23/07/2001 What better way to start the week than with a fresh, sparkling press release. Let's have a look at one from INPHASE Software for their new product, PerformancePlus. It is a "holistic Enterprise Performance Management application" which provides "expert guidance on the process of building and designing Balanced Scorecards according to the proven Kaplan/Norton methodology". "Value-added management processes" and "evolutionary and iterative performance improvement processes" are also part of the deal. Coo. I'm particularly stupid today, and can't remember ever knowing what a Balanced Scorecard is -- or what happens if one becomes Unbalanced. Alas, INPHASE has neglected to put an email address or web site on the press release, which in two closely packed A4 pages also fails to tell me what on earth they're talking about. It's time to commune with the god-like Google. In goes 'Balanced Scorecards'; out comes the Balanced Scorecard Collaborative's website. Aha! Half an hour later, I feel my life ebbing away under a cubic mile of high-density laser-polished business bull. I have no doubt that these people are possessed of the Secret of Eternal Youth, Divine Enlightenment and Strong, Lustrous, Healthy Hair. I would sell them my family and most of my body parts for the chance to touch the seams of their Armani suits -- they are that clever. But has the website once told me what a Balanced Scorecard actually is? No. There remains one clue that I take with me as I leave their world of bright certainty woven around that great central mystery. I pause to sign up for more information, and fill out one of the usual forms. Name, job title, company speciality, blah blah. Ah, what's the company turnover? There are three bands: less than half a billion dollars, half to two billion, and over two billion. Barring a sudden change in the market, I'll have to wait for knowledge until the Balanced Scorecard makes it into a Dilbert cartoon. I doubt it'll take long.