A strategy map is a visual summary of what a company plans to do in order to improve its business, gain more customers and improve its financial outlook.
Additionally, many companies find strategy maps valuable because they include intangible factors like culture in the strategic analysis. A strategy map provides multiple perspectives when evaluating a company and helps in the strategy's effective execution.
Benefits of Strategy Maps
Strategy maps let your company's leadership team clearly visualize their goals and communicate them with the rest of the company.
- Set clear financial and customer goals.
- Visualize the connections between various ideas and show how those ideas could lead to specific results.
- Identify the necessary parts of the organization that will support new undertakings and changes including any necessary training and business process changes
- Communicate the company's goals and show how they will be achieved.
- Provide a starting point for every each division and see how they fit into the overall strategy.
How to Create a Strategy Map
A strategy map looks similar in structure to a swim lane diagram but the concepts it deals with are more similar to those found on a balanced scorecard.
Strategy maps are divided into horizontal lanes that represent different perspectives to evaluate. These perspectives are typically Financial, Customer, Internal Business Process, and Learning and Growth, following the typical balanced scorecard divisions. For each category, brainstorm ways to improve that aspect of your business and place your ideas inside boxes and ovals. Connect the ideas with arrows to illustrate relationships between the goals and changes listed.