What is a Strategy Roadmap, and what are best practices, tools and online templates for teams and organizations?
Definition of Strategy Roadmap
A Strategy Roadmap, also known as a Strategic Roadmap, is a visual depiction of where the organization currently is and where it would like to go in the future, including a plan to get from the current to the desired state. It can be used for many initiatives, but in general, a Strategy Roadmap serves as a guide toward an organizational vision or goal. Roadmaps typically include time point for key events, for example when the organization should implement each step of the plan or arrive at a desired state. While a strategic roadmap cannot be used to predict whether the organization will actually attain its goals, its visual display can allow your team to determine what steps need to be taken to get there. A Strategic Roadmap is often used by leadership to communicate its Strategic Plan.
Description of Strategic Roadmap
The following steps can be used to create a Strategy Roadmap:
- Define your vision. A company’s vision endures over time, and because your team does not know how long it will take to reach the desired end state, it is crucial that every member of the team understands the vision. The vision is the guiding point for the entire strategy, regardless of how long it takes to execute it. Whatever framework your team uses to create the strategic roadmap, the vision should be prominently placed at “the top.”
- Define your organizational values. It is important that the organization’s values align to the vision. Values are also enduring and become the cultural glue that allows everyone to work together to achieve the vision.
- Define strategic goals. Define the critical goals or steps that need to be taken to bring the organization’s vision into reality. These goals can more broadly span the entire organization, or they might be limited to one specific department (e.g., development of marketing strategies, improving the quality of customer service, etc.)
- Define your strategy. Choose what strategy will help the organization reach its larger goals. This can be done using the Balanced Scorecard framework, a SWOT analysis, or other strategy tools. Consider the larger goals set forth in this framework (i.e., finances, customer, internal processes and learning and growth) but in a broad way. More specifically, outline the plan by outcome (i.e., finances and customer) and process (i.e., internal process, learning and growth). The best strategic roadmaps connect all four goals with the outcome goals being supported by the process goals.
- Define your action plan. Determine the actions that need to be taken to execute the strategies. This is the most important part of the roadmap because it lays out concrete tasks that employees can do to bring these abstract concepts into reality. Consider who will be accountable for each action and when they should complete it, but ensure that the actions are feasible and measurable.
- Identify barriers. Think about what actions might be perceived as or are risky as well as other organizational factors that might prevent successful strategies or practical actions from occurring.
- Create a phased approach. Review everything previously defined and then create a phased approach by outlining the different steps or horizons that will lead you from the current to the future state. Be sure to celebrate the achievement of smaller milestones in order to build momentum towards the ultimate goal. This is especially critical for longer strategic initiatives where it is easy for employees to get discouraged.
Tools & Templates
Most Strategic Roadmaps are developed in presentation tools such as Microsoft PowerPoint but some roadmaps are depicted by graphic artists.
upBOARD's Online Strategy Roadmap Tools & Templates
Unlike most traditional Strategy Roadmap techniques, upBOARD’s online Strategic Roadmapping software tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.
Learn more about upBOARD’s portfolio of other business strategy best practice tools and templates, including:
ADL Matrix, Affinity Diagrams, Baker’s 4 Strategies of Influence, Balanced Scorecard, Benchmarking, Blue Ocean Strategy, Bowman Strategy Clock, Build-Measure-Learn Feedback Loop, CAGE Distance Framework, Competitive Analysis, Competitive Landscape Analysis, Contingency Planning, Core Competence Analysis, Critical Success Factors, Discovery Driven Planning, Five Forces Model, Force Field Analysis, Gap Analysis, GE McKinsey 9-Box Matrix, Go To Market Strategy, Hambrick & Frederickson’s Strategy Diamond, Hedgehog Model, Hook Model of Behavioral Design, Hoshin Planning System, Kay’s Distinctive Capabilities Framework, Kotler’s Five Product Levels Model, Kotler’s Pricing Strategies, Lafley & Martin’s Five Step Strategy Model, McKinsey’s Seven Degrees of Freedom for Growth, Mission Statements, Mullin’s Seven Domains Model, OGSM Framework, Ohmae’s 3-C’s Model, PEST Analysis, Porter’s Diamond, Portfolio Management, Purpose Statements, Pyramid of Purpose, Scenario Planning, Simonson & Rosen’s Influence Mix, SOAR, Strategic Goals, Strategic Roadmap, Strategy Map, Strategy Roadmap, Strategy Uncertainty Map, SWOT Analysis, TOWS Matrix, Triple Bottom Line, USP Analysis, Value Chain Analysis, Value Disciplines Model, Value Net Model, Values Statement, Vision Statements, VRIO Analysis, and Weisbord’s Six-Box Model.