When you are undergoing a strategic planning process, there is a lot you need to consider. There are many different pieces that you need to fit together.

It can be difficult to figure out what your organization’s goals are, what everyone’s roles are, and how they can all work together.

In the end, you have to communicate all of this information to your staff, partners, and any other interested parties. 

One way that you can do all of this effectively is by using a strategy map. What is a strategy map?

It helps you get all of your goals and priorities in order, and display them in a clear and concise way.

The best thing is that even after the strategic planning process you can use it for execution and communication.

Here is a quick guide to how a strategy map works. 

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How a Strategy Map is Built

When creating a strategy map, you start from four perspectives. This helps you to prioritize and to understand the different components of your organization. 

The first perspective is finances. Your strategy should involve your revenues and the productivity of your employees.

For most businesses, this is the most important perspective, since profit is why they exist in the first place. 

The next perspective is your customers. For you to do well with your finances, you need to provide value to customers.

Your customers care about things like the quality of your products, your customer service, and how efficient you are in your operations.

You should make one of these your priority for the customer perspective. This will guide your entire strategy. 

Your processes are another perspective that should be represented in a strategy map.

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This involves mapping out how you can update or change them to achieve the goals you set out in your financial and customer perspective sections.

Your processes should work to provide you with the productivity you need, and to provide value for your customers. 

Learning and growth is an often overlooked perspective when organizations are doing strategic planning.

It’s all well and good to have goals, but if your team does not know how to achieve them, then you will fail.

You need to consider how to train or provide them with the skills and knowledge they need to help execute your plan. 

How Does a Strategy Map Help?

To start with, a strategy map provides a bird’s eye view of your organization, it’s priorities, it’s goals, and how you will work to achieve them.

It gives you a visual representation of how you can get from your current status to the one you want to reach.

You can see all of the interconnections between perspectives, departments, and leadership, and how they must all work together for success.

With a strategy map you will be able to identify gaps that need to be filled before it’s too late.

If you don’t identify them in the planning process, you could end up identifying them while you are executing the plan, which can put a halt to everything or delay success. 

What a strategy map also does is help you to test your planned methods. If you think an internal process will improve the operational efficiency in your warehouse, then you can test it over a year.

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When you go back and review, you can check your map to see what your goals are and whether the change helped to achieve it. If not, you can tweak that process until it does what you need it to. 

What might be the most important function of a strategy map is how it helps to communicate your strategic goals.

When you make changes and implement a strategic plan, it’s no use if you don’t properly communicate it to everyone in the organization.

For one, they need to understand their place in the strategy and what they will be expected to do. Plus, you want to get buy-in.

If your staff are not bought into the changes because they don’t fully understand them, then your strategy is doomed to fail.

Clear communication will improve your morale and productivity, and put you on the road to success. 

A strategy map has never been easier to build. You can purchase tools and software that will help to guide you through the process and make it simple for everyone involved.

It will take you through the steps you need to take so that nothing gets missed and your map is as effective as possible. 

Change is never easy. For starters, planning for change involves juggling many competing priorities, personalities, and skill sets.

You need to have a tool that will help you bring everything together and communicate it all clearly.

A strategy map can help you do just that, and provide you with an effective tool to plan, communicate and execute your strategy.