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What Is a Strategy Map?

If you’re familiar with the strategic management framework Balanced Scorecard, you may have also come across the concept of a Strategy Map.  After all, a Strategy Map is a core element of the formulation of a Balanced Scorecard.  Both frameworks were developed by Robert Kaplan and David Norton.

Wikipedia defines a Strategy Map as:

A diagram that is used to document the primary strategic goals being pursued by an organization or management team.

More specifically, a Strategy Map describes how our organization creates value  by connecting strategic objectives in explicitly cause-and-effect relationship with each other in the four Balanced Scorecard objectives:

  • Financial
  • Customer
  • Processes
  • Learning and Growth

The diagram below captures how the Strategic Map (along with the Balanced Scorecard) fits within the full process of translation corporate mission into strategic outcomes.

bsc_strategymap

Strategy Maps enable managers to capture their plans in an easy-to-read one-page visual.  It also connects vision, strategy, and resources at all organization levels.   A core feature of this framework is its emphasis on communication strategy to the whole workforce.  In fact, a Strategy Map can help tremendously in describing the strategy and to communicate the strategy among executives and to their employees.

This slide below shows how a Strategy Map is structured and presented:

strategy_map

As we can see, the Strategy Map provides a visual to connect all of the following elements:

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About David Tang

David Tang is an entrepreneur and management consultant. His current focus is Flevy, the marketplace for premium business documents (e.g. business frameworks, presentation templates, financial models). Prior to Flevy, David worked as a management consultant for 8 years. His consulting experience spans corporate strategy, marketing, operations, change management, and IT; both domestic and international (EMEA + APAC). Industries served include Media & Entertainment, Telecommunications, Consumer Products/Retail, High-Tech, Life Sciences, and Business Services. You can connect with David here on LinkedIn.

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