When Measurement Obstructs Good Judgement
This chapter is strikingly similar to Tom DeMarco's thoughts on Management By Objectives (MBO). However, Sutton and Pfeffer are less caustic and do give credit to the ideas behind balanced scorecards although the implementations tend to go overboard due to unnecessary complexity.
Contrast this with Industrial XP's Test-Driven Management, which requires periodic review of management objectives, and tries to keep them small, simple and measurable (3 to 5).
I had tried introducing balanced scorecards once as a single management test. The organization loved the idea, but I couldn't see the implementation during my lifetime with that company. Having said that, I still think it has value and some of the parameters need tracking over the period of a year or more. I had emphasized the fact that we did not know what is "desirable". Tracking certain dimensions might reveal information and help us learn where we would like to go. One way would be to identify the most successful teams and see how they scored on various dimensions.
As I have educated myself a little more now, I am a little torn about whether all software project teams in that org should be organized the same way, as priorities are often different. I am a big believer in the innovation capacity of all individuals and I like to see that capacity bloom. I cannot bring myself to believe that innovation has no place in projects that seem "routine."