The first step toward accomplishing a goal is to develop a strategy to achieve it. This is crucial because, without a strategy, we tend to miss out on several important tasks that are essential for attaining a goal.
While we can easily make a to-do list, it will create more confusion when you have multiple tasks on your plate. You need to focus on the bigger picture and, at the same time, should be aware of all the tasks you need to complete in chronological order. Here, the strategy map comes into the scene, which helps you attain your goal and complete all the tasks on the path to doing so.
So, what is a Strategy Map?
A Strategy Map is a visualization tool that comes in handy when you need to put together the primary goals of your organization or team, to be specific, if they vary for individual teams. The strategy map depicts how the objects relate to each other and what steps they need to perform to realize the goal.
Generally, these maps are defined during the meetings conducted to discuss the organization’s goals,organization’s in handy to verify the different milestones set throughout the project. A good strategy map includes all the necessary details without missing out on any and depicts the cause-and-effect relationship between the company and customer perspectives.
Benefits of strategy mapping
Outlining and mapping the strategies and goals will benefit your business in the following ways:
- A strategy map helps you analyze the performance of your organization and allows you to dive deeper into the individual components of the strategy when need be.
- The document enables you to recognize the tasks you need to complete to achieve the short-term objectives, which in turn help you achieve your long-term goals.
- A strategy map helps you break down the tasks into small chunks, facilitating easy prioritizing of these tasks. You can then determine which small tasks you should assign to which team member.
- Creating strategy maps on a cloud-based platform brings all the team members together who can make their valuable contributions to the document. Likewise, the strategy map communicates the progress made by the organization to each member who clearly understands their role in realizing the aspirations.
- The complete strategy visible as a whole enables you to spot the weaknesses and the risks involved in realizing the goal.
Major principles of strategy mapping
Let’s look at the princLet’s of strategy mapping that you should keep in mind before developing the strategy map for your organization.
Balance the contradictory forces
The strategy map takes into account the wants of your business and customers, so you must ensure that the business strategy must balance the customer needs with the goodwill of your company.
Differentiate a customer value proposition
Your business strategy should not only throw light on the performance of your business but should also meet the customer’s needs. So, when youcustomer’she business strategy, you should explain how your business offerings are better than that of other companies.
Create value with internal business processes
When developing a strategy map, you should define the internal business processes and explain what sets them apart from other organizations.
Think in simultaneous, complementary themes
It is mandatory to ensure that different phases of the strategy map work in harmony. So, you have to consider internal and external forces when defining the business strategy.
Work from the top down
While most process maps are designed in a bottom-up fashion, a strategy map is built using the top-down method. This means you should start from what goal your organization wants to accomplish rather than where you currently are.
Perspectives to consider while mapping a business strategy
Here are the four different perspectives you should consider when you intend to develop a strategy map for your business.
#1. Financial Perspective
When designing a strategy map, the financial perspective becomes the center of attention. For instance, an organization can set a goal to acquire a record number of new customers by the end of the financial year. This enables you to work backward and build the strategy keeping the final financial goal in mind.
#2. Customer Perspective
When mapping the strategy, you should focus on the customer requirements and try to meet those demands in the initial stages. It is also essential to define the customer value proposition, which explains how your product or service is better than that of your competitor.
#3. Internal perspective
After deciding on the customer value proposition, you have to work on the internal working procedure of the organization. You will have to think about the tasks that have to be completed and the team members who will work on those tasks.
#4. Learning and growth perspective
In determining all these functions, you gradually learn a lot about your organization. This way, you understand the wants and goals of your business and then implement your strategy to achieve the objective.
Designing strategy maps on pen and paper can be a cumbersome task. Thankfully, there are many cloud-based platforms that provide strategy mapping templates. You can use them to develop the strategy map of your organization.
Let’s explore the solutions.
Let’s begin with Creately, a popular work management platform used by hundreds of businesses worldwide to design work-related diagrams needed to collaborate with the team members. This strategy mapping software offers pre-designed templates that help you improve your designing capabilities allowing you to design professional strategy templates and, in turn, boost your business performance.
The key features of the strategy mapping template by Creately are:
- The drag and drop feature helps you design the strategy to map the current and desired organizational state.
- Tons of color themes and advanced text formatting tools help you highlight the strategy key points to deliver deeper knowledge of the document.
- The Freehand drawing and highlights come in handy to add annotations, make notes and emphasize the important points that need extra attention.
- The template also included customizable tables that facilitate quicker comparisons between resource availability and requirement.
Creatly allows you to export the resulting strategy map in PDF, PNG, SVG, & JPEG formats.
Lucidchart, a robust cloud-based diagramming software, offers intuitive and straightforward strategy mapping templates that let you carve your business strategy on pixels and eliminate paperwork.
This strategy mapping template effectively depicts the association between the formulation and enforcement phases of strategic planning. The charts and other visual components constructively map the mission and vision of your organization into actionable objectives.
This template helps you depict the connections between the strategic goals, keep tabs on the progress, and break down the business goals. You download this easy-to-use strategy mapping template from Lucidchart and then utilize its process flowcharts, swimlane diagrams, and other components toorganization’sr organization’sorganization’stegy.
Organizations wanting to develop insightful yet eye-catching strategy models to back up their business model or initiative can check out the Strategy Map diagram template on Praxie. This handy template allows you to define and track all the primary and secondary goals that your management or team members want to achieve.
Skillfully designed by professional designers to be elegant and intuitive, this strategy map diagram template includes plenty of graphics and other visual elements, keeping in mind the importance of strategy maps to be visually appealing.
This web template by Praxie also includes the input forms that help organizations add textual data. You can also utilize the progress dashboards and data integration feature to import the existing data and other documents from other tools. This template by Praxie is also accessible on your mobile device that proves to be a lifesaver when you want to design the strategy maps on the go.
Mind Manager is popular software with pre-installed strategy map templates, which you can customize to draw professional strategy maps. Since creating the strategy map with a regular spreadsheet and word software becomes quite complicated, the ones designed are too basic, and it is impossible to include all the details.
To avoid this problem, Mind Manager brings you plenty of strategy map templates that eliminate the need to add details later after printing the document. You must provide all the necessary data and adjust the components to begin designing the strategy map.
To use the pre-installed strategy map templates, you need to purchase a subscription plan for the platform. However, you can sign up for the trial version for thirty days before purchasing a subscription.
A strategy map needs to be well-researched, but at the same time, it should not fall short in terms of design. When chalking the strategy map, defining the strategy may not be that complicated for you, but there are chances you may lack in the design aspects.
To help you deal with this problem, Canva brings plenty of templates you can use to create strategy maps without spending your time and energy learning complex designing techniques.
The drag-and-drop tools available on the platform facilitate easy customization, and you can simply click on the graph to add your data and define your business goals.
Visual Paradigm is another popular platform that offers powerful online templates that allow you to create professional strategy maps faster. The featured templates on this platform are a basic strategy maps template, Strategy Map with a Balanced Scorecard, and Strategy Map especially designed for the IT sector.
These strategy map templates support drag and drop with precision control, making it easy to use the intuitive drawing and formatting tools. You can also integrate these strategy diagrams into the supported Microsoft Apps, namely Microsoft Word, MS PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook.
Visual Paradigm also supports collaboration with Visio drawing, where you can draw the strategy maps online. All the team members can discuss and add comments on these strategy diagrams in real-time.
After finalization, you can export these strategy maps in vector format or as an image file that can be published later.
Here we reach the end of the list containing the best Strategy Mapping Templates, which allow you to define your business goals and discuss them with your team members.
These templates will not only empower you to define the short and long-term strategy and organization goals but will also help you measure the progress you have made. You can use any of the templates mentioned above to reduce the time and effort needed to design professional strategy maps for your organization.
You may also look at some of the best Mind Map makers.