Should Your Firm Use Strategy Mapping?
Six key benefits revealed.
August 18, 2008
by Kenneth Witt, CPA
* Adapted from the Management Accounting Guideline, “Strategy Mapping” by Howard Armitage and Cam Scholey. This Guideline was developed for the AICPA, CMA Canada, and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
Experts say effective execution of strategy is paramount to success and essential for survival. Unfortunately, few companies are truly successful at implementing the strategies they select and fall far short of both their own and others’ expectations. How come?
Perhaps the single most significant reason for poor strategy implementation is that leaders who chart the course are unable to communicate their vision clearly to others.
While the vast majority of organizations have well-defined procedures for developing strategic plans, there is a major disconnect between the formulation and execution phases of those plans. How can leaders cascade an organization’s vision, mission and core strategies into the actionable behaviors that achieve critical objectives?
Basics of Strategy Mapping
Reader Note: Don’t miss the upcoming conference with sessions on Strategy Mapping at the 2008 International Financial Executives Leadership Forum, September 24-26, National Harbor, MD
Strategy maps describe how organizations create value by building on strategic themes such as “growth” or “productivity.” These themes determine which specific strategies organizations will adopt at their customer, process, learning and growth levels. Well-constructed maps describe how to meet its specific customer promises through a combination of employee, technology and business processes that satisfy customer expectations and meet shareholder demands. In short, they provide the conceptual framework that organization leaders and their followers can use to better understand and execute strategy.
Benefits of Strategy Mapping
If you’re a manager, the following six steps can by quite helpful for effectively creating and implementing strategy mapping initiatives at your own organization:
This six-step process will help you produce an effective strategy map and a reliable navigation tool that your entire organization can use to maintain focus on the ultimate destination of success. Case studies on how companies have used strategy mapping successfully will be provided in a future column.
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Kenneth W. Witt, CPA, serves as Technical Manager on the AICPA’s Business Industry and Government team supporting CPAs practicing the profession in business and industry. Witt served as project leader for the development of the AICPA Audit Committee Toolkit: Not for Profit Organizations and as a taskforce member for the COSO Internal Control Over Financial Reporting – Guidance for Smaller Public Companies.