Case | HBS Case Collection | June 1998 (Revised August 2001)

Wells Fargo Online Financial Services (A)

by Robert S. Kaplan and Nicole Tempest

Abstract

Wells Fargo, the industry leader in electronic banking, has implemented a Balanced Scorecard in its online financial services group (OFS) to track and measure performance. The OFS group develops and supports services that allow existing and future banking customers to perform transactions via the Internet. The new division faces rapid change and must invest heavily in new technology and in the development of innovative products and services. OFS was finding it difficult to balance the need for a clearly articulated strategy and measurable objectives with the flexibility required in its dynamic environment. Wells Fargo had a culture that embraced financial metrics. Yet OFS management believed that its business could not be measured and evaluated on the basis of financial metrics alone. For example, the group was not yet profitable, yet it provided a critical component to the bank's long-term strategy. The OFS group believed that the Balanced Scorecard would allow them to develop a set of integrated, multidimensional measures to assess performance against its goals and to communicate and update its strategy in a rapidly changing environment.

Keywords: Balanced Scorecard; Internet; Online Technology; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Corporate Strategy; Performance Evaluation; Finance; Change; Situation or Environment; Measurement and Metrics; Financial Institutions; Banks and Banking; Banking Industry; Financial Services Industry;

Citation:

Kaplan, Robert S., and Nicole Tempest. "Wells Fargo Online Financial Services (A)." Harvard Business School Case 198-146, June 1998. (Revised August 2001.)