Strategy Mapping software and consultation helps resolve the greatest tension between the HR department and the business leader. The goal of the Strategy Map is to build a graphical Strategy Mapping representation to communicate and align every employee as an important contributor to the organisation strategy or Balanced Scorecard. Failing to get every worker to understand their own part in the strategy can easily lead to a failure of the strategy itself. Success means a strong improvement in Employee Engagement and discretionary effort from every employee.

Regardless of what the strategy or the leaders say, it is ordinary employees who make or break organisations. If nobody gets it, how can they achieve it ? To achieve a high degree of alignment directly between Human Capital and business strategy, measures of employee performance must:

i) Fit the strategy tightly,
ii) Be communicated in plain English,
iii) And then be measured on a regular basis.

Measures to consider are far more than purely financial and might include :

. customer service standards
. compliance frameworks e.g. risk, OH&S
. production and quality standards
. job skills and competencies
. employee behaviours

Strategy communication often fails one or two levels below the executive team. If the leaders don't participate in the strategy, who else will bother ? The process used to communicate the strategy and set clear Performance Management targets at executive level is called Strategy Mapping.

What is Strategy Mapping ?

Strategy mapping is a cornerstone of business-aligned strategies. Done right, it produces clearly defined objectives with measurable results. It is a principle method of

a) aligning; and
b) planning; and
c) communicating

overall business direction and strategy.

A strategy map is built from the top down, so it is important to understand the ultimate objective of the organisation before identifying the supporting objectives needed to achieve it. There are several benefits to be gained from strategy mapping. Perhaps the most critical is the focus on cross-functionality.

The strategy map forces the organisation to think about how the various functions interact with and support each other. Another benefit to be gained is the improvement in organisational communication. Strategy mapping specifically assists in graphically drawing and communicating the strategy among executives. Then it helps by cascading smaller chunks to line managers and even smaller but more specific objectives to their employees, by connecting such things as :

i) shareholder value
ii) customer satisfaction
iii) risk management
iv) quality and production management
v) innovation
vi) organisational design; and so on

Therefore, alignment can be created around the strategy, which makes for much easier implementation and execution. A common disconnect is that employees see no connection between their job and the strategy of the organisation; the strategy map can help close this gap. A clear picture of what the ultimate objective of the organisation is and how the various functions fit into achieving it goes a long way towards illustrating the 'fit' of different employee groups.

The strategy map provides a good start to the strategic process. It assists in taking multiple departments with multiple objectives and to develop a common purpose and direction. It can also provide the framework to determine what initiatives are critical to facilitate strategic plan execution and what measures would be best to assess strategic performance.

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