We discussed the process of designing strategy maps in the eTraining, “Strategy Maps and the Balanced Scorecard”. In this bonus mini-lesson, we will focus on some challenges you may face as you define your strategic goals.
Some companies have trouble defining their strategic goals. Investors want a return on their money, but they don’t clearly understand what the company should do to generate a profit. They hire top managers to run the business, but the top managers face the same problem: it is not clear what the company’s strategic goals should be!
This kind of confusion happens most often in small businesses, but large companies can sometimes face the same problem.
If your company is in this situation, here is a simple process to define your strategic goals:
1) Who are your stakeholders? Typically, when you need to define your priorities, you need to start with your stakeholders. These might be the investors in your company, or the owners of your project. Who are you working for?
2) What do your stakeholders need? What are their strategic goals? Typically, investors want to make a profit on their investment. Sometimes they may have other priorities, but they always expect some sort of results. You need to understand what results your stakeholders expect, and you need to research your topic to understand what you need to do to achieve those results. In the process, you will define the strategic goals for your company
3) Create a Strategy Map. Once you have defined your goals, you need to identify your priorities. What should be done first? What results can you expect? This information is enough to start creating your Strategy Map.
4) Consider the four perspectives. Look at your company’s situation from all four of the basic perspectives on the Balanced Scorecard: Business Processes, Customer Relationship, Education and Growth, and Finance. Do your strategic goals include something related to each of these perspectives? If not, you are probably missing something!