Strategic mapping is a fantastic tool to help ensure your strategy lines up to your key organizational goals. It leverages the balanced scorecard, which focuses on 4 dimensions of the enterprise:
- Internal processes
- Learning & Growth
Within each of those dimensions, overarching strategies and financial outcomes are identified. It allows anyone within your organization to have a visual representation of what it is trying to achieve and how each of the strategic elements relate to one another. For each component within the balanced scorecard, measures of success need to be identified. This was the focus of my article “Aligning organizational metrics to business strategy”.
Once the balance scorecard is complete, I like taking the strategic map a step further by layering in the strategic initiatives that are approved for the fiscal year. I do this for two reasons. First, it shows exactly how each initiative aligns to the larger organizational strategy. Second, it ensures initiatives being worked on support the direction and add value to the strategy. If any initiative cannot be connected to the balanced scorecard elements, then it should not be done as it isn’t contributing to the achievement of the organization’s goals.
To help illustrate what I am describing, I have created a conceptual strategic map below. What is in the ‘box’ is the balanced scorecard. The items surrounding it is the layering I personally like doing in order to connect the initiatives being working on to the larger strategy.