There are many ways to communicate a strategic plan, often attempting to condense a great deal of thinking into a one pager. The Strategy Map is one such framework, and is used by companies to have a snapshot summary of their strategic plan.
A Strategy Map is a single page diagram that explains a strategy's objectives. It’s used for communicating out strategic summaries for employees within a company.
Strategic Objectives are listed out under four categories:
Each Objective on the map has links, so you can quickly see how the different objectives support each other. As a tool, the Strategy Map is used for communicating out strategic summaries for employees within a company and for sanity checking your strategic plans.
There are fairly common KPIs used within Financial, such as revenue or profitability. These are the top-level objectives around what you’re trying to achieve from an economic perspective. Some considerations are:
A really important aspect of your strategic plan is around your customer objectives. It might be to focus on loyalty, customer expectations or product. Some considerations for this section are:
Ultimately this level is about your Customer Value Proposition. These are all objectives that will impact your Financial goals directly. For example, how does customer lifetime value impact your revenue? It may be helpful to read our guide to customer service KPIs at this point.
Now we’re into the section of the map that charts your internal processes as a business. This is where profitability really comes into play, your objectives here will all impact one way or another how profitable and efficient you are as a company. Consider the following:
This layer covers a lot, as we touch on not only product and your current processes, but also how you innovate and offer a continued successful product. Keep in mind that these are all objectives that support your customer goals, which ultimately support your financials.
People & Learning:
Critical to any successful business or non-profit is the people and employees. Any good strategy has to have objectives around their team, focusing on areas such as reward, development and recognition. Consider the following:
Your people will support your operational objectives, which allow your customer objectives, which enable your financial objectives. Like a version of the “Dem Bones” song but for strategy… 💀
A Strategy Map is designed to communicate a strategy so has a number of advantages:
The main disadvantages of the approach are:
The best alternative to a Strategy Map would be generating your communication within a tool like Lucidity! Boom! But in terms of frameworks, an alternative to the Strategy Map framework would be the Strategy Diamond.
A Strategy Map is usually done once a strategy is fully formulated or a lot of the background work is done, but can be a great way to sanity check your thinking.
Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton in the mid to late 1990s first used Strategy Maps in conjunction with the Balanced Scorecards.
A Strategy Map can be used as an ongoing reminder of your strategy or when a strategy is reviewed. Remember though you will need to be more engaging than a Strategy Map to excite your team.
If you’re looking for ways to communicate your strategic plan then take a look at the Lucidity platform for ongoing, innovative and engaging ways to share with and get feedback from your team.
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