Achieving Balance

13 Dec 2021


Our client was experiencing some issues with their administrator. For justifiable reasons, the administrator was not hitting SLA targets and agreed performance targets. Volumes had spiked, there was significant project activity going on as well. The client was happy with the service, but the performance management framework in the contract was not balanced and was causing issues for the administrator and the client in managing it. The service credits were triggering whilst the overall service was good.

We were appointed to help our client review the performance management and develop a framework that brings more stability and balance to the relationship.

Regaining balance

Our starting point was that the objectives for the service need to be understood. Our client had a clear idea of what these were, but had not considered how these might feed into the management of the relationship. The administration needs to be delivering to the objectives and requirements and the only way to be certain that this is the case is to measure it.

Using the objectives the client had set for the relationship, we proposed a set of potential measures to form a balanced scorecard. A lot of balanced scorecards are not, in fact, all that balanced. They target specific areas of the service, but do not often represent the broad spectrum of activities and areas that are part of administration.

Part of our role was to challenge the way the client thought about managing their administration. We helped them to agree the four quadrants and overarching principles that would form their balanced scorecard and a set of measures, with clear definitions, against which to measure the administration.

Maintaining equilibrium

The service credits will no longer apply and our client now has a pragmatic, and balanced, framework that can help them to judge if the service is delivering what they want and need it to deliver. Importantly, the balanced scorecard is not set in stone. They can change and adapt as the service and relationship evolves.

From the administrator’s perspective, they are now being monitored in a way that accounts for the fluctuations of an administration service. Not only will they be monitoring traditional SLAs but there will be a regular discussion and metrics on key processes, technology, people, continuous improvement etc.

We helped our client put in place a firm footing from which to move forward with their administration partner.

Key learnings

  • Balanced scorecards need to bring a broad range of measures together to achieve the “balance” they are designed to create. All too often, they are heavily focused on a particular aspect of delivery.
  • Administration requires objectives. It is not just about paying benefits, but how the scheme evolves, what that means for the administration and for the members and how the Trustee wants to approach the administration of the pension scheme. Objectives and performance measures need to be regularly reviewed to ensure they continue to reflect your priorities and the changing circumstances of the pension scheme.