Balanced Scorecard approach at the Heathrow Airport

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1 September 2015

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Balanced scorecard is an avenue that is used to gauge performance management. This method was developed by some students from Harvard; it came about as a realization that many businesses relied mostly on financial measures for management purposes. (“Effective performance with the balanced scorecard, n.d ”)

Terminal five was a big project which needed great involvement both in terms of manpower but also in regard to resources. The size of the project contributed a lot of hiccups from time to time and great care needed to be taken in order to ensure the project ended well. The team in charge deemed it fit to utilize the balanced score card method to carry out the project to its completion.

The project was almost a landmark due to its sheer size and it was recognized in the country as an achievement. The terminal takes care of a large number of users any time throughout any given year. The airport has received accolades as one of the best constructed terminals in the globe. There is a transit system set up that links the terminal to adjacent buildings. The control tower in the building is more than seventy meters long. The project cost more than three billion pounds. The terminal was as a result of efforts by British Airport Authority and British Airways. The project involved more than forty thousand people including both the workers and the team managing it. The contract to build it had been awarded to a group of highly ranked contractors.

What did the project target to achieve?

High goals were set for the project, style and quality was one of the reasons of developing the esteemed project. The contractors wanted to build a luxurious terminal that combined elegance with safety features. The building had to fulfill the building codes despite its magnitude; this was one of the headaches the contractors found themselves grappling with for the better part of the duration. The other issue was to ensure the project lives up to its expectations; that is fulfilling its mandate of service delivery at the swiftest time possible. (“Customer Perspective”, n.d.)Several agreements had to be signed among various service providers so as to smooth the processes of work as well as to avoid stalling; time proved to be a scarce commodity for the execution of this project. Service providers were divided in to various integrated teams which were closely monitored for quality assurance purposes. British Airport Authority looked through various projects undertaken by numerous contractors in order to try and look into limitations the project may have encountered.

The score card method helped the team that was in charge of the project to link tasks to ease supervision and create a flawless work schedule. Processes were achieved in an easier manner; also procedures had to match their allocated financial budgets. Results were analyzed at every stage of the project to ascertain the outcomes achieved in relation to the timelines set. (“Effective performance with the balanced scorecard, n.d ”)

Under the score card method procedures need to succeed in a number of ways: purpose, measurement and its application. Projects world over have to be carried out in tested methodologies; this helps people the hazards that may arise from utilizing unsure practices in construction and financial management.

Vetting had to be carried for individuals in the management team; so as to achieve accountability and good stewardship. The working structure was made in such a way that each team member got himself or herself accountable to the team assigned to. Agreement made for the project as well as the rigid quality structure contributed to the success of the project under the score card method. The four-tier approach for quality check helped to enhance involvement of all who took part. Quality had been a strict condition set up by this procedure; good communication channels help in achieving desired results. (“Practitioners guide to a balanced scorecard, n.d”)

Leadership mattered greatly to deliver success of the project. The leadership team had good coordination with their service providers; their timely supervision and ensuring check and balances were achieved. Suppliers also upped their game by delivering top notch products to ensure the best outcome. (“Effective performance with the balanced scorecard, n.d ”)

Behavioral change was another factor that came to the aid of the project; the level of interaction among the people involved was great because everybody worked well as a team. Experts were consulted at regular intervals to ensure procedure was duly followed. Trainings were fostered alongside best practices in quality management and practice. Trainings also acted as further team bonding sessions, they knew a strong united team is best able to deliver success. (“Practitioners guide to a balanced scorecard, n.d”)

Project phases were checked on frequent durations; monthly basis and recorded under the balanced score card process. Color codes were used to make indication concerning status of set targets. Project leaders and the contractors were given an upper hand in decision making but subject to consultations.

What were some of the lessons drawn or passed on from the project?

Projects need to have indicative measures put in place. Processes have to be made in such a way that validating them becomes easier and processes that are found to be invalid be scrapped. Non-conformance reports should be accompanied by records of cost estimation. The project was a culmination of procedures advocated by the score card method; information from developments gave the stakeholders the psyche to pull through.


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