Strategy Map Interactive App
A Strategy Map is a clear visual representation of the major strategic objectives of an organization, usually based on a framework or model like the balanced scorecard. This representation is useful for communicating the organization’s strategy in a digestible way to employees at all levels of the organization. In this way, each employee can clearly see where their role fits in to the map and how they can help the organization achieve its larger goals.
Description of Strategy Map
To create a Strategy Map, each strategic objective should be grouped and placed into a topic based on the theme. Because the map is a visual representation, it can be useful to determine specific shapes or graphics for each theme and use these to denote the objectives within each.
Think carefully about the strategic objectives, since having too many will clutter the map and make the overall message difficult to understand. A Strategy Map can be used to plot a plan for financial growth, market to a new customer segment, roll out new innovations, and develop new business processes. In addition to these basic elements, the following features are also useful when building Strategy Maps:
Arrows: Arrows can be used to connect the strategic objectives in one of two ways:
- Arrows that are placed between the strategic objectives are used to show a causal relation between them. In this way, an individual can easily see how one strategic objective causes the other.
- Arrows can also be used to connect strategic objectives above and below one another. This depiction allows the viewer to determine how strategic objectives at one level of the balanced scorecard goals influence those above or below it. Of the two uses, it is recommended that connections primarily be shown the latter way, as it should be of the utmost importance to demonstrate that the larger goals of the organization are connected (e.g., well-run businesses have customers [client] who buy their product [finances]). In general, arrows are useful to actually allow individuals to graphically see how the sub-objectives feed into the larger goals, as employees do not often feel or see these connections on the job. Additionally, the use of arrows will reinforce to the employees that no strategic objective stands in isolation.
Themes: A strategic theme is similar to the larger goals set forth in a strategy. However, they differ from these goals in that their purpose is not to group strategic objectives into categories representative of the goals. Rather, the goal of using themes should be to vertically combine the sub-elements of the larger goals with a broader connection. This will serve your organization by demonstrating the connections between the larger goals. These themes should be tailored to your organization.
Once it is completed, a Strategy Map can then be used to create the organization’s actual strategic plan. Additionally, the clear format of the strategy map makes it easy to identify relevant initiatives, programs, goals, etc. for which measures need to be developed in order to assess the success of the strategic plan once it is implemented.
Overall, Strategy Maps are a valuable tool for reporting the benefit of intangible process, relationships, etc. that help to foster competitive advantage.
Praxie's Online Strategy Map Tools & Templates
Strategy teams looking to develop buy-in from across the organization or simply want to develop an eye-catching model to support a particular initiative or business case should look to the new online Strategy Map Diagram template from Praxie which can be used to document and track the primary and secondary strategic goals being pursued by an organization or leadership team. Because they require a visually appealing format, when creating your Strategy Map consider using graphics and other visual elements. Many teams build their maps as presentations, but the goal is to keep it simple, ideally keeping the map to a single page. Get started with our Strategy Map template.
How to use it:
- Review the template and note that it can often be helpful to start with the long-term and work backwards.
- Enter your vision and then create your strategy map by outlining the progression of your strategy over time.
- Change topic areas as desired and modify the definitions of short, mid, and long-term to fit your desired definitions.
- Create an action plan based on creating your Strategic Map.
Unlike most traditional Strategy Mapping techniques, Praxie’s online Strategy Map online tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.