A Strategy Map (or Strategic Road Map) is a management tool that communicates an organization’s strategy in a clear and concise form; whatever the strategy may be. We’ve prepared dozens of strategy maps that have been used to clearly describe sales growth, failing business turnarounds, join-venture creation, industry transformations, corporate consolidations, blue ocean innovations, sustainability programs, and new business start-ups. We offer a variety ofstrategy mapping services.
Typically presented on a single page, the map provides an overview of how the business intends to reach it’s desired future. This can then be used to “get everyone on the same page” while acting as a framework for action planning, prioritization, budgeting, resource allocation, performance management and governance.
The map preparation process investigates, identifies and illustrates either a new strategy or an existing, unclear or poorly understood one. That preparation process is itself a valuable alignment-building exercise as it allows leaders to consider alternatives, raise and settle issues, and build a shared statement of intent.
Benefits of Strategy Mapping
Companies that use strategy maps find that they realize many different benefits from doing so. They most appreciate:
- The Clarity it develops through clear, agreed goals and visible leadership commitment
- The Alignment it brings in terms of people and resources, and
- The Focus it enables as a framework for prioritization, measurements, resistance of distractions, progress tracking and achievement rewards
The bottom line is that the development and use of strategy maps makes it possible to get everyone on the same page and keep them there.
Types of Strategy Maps
While there are many different types of strategy maps we find these two are the most valuable across a broad range of industry sectors.
- The ‘Big Picture’ is an effective tool for smaller businesses. It provides an overview of the principal efforts that will be needed to achieve the business’ vision.
- The detailed Strategy Map or ‘Bubble Diagram’ is ideal for larger, more complex, strategies. It provides an in-depth view of each strategic thrust as a series of interelated objectives. This reveals the capablity and infrastructure investments, product developments, process improvements, and customer and stakeholder expectations that must be achieved if the desired business outcomes are to be realized.
Goals of the Mapping Process
A well executed strategy mapping process produces a map that:
- Describes how the business intends to achieve its vision
- Resolves any significant areas of debate
- Is broadly-supported by all key stakeholders
- Provides a coherent planning and prioritization framework