Kicking Sacred Cows To The Curb

Sacred Cows. We all have them in our organizations.

What do we call programs that lose money? A member benefit! Do not get caught in that cycle.

I speak with chamber execs all the time that share their frustration of that new project initiated by the new chairman. We’ve all been there.

When we add new programs, do we delete a program? No. Use these economic times to shed those losers.

I wrote about scorecards in a previous post. Creating a scorecard can be very effective in sun-setting those programs, products or services that: don’t make money; members don’t value anymore, or have become a sacred cow of the organization.

A scorecard to measure the value of your programs, products or services should track at least the following items as a starting point:

  • Revenue
  • Costs - direct and indirect (i.e., staffing costs)
  • Stated goal of program, product or service
  • Evaluation of program, product or service by members
  • Measure the results

As a sidebar, we should be reminded of the “Hedgehog Theory” stated by Jim Collins in his book titled, Good to Great, and include the theories’ three criteria in the final analysis:

  1. Do we have passion for this program, product, or service?
  2. Are we, or can we be the best in delivering this program, product or service?
  3. Do we make money on this program, product or service?

After you’ve implemented this assessment tool in your yearly review process, it should provide a strong argument on whether to continue a program, product, or service in the coming years – or kick that sacred cow to the curb!

For a previous blog post on program based budgeting go HERE.