As a value indicator, the Balanced Scorecard method links business strategy with financial performance. In this case, the traditional metric of financial performance is balanced by three more fluid activities: customer relationships, operational excellence and the organization's ability to learn and improve.\n\nBecause the Balanced Scorecard requires every action to answer to established corporate goals, using the Scorecard within IT can help promote alignment and eliminate projects that contribute little or no strategic value. Here's more on what you need to know about the Balanced Scorecard.\n\nCase Study: Why You Keep Score\nBNSF Railway uses the Balanced Scorecard to prove IT's value and to create synergy with business strategy\n\nHow to Use the Balanced Scorecard\nDeveloped in the early 1990s, this valuation methodology converts an organization's value drivers-such as customer service, innovation, operational efficiency and financial performance-to a series of defined metrics. Companies record and analyze these metrics to help determine if they're achieving strategic goals. Nevertheless, installing the Balanced Scorecard within IT is a challenge.\n\nThree Questions with Robert Kaplan\nCIO catches up with Robert S. Kaplan, Marvin Bower professor of leadership development at Harvard Business School and the co-creator of the Balanced Scorecard, to hear his thoughts on the state of the Scorecard.\n\nBalancing Scorecards With Reality\nThe Balanced Scorecard is useful because it is grounded in reality. We can't have it all; trade-offs are inevitable among financial contribution, customer focus, operational excellence and organization maturity-the four dimensions of the Balanced Scorecard. However, it's important to distinguish between the Balanced Scorecard and the role of operational measurements. \n\nABC: An Introduction to Balanced ScorecardMost organizations can benefit from a balanced scorecard approach, which can raise the profile of key projects, increase functionality, and predict future performance\u2014and it often leads to greater financial return.