The strategy map: more certainty that strategies succeed!

Why a strategy map?

Business Intelligence has become essential for any “operation”. Imagine you’re a general taking his troops into uncharted territory. Of course, you would need detailed maps of the important towns and villages, the surrounding landscape, important structures such as bridges and tunnels, and the roads and highways that cross the region. Without that data, you can’t communicate the attack strategy to the officers and the rest of the troops. That’s why at least 75% of organization strategies fail. In a world where everything is changing faster and faster, organizations need to be able to (re)develop and communicate the strategy quickly, fed through and then tested against reality with data.

Unfortunately, many directors and managers give their employees only limited descriptions of what they need to do and why it is so important. Without clearer background on the strategy, it makes sense that many strategies fail. How can colleagues implement a plan that they do not fully understand? In many cases, employees hardly see a link between their work and strategy. That demotivates and frustrates. An incentive for progress elsewhere. In the ‘war on talent’ a dangerous cocktail. But there’s another way. Use the strategy card.

What is a strategy map?

The strategy map is a visual representation of the translation of the strategy into critical success factors. Those things that you have to do really well as an organization or as a team in there.

An organization would do well to create a strategy map for the entire organization and to develop it further into strategy cards for the most important business functions. Below is an example of a strategy map for the HR department. Derived from the strategy map of the entire organization.

Strategy map of an HR department

Building the strategy map

This follows the construction of the Balanced Score Card. Is only vertically decorated. To be able to display the causal relationships. They run from the bottom up. The ultimate goal of a commercial organization is continuity. That is why the financial perspective is the highest good. Financial health is made possible by Customers, the 2nd perspective. Internal processes must ensure that customers are satisfied, this in turn is made possible by realizing the critical success factors of the Learning and Growing perspective. Moreover, the strategy map of a social organisation knows the Social perspective as its highest purpose. The 5th perspective.

Strategy translated into critical success factors

This does not happen in most organizations or only in part. The strategy map forces the organization to think about how the different functions are related and support each other. Strategy maps show the cause-and-effect relationships. For example, how a shorter lead time of a process increases the organization’s attractiveness to new customers.

Drawing up strategy map together

Involvement in drafting is essential. The result, the strategy map, is just as important as the process of making it. By going through the process, everyone understands what the intention is. This increases the likelihood that the strategy will succeed.

The strategy is translated into critical success factors during workshops with management and then with the teams. And then worked out in clearly defined objectives with measurable results.

The direction of the execution follows as a self-de running

Because the strategy ‘together with the men’ has been translated in an unambiguous, visual way, the execution becomes much easier. She helps make decisions on a daily basis.

Want to know more?

If you want help in making your strategy concrete, partly as the basis for your data management, please feel free to contact us.

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