U.S. ARMY INSTITUTE OF SURGICAL RESEARCH
"Optimizing Combat Casualty Care"
ISR staff members work on a word grouping exercise during the Balanced Scorecard workshop.

ISR staff members work on a word grouping exercise during the Balanced Scorecard workshop. Photo by Steven Galvan

ISR stays on course with a Balanced Scorecard

By Steven Galvan, Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
02 DEC 2012


The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (ISR) has made significant contributions to research for the combat wounded in the past several years. With the mission of “optimizing combat casualty care,” the successful role that the ISR has played in combat casualty care is not by coincidence. The Institute has been leveraging a tool or roadmap that many thriving commercial organizations have utilized to accomplish their goals to success. The roadmap that the ISR has been using is known as the Balanced Scorecard (BSC).

The BSC is a strategic planning and management tool used throughout the business world to establish and communicate an organization’s vision, mission, and strategy to stakeholders and employees, and for aligning day-to-day work to the strategy.

Col. Michael A. Weber, the ISR Commander, believes it necessary to continue to employ the BSC in order to outline what the Institute wants to accomplish and how it plans to accomplish it. “This is a simple but tremendously powerful program if we utilize it and implement it well,” said Weber. “It provides us with a way to measure our performance and to monitor our progress so that we can more informed decisions throughout the command.”

As with most beneficial programs in an organization, it is essential to review and update existing strategies to keep the organization from becoming stagnant. With that in mind, the ISR Commander had various staff members attend a three-day workshop to review the existing BSC and provide necessary updates to keep the command relevant and contributing to combat casualty care in the future.

“It is important for an organization to reassess and reevaluate its BSC periodically,” said Maj. Alejandro Gonzales, ISR Chief Financial Officer/Comptroller, who along with the Deputy Director of Research Maj. Stuart Tyner, coordinated the workshop. “This process normally provides leaders at all levels an opportunity to review current strategic objectives and processes, compare them to best practices, and conduct a gap assessment.”

Staff members from the ISR Resource and Research Directorates, Burn Center, Joint Trauma System, and the Dental and Trauma Research Detachment met at the U.S. Army Medicine Center and School on Fort Sam Houston for the workshop that was facilitated by Jane Wingate, a quality assurance specialist at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command.

“The BSC workshop was a great opportunity for members of this command to come together and identify the strategic vision for the ISR,” said ISR Chief of Staff, Terry L. Owens. “This forum also allowed for cross organizational communication and will set the stage for maximized cooperation throughout the command when determining resourcing initiatives.”