Strategic Planning Resources

Strategy Map Templates


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Strategy Map Templates

This guide is a PowerPoint presentation containing examples of a Strategy Map. They range from a traditional four-layer model to the more radical approach adopted by Tesco several years ago.

The Indispensable Tool for a Strategy Manager

A Strategy Map provides a tool to record an entire strategy on a single page. As a communications tool, it is second to none. There is no other tool that generates buy-in from employees in such a simple and obvious way.

Combine other elements and create an Integrated Strategy Map and you job is done!

The Rising Importance of Strategy Maps

Strategy managers must adapt and use innovative tools to remain competitive. One such tool that has emerged as a strategic planning and management powerhouse is the Strategy Map. Introduced by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, Strategy Maps are a simple yet powerful visual representation of a company’s strategy, laying the groundwork for informed decision-making and long-term success. They offer a comprehensive view of the organisation’s objectives and the sequence of actions necessary to achieve them.

The Concept of Strategy Maps

Strategy Maps operate on a basic principle – the understanding that business success isn’t solely derived from financial outcomes. Instead, it rests on four interrelated perspectives: Financial, Customer, Internal Process, and Learning and Growth. By visualising these perspectives and their interconnections, a Strategy Map offers a holistic view of a company’s strategic objectives and allows for better alignment of activities and resources.

The financial perspective focuses on value creation for shareholders. The customer perspective addresses customer needs, satisfaction, and market segmentation. The internal process perspective revolves around the operations that create and deliver customer value. The organisational capacity perspective underlines the role of people, culture, and systems.

Why Strategy Maps are Crucial for Strategy Managers

Strategy Maps help strategy managers to communicate the company’s goals effectively, align resources and initiatives, and monitor progress towards strategic objectives. The power of Strategy Maps lies in their simplicity and ability to make abstract strategic plans more concrete and understandable.

Strategy Maps are not just about documenting the strategy; they facilitate a dynamic process of strategy execution and alignment, making them an essential part of any strategic manager’s toolkit. Furthermore, Strategy Maps serve as a basis for the Balanced Scorecard, a renowned performance measurement framework, enabling managers to translate the strategy into actionable metrics and KPIs.

Constructing an Effective Strategy Map

Constructing an effective Strategy Map starts with understanding the organisation’s strategic objectives and how they relate to the four perspectives. Beginning with the financial goals, strategy managers can map the customer goals necessary to achieve them, the internal processes required to satisfy customers, and the learning and growth objectives essential for enhancing these processes.

Notably, the objectives within each perspective should be linked with cause-and-effect relationships, showing how improvements in one area will impact the others. The Strategy Map, therefore, becomes a storyboard illustrating how intangible assets, such as employee knowledge or customer relationships, are transformed into tangible financial outcomes.

Strategy Maps in Practice

Many successful companies use Strategy Maps to guide their strategic decision-making. For example, the United States Postal Service (USPS) used Strategy Maps to help transform its operations, customer service, and financial performance. Through this map, the USPS identified critical internal processes and learning and growth initiatives that needed to be improved to meet their customer and financial objectives.

The use of Strategy Maps isn’t limited to large corporations. Small businesses, nonprofits, and public sector organisations can all benefit from the clarity and focus that Strategy Maps provide, making them a universally applicable tool for strategic management.

The Future of Strategy Maps

As businesses become more complex and the need for alignment and strategic clarity increases, the relevance of Strategy Maps is set to grow. In the hands of a proficient strategy manager, they offer a dynamic, integrative, and communicative framework for designing, implementing, and monitoring strategy. By keeping Strategy Maps at the core of their toolkit, strategy managers can navigate the complex waters of strategic planning with more confidence and effectiveness.

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The team of consultants at Intrafocus are here to help your organisation take its business strategy forward, whatever your current stage of development. With years of experience across industries and sectors, we help you to translate your business vision into a clear strategy, ready to implement for sustainable competitive advantage. Please contact us to find out more.