The Compass, which is an evolution from the Balanced Scorecard approach, is a participatory method that combines strategising, action planning and monitoring. It is a robust method, and its use is not limited to territorial development. The efficiency of the method makes it particularly appealing to business people who usually suffer from serious time constraints. Thus, it is a promising tool in innovation promotion efforts that involve private sector actors.

The core of the Compass is a one day facilitated workshop with local stakeholders. During this workshop, they

  • share the successes they have achieved so far,
  • define an overarching goal of their development effort,
  • elaborate the critical success factors for their sector, cluster or location’s further upgrading,
  • define activities that address all the critical success factors.

 The Compass gives you

  • a quick overview of ongoing processes in your territorial development initiative (i.e. local economic development, cluster promotion, regional economic development, value chain promotion),
  • alignment of perspectives among relevant stakeholders,
  • strong buy-in from the relevant stakeholders,
  • definition of practical activities that is informed by a strategic perspective.

The Compass method was jointly developed with gtz - German Technical Assistance.

The Compass is a very effective planning instrument that helps a management team focus on better integration of elements of projects. It ensures that different activities (such as improving financial targets) compliments and connects effectively with activities elsewhere on the planning matrix, such as strengthening internal processes while still enabling learning and adjustment. Although the Balanced Scorecard is already “old news” in the management field, we found that the power of the instrument to allow top management, sub managers and project managers to create one aggregate management scorecard that consists of many focused operational scorecards is valuable. In our adaptation, the Compass also make it possible for internal management to be combined with planning processes within other organisations or for two or more organisations to combine planning elements for shared projects.