, who would act as their Counsellor.
  • There would be a CGM every alternate week for which detailed advisories would be issued by the CC to all Counsellors.
  • Guidelines would also be issued for various mandatory submissions, viz. book review, essay, and term papers to all OTs and faculty members for compliance.
Clubs and Societies
  • Elections for office-bearers of various clubs and societies would be organized by the administration section.
  • Clubs and societies would draw up a calendar of activities.
National Institute of Visually Handicapped (NIVH) Visit
  • A one-day visit (in l/4th groups) would be organized in mid-September to the NIVH to sensitize OTs to the needs of differently-abled persons. Necessary tie-up must be made at least 4 weeks in advance.
  • Weekend treks would be organized every Saturday in the first 3–4 weeks of the FC to acclimatize OTs for the longer trek in the Himalayas.
  • The FC trek would normally leave upon completion of 4 or 5 weeks of the course in the last week of September or first week of October. Trek report presentations would be made within 7–10 days of return for which two afternoons may be reserved in the timetable.
Cultural Activities
  • In order to promote better esprit de corps, compulsory cultural evenings are planned during the FC. Normally, OTs are grouped into three broad groups Counsellor Group-wise and allotted specific dates for presenting cultural programs starting from the last week of September.
  • In addition, various clubs and societies may schedule separate activities during the duration of the course.
Adventure Activities
  • OTs are also sent out for adventure sports, rock climbing, and river rafting. These are done normally on weekends for which the CC should designate specific dates in the Course Planner.
  • A jungle safari is organized in late November–December. OTs would leave by buses on a weekend morning to return by night. Prior tie-up for day accommodation and food arrangements would be required to be made.
Examination and Assessment
  • FC examinations are normally scheduled in the penultimate week of the course.
  • The assessments under various heads should be tabulated by Training 1 Section. A special meeting of all faculty members should be convened in the last week where the CC would present the draft of the Director’s Assessment before the Academic Council for approval.
End of Course

A Course Report would be prepared by the CC by January-end, with trend analysis of the past 3 FCs and presented before the Academic Council.

Source: Government of India. The Standard Operating Procedure of the 87th Foundation Course, LBSNAA, 2012.

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