In July 2009, the Centre for Public Sector Service Delivery published a case study entitled
“Measuring Progress at the RCMP”, which “focuse[d] on the introduction and use of new
measurement and performance management tools at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police from
2001 to the present.”
- Describe and Explain the Main Conclusions of the Study.
The need to create efficiency, as well as the necessity to meet the Canadian federal government requirements of having a transparent, result oriented, and financially responsible use of public resources informed the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to adopt rigorous strategic plans and performance measurement framework. In particular, RCMP adopted the use of the balanced scorecard, the dashboard system, and common measurement tool. This section describes and explains the main conclusion that the Centre for Public Sector Service Delivery arrived at when they reviewed the performance of RCMP from 2001 to 2009.
The introduction of the balanced scorecard has been fundamental in enabling RCMP to focus on its strategic priorities. Generally, the main objective of RCMP is to reduce crime. Consequently, the balanced scorecard is designed in a manner that addresses this issue. For example, since the establishment of the balanced scorecard, there has been an overwhelming acknowledgment in RCMP efforts to reduce crime. In 2003, 47% of all interviewed individuals agreed that RCMP was fulfilling its obligation of minimizing the level of crime. As of 2008, these numbers had increased sharply to 56%. While in 2005 only 52% of aboriginal communities agreed that RCMP was providing high-quality services, these numbers had increased to 63% in 2008. Finally, the number of aboriginal leaders who agreed that RCMP provides leadership increased from 33% in 2005 to 58 percent in 2008. A similar situation was also witnessed in 2008 when there was an increase from 61% in 2005 to 76% in 2008 on the acceptance that RCMP was providing a good working relationship with aboriginal leaders (The Conference Board of Canada 1-12). Similarly, the use of the dashboard system enabled RCMP conversations to be more focused on the organization’s priorities.
Objective Measurement of Progress
The use of a balanced scorecard enabled RCMP to have a focus on how to measure its progress. In particular, the report concludes that through the use of the balanced scorecard, as from 2000, RCMP was able to reduce the levels of organized crimes, terrorism, as well as improving the department’s likeability with aboriginals. Notably, these were the priority areas for RCMP. In light of this, the report concluded that the balanced scorecard provided RCMP with a sense of direction.
While a balanced scorecard, a dashboard, and a common measurement tool are important in enabling an organization to achieve its desired objectives, it was found that not all leaders adopted the use of these tools. As expected, senior leaders who adopted these tools had better performance than those who did not. There was an improvement on workers satisfaction levels among those that their supervisors made efforts to make their work easier as well as those whose leaders used the balanced scorecard. The satisfaction levels increased from 37% to 67% among leaders who used the balanced scorecard. Interestingly, since the dashboard exercise is designed in such a way that all officers are put in the spotlight on their participation in critical activities (The Conference Board of Canada 1-12). Therefore, it ensured all officers were accountable and participated in their core activities. Consequently, it was found that the combined use of the balanced scorecard and dashboard had the overall impact of improving RCMP performance. In addition, the positive results shown by the use of balanced scorecard can motivate other leaders to adopt this tactic.
Matching Initiatives to Context
One of the main important phenomena that were observed in this content was the need to match RCMP’s initiatives with its environment. While the need to ensure there is efficiency, and that the goals and objectives of the organization are achieved is important, it was overwhelmingly clear that the environment where RCMP operates is unique depending on its residence. For example, the report noted that formal community consultations with the Aboriginals were inappropriate since these communities had very few people, some as few as twelve individuals. Accordingly, RCMP had adopted the use of informal meetings. In light of this, the report concluded that besides using the balanced scorecard and similar tactics, the understanding of environmental dynamics is crucial in establishing the most appropriate tactics that should be used to achieve an organization’s objectives.
Outputs Versus Outcome
The report identified the need for workers to identify the causal link between the scores of the balanced scorecard and the initiatives and outcomes. Specifically, this understanding would enable senior leaders to have a clear interpretation of the scores. In particular, the report gave an example that once crime rate has been reduced to a given low-level, increasing the level of patrol will have minimal effects on reduction of crime. Nonetheless, withdrawing these patrols may lead to a great increase in crime. In light of the above, the report concluded on the need for leaders to be able to understand the behavior pattern in outputs and outcomes when making decisions based on the balanced scorecard.
Linking Results to Planning
The report concluded that although results of the balanced scorecard, surveys, and the dashboard are appropriate in influencing a business’ future performance, their benefit is only dependent on their organization’s incorporation of the scores in their future plan. In this case, an organization should incorporate the changes or requirements that were identified by the balanced scorecard in its future plans in order to enjoy the benefits of this managerial strategy.
Focus on Key Objectives
The focusing on a few key objectives was identified as one of the main issues that led to the success of RCMP. In particular, RCMP focuses on five key objectives that it must achieve. As a result, it is able to allocate its resources and staff adequately. In addition, RCMP also ensures that the measurement tools for the balanced scorecard are few so that the calculation of these scores is simple and easy. In conclusion, the report emphasizes the need of having few critical objectives and an easy to calculate the balanced scorecard in order to identify the areas that should be assessed.
Creating a Culture of Discussion and Understanding
The report concludes on the need for leaders to create a conducive environment where departmental heads can openly disclose the state of poor performance in their departments. Importantly, this openness creates a conducive environment to have an overall approach to the performance of the business. In fact, some poor scores may be due to factors beyond the departmental head. In addition, some initiatives take longer than other in their implementation and performance. Therefore, through the use of conversation a leader should create a team spirit and enable individuals to embrace the balanced scorecard as a team building tool in which all individuals have collective responsibility.
Inasmuch as the assessment tools such as the balanced scorecard are available, leadership is the fundamental tool that ensures the success of the implementation of any organization. In its conclusion, CPSSD notes that the leaders of RCMP ensured that the balanced scorecard was established and adopted in the entire organization and used as a feedback (The Conference Board of Canada 1-12). Accordingly, the report exemplifies the duty of the leadership in setting the tone for an organization.
b.) Explain Why a Balanced Scorecard Would be, or Would Not be, an Effective Management Control System (MCS) for the Toronto Police Service.
The use of balanced scorecard would be effective if the leadership at Toronto Police Service (TPF) is willing to embrace it. In fact, the success of a balanced scorecard in an organization depends on the willingness of the leadership. An organization leadership is the one that sets the tone on the firm’s compliance with the terms of the balanced scorecard. In addition, the management promotes and establishes the mechanisms for its implementation in all areas of the organization. Therefore, as a pre-requisite for success, TPF must be willing to adopt and establish the balanced scorecard in order for it to be a success; otherwise, it is not an effective management control tool.
Having successfully established the balanced scorecard, this management control tool will create efficiency in the manner that TPF utilizes its financial resource. As one of the limited resources, the balanced scorecard would show the firm expenses that may be avoided. For example, the balanced scorecard would show the viability of the various police posts operated by TPF. For instance, if the existence of a police post in a specific location does not lead to a decrease in crime in that area, TPF may decide to close that center. Similarly, TPF may also be able to measure the value that its huge fleet of vehicles creates in the improvement of security. Accordingly, the balanced scorecard may enable to measure the value created by it placing its officers in strategic areas to patrol over using vehicles from their central police department.
The balanced scorecard would also enable the business to measure the viability of hiring expensive frontline police over civilians. Specifically, the balanced scorecard would show the number of emergency issues reported in Toronto. It would also show the various sources of these emergency cases, which would advise TPF on the exact location that they should place their officers for community policing instead of using patrol cars.
The balanced scorecard would provide TPF with accurate information on facilities that could be safely but cheaply be secured through privatization. Specifically, the balanced scorecard would provide reliable data, which could be used in the cost analysis of using police officers for facilities such as courts and parking fields over contracting out for these services. Finally, the balanced scorecard would provide reliable information on employment areas that civilians could replace police officers. Despite the sensitivity of the police job, there are certain activities such as laundry, cooking, fencing, and house cleaning that can be subcontracted to civilians. The balanced scorecard would provide a cost-benefit analysis of the cost to benefit ratio of contracting civilians to do this job over hiring police officers. Ultimately, through the balanced scorecard, TPF would be able to save cost as well as to increase its efficiency by identifying the exact locations that they would place their officers in order to minimize crime rates in Toronto. Therefore, if supported by the leadership of TPF, the balanced scorecard is an effective management control tool that would be beneficial for the department.
c.) Explain If, and How, the Toronto Police Service Could Learn From the Centre for Public Sector Service Delivery’s Report on the RCMP.
There are various critical lessons that Toronto Police Service (TPF) could learn from CPSSD report to the RCMP. To begin with, the report mentions and exemplifies various issues that RCMP succeeded and those that it should improve. In addition, it also offers various explanations to support its conclusions.
To begin with, TPF can learn on the need for a strong leadership when implementing controls in the company. In particular, the report clarifies that the company’s management is the one that sets the tone of the operations in the company and ensures there are full adoption and acceptance of control procedures. Consequently, it is through strong leadership that TPF will be able to establish controls such as the balanced scorecard.
TPF can also learn on how to set priorities on key issues/ agendas. In general, RCMP has been successful in focusing on a few strategic priorities that are essential to the organization. Consequently, the report by CPSSD will give TPF sound information on areas that it should focus its energy. Specifically, it will show TPF how to set strategies and how to develop a balanced scorecard that relates to these priorities. Importantly, this lesson will enable TPF to draft a balanced scorecard that can easily analyze the performance of the organization.
Another lesson that TPF will learn from RCMP is reporting is on how to match initiatives with context. Inasmuch as managerial control tools such as the balanced scorecard may identify measures on how to assess the performance of the organization, they may fail to identify the unique environment of the business. RCMP clarifies on the need to identify the unique environment in which the specific objectives are been implemented and to modify the assessment and approach to match this condition. As a result, TPF will be able to learn that some of its operational activities will be modified slightly due to their unique operational conditions.
In addition to the above, the report will be able to cheap TPF that managerial control tools such as balanced scorecards are a means to an end and not an end in themselves. In this case, the implementation of the reports of the balanced scorecard into the business’ future operations is what would determine how TPF performs in future. Therefore, the collection and implementation of these results would be purpose driven and focused.
Finally, the report will enable TPF to match the results with outcomes. In this case, the report will give TPF the opportunity to have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of how management controls work. In particular, managerial control tools such as the balanced scorecard require the management to have an understanding of the business operations. For instance, while an increase in investment in security patrols is expected to lead to a reduction in crime, generally, when there are low crime rates, an increase in patrol would not result in any reduction. This kind of information would enable the management to understand how to use and interpret the data presented by the balanced scorecard.
d.) Provide Three Performance Measurements/Criteria for Each of the Elements of the Balanced Scorecard That Could be Used for the Toronto Police Force. Ensure You Tie Them Back to Key Success Factors and Strategy
The balanced scorecard is an important control tool that can be used to evaluate the ease in which the business is achieving its objectives. More specifically, the balanced scorecard evaluates the manner in which the company is able to meet its financial, processing, and customer needs. Accordingly, it provides a weight for each of these performances to show the level of achievement of the desired objectives,
The Toronto Police Force (TPF) could use stewardship to measure the element of finance in the balanced scorecard. Since TPF is a non-profit making organization, it would use stewardship as a measuring criteria of how it is effectively utilizing its resources. On human resource, through the measure of stewardship, the balanced scorecard can be able to identify the value that each category of officer adds to the entire team. In practice, an increase in human resource is expected to improve the performance of an organization. Accordingly, if TPF hires a specialist frontline officer, it would expect the rate or crime to reduce. In this example, the balanced scorecard would indicate if there has been a reduction in crime since the officer was hired.
Similarly, on traveling expense, the balanced scorecard would be able to come up with a score on the benefits of using community policing or that of been transported to their new locations using the company’s vehicle. Simply, efficiency requires an organization to use the least resources to create maximum value to its customers. On measuring efficiency, the analysis would analyze if this method is equally effective as compared to the use of patrol vehicles. The balanced scorecard on its self would indicate if there has been a reduction in crime after the adoption of this method as well as if there is a cost saving associated with community policing, which requires police officers to patrol on foot over using patrol vehicles. If the overall score shows a reduction in cost and crime, the use of community policing would be found to be more effective.
The measurement of effectiveness would be used to measure how the department was achieving its objectives. In this case, the balanced scorecard would indicate the number and type of violations committed and prevented. The success of the organization in stopping these crimes and violations would indicate the effectiveness of TPF. Importantly, it would give a feedback on the type of officers that TPF should hire and where to position them in order to prevent re-occurrence of these type of crimes.
The use of the balanced scorecard will also indicate the value that TPF offers to its customers, the residents of Toronto. In practice, the balanced scorecard will work as an assessment tool, which will point out areas that the police department should improve. Generally, these assessments will be based on the satisfaction, delivery, and quality of service offered by TPF.
In order to achieve the balanced scorecard element of ensuring customer satisfaction, the measurement of effectiveness would be used to determine how TPF is achieving its objectives of detecting and preventing crimes. In addition, it will also show the success rate of the department in filing cases against criminals and succeeding in ensuring that they are prosecuted. Generally, this will be on the balanced scorecard on issues like evidence gathering skills, investigative skills, and crime prevention skills. Markedly, the combination of these skills would lead to the reduction in the crime levels in Toronto. Basically, there would be a score for the number of detected and prevented crimes as well as successful prosecutions. On overall, this score would indicate if TPF is achieving its objective of protecting the citizens of Toronto.
The quality of service would be a measure of TPF ability to provide security services to the level that has the highest benefits to its members. In this case, quality of service would be measured by evaluating the level of unintended collateral damage caused by the provision of security service. In general, TPF would be expected to provide services to the highest-level possible while at the same time having minimal intrusion or damage to the life of Toronto residences. A balanced scorecard would provide TPF with results of how well it was achieving this objective.
The balanced scorecard would also measure the response time to crimes taken by police officers. In general, a comparison of the effectiveness of using patrol cars would also stretch to the comparison of the time taken by these two to respond to emergencies. A comparison would also be made on the time of officers from each station to respond to alerts on possible crime.
Process simply provides an overall analysis of how an organization is developing its structures in the provision of services. In this case, the balanced scorecard would provide results on how efficiently and effectively TPF is adopting and implementing the results of the balanced scorecard. In addition, it would also check if TPF is implementing measures of ensuring that it is at the forefront in ensuring security for all residences of Toronto. In order to achieve this, TPF would have to conduct an overall analysis putting emphasis on hardware and IT infrastructure, staff orientation, and business results.
Measurement: Workplace Environment
The measurement on workplace environment would evaluate if TPF officers have the right equipment and training to detect and prevent crime. On the hardware and IT infrastructure, the balanced scorecard would indicate if TPF has adequate and sufficient stations to offer adequate security. The balanced scorecard would also measure if TPF officers are properly equipped with the requirements for the tasks that they are performing. For example, when going for a search and rescue operation, they would be required to have an adequate supply of rescue operation gadgets. Similarly, when searching for a criminal, they would be required to have properly armed police officers. On the same breath, the measure on workplace environment would indicate if TPF has a modern IT department, which has a database that can be used in crime prevention and detection.
On the measurement of efficiency, there would be an analysis of how TPF is responding to reports from the balanced scorecard. For example, efficiency would be used to measure whether there have been negative results associated with various objectives of TPF such as shutting down underperforming stations. Similarly, efficiency would measure the impact of civilizing the police department. Finally, efficiency would be used by the balanced scorecard to measure if there is a cost saving associated with using community policing over police patrol.
The measurement of quality would indicate if the services offered by TPF after introducing various changes meet the standards that the customers require. In this case, the balanced scorecard would show whether there has been a rise or reduction in crime since the adoption of these policies. For example, the balanced scorecard would indicate if crime levels have reduced or increased when TPF closes some of its stations that are not effective in preventing crime.
Element: Learning and Growth
The element of learning and growth requires an organization to use the balanced scorecard to identify areas that it should improve its performance. Impliedly, the organization learns from its shortcomings and learns tactics to avoid these failures in future. Consequently, the organization has continuous growth in its performance over time.
Measurement: Workplace environment
Workplace environment simply refers to the working conditions of an employee. In general, this measurement requires an institution to ensure that employees are appropriately trained, have adequate resources for their job, and are given adequate time for their personal activities. With this in mind, the balanced scorecard would show TPF the areas that its police force needs training or where they had less than necessary resources for their work. Moreover, since a balanced scorecard acts as a continuous indicator of the changes been implemented in an organization, these scores would show if the company was learning of this weakness and eliminating it by training employees and equipping them with the necessary equipment for their work.
The balanced scorecard would provide an appropriate measurement of effectiveness, which would indicate if TPF had learned how to detect and prevent crime. Simply, this tool would show if there has been a decrease in crime in Toronto depending on the strategies that TPF was implementing. The scores from the balanced scorecard would be a sufficient indicator of the learning and growth of the police and TPF as a whole. Generally, if the balanced scorecard showed there was a decrease in crime rates, it would be indicating that the police had learned skills of preventing and detecting crime rates when they occurred.
The balanced scorecard measure of efficiency would indicate if the company was continuously learning ways of using few resources to attain its objectives. In this measurement method, TPF would be able to calculate its costs of operations before and after it implemented the balanced scorecard. Simply these scores would indicate whether TPF was learning on ways of minimizing operation costs. For example, the balanced scorecard would determine whether TPF was appropriately using methods like community policing in order to minimize its fuel costs. In practice, it would be expected that over time TPF would learn how to strategically position its officers in the community-policing program, which would reduce the need for patrols and accordingly its fuel costs.
The Conference Board of Canada. CPSSD Case Study 1 Measuring Progress at the RCMP. 2009. Web. Retrieved from http://www.iccs-isac.org/en/cmt/docs/Conference%20Board%20of%20Canada%20July%202009%20- %20RCMP.pdf