How To Create A No-Fail Strategy Roadmap Template

Without a strategy roadmap, you're destined to fail.
How To Create A No-Fail Strategy Roadmap Template
Without a strategy roadmap, you're destined to fail.

“Without a target, any direction will do.”

Ever heard that quote? It has been repeated to me several times throughout my career, and seems especially pertinent when you think about your strategy roadmap.

What is a strategy roadmap?

A strategy roadmap outlines the long-term vision your company needs to achieve its strategy. The strategy roadmap acts as a guide in determining what objectives and initiatives to focus on, as well as how to measure progress through time, in order to achieve the long-term vision.

Without a solid strategy roadmap, your company will be focused on short-term performance only, which could take you in the wrong direction. With a solid strategy roadmap, you have a very good chance of achieving your goals—but to do so, you’ll need a great strategy roadmap template.

To that end, we’ve outlined five elements necessary for your strategy roadmap template—posed as questions that consider where, when, how, who, and what as it pertains to your strategy. Take a look:

1. “Where are we going?”

Describe what your organization will look like in the future. Use your mission and vision as anchors, conduct a SWOT analysis if you haven’t already, and thoroughly define your company’s objectives.

Take, for example, ACME Company, a small manufacturing company that services a single state in the Southeastern U.S. One of the company’s objectives is that, in five years, it will be a regional market leader in the entire southeast for its primary line of business.

2. “When should we get where we’re going?”

The only way you’ll be able to realize your five-year vision is to break down your long-term goal into one-year and three-year goals. For example, ACME Company won’t become regional market leader without a defined path for exactly how and when they’ll get there. The company likely has more than one objective (as many companies do)—and one of those objectives may be to expand the number of offices in each state in their region.

With this in mind, ACME’s year one goal may be to open a second office in its current state and have 10 major clients in a second state. And by year three, it will have offices in three states and budding relationships in the remaining states.

3. “How will we know if we’re making progress?”

You need a way to measure your progress at each time marker—and the most effective way to do so is through key performance indicators (KPIs). Your KPI targets will help you better understand if you’re making progress toward achieving your goals.

For example, using KPIs, ACME Company may realize that it needs to build manufacturing capacity in order to break into markets in other states. (For more details on how to create a KPI report or which KPIs to use, take a look at this article.)

4. “Who will be leading each effort?”

It’s critical to determine who is responsible for managing the elements in your strategy roadmap. In small or midsize organizations, the CEO and COO may take the lead on this effort, while in a larger organization, it may be a group of people in the Office of Strategy Management.

Regardless of who manages these efforts, leadership must be involved. For example, ACME Company should determine that their strategy management team should assist in managing the strategy creation process, but their leadership team must be heavily involved in executing the strategy. They know that if this isn’t the case, the strategy is likely to fail.

5. “What will we be doing along the way to reach each goal?”

You’ll need to allocate your budget in such a way that helps you achieve your goals, and invest strategically in your people, capital, and processes. Keep in mind that you’ll need to either link your goals to your budget through a strategic spending process, or align your budgeting process completely with the key goals in your roadmap.

For example, ACME Company may decide to run a marketing campaign or invest in additional distribution centers—both of which are activities that contribute toward reaching the goal of becoming regional market leader.

Why waste any more time? Get started on your strategy roadmap template now!

If you begin creating your strategy roadmap template with these questions in mind, you’re off to a great start. And remember, failing to consider any of these questions is a quick way to ensure you come up short of achieving your strategic goals.

How To Create A No-Fail Strategy Roadmap Template

Ted Jackson

Co-Founder & Alabama Native

Ted is a Founder and Managing Partner of ClearPoint Strategy and leads the sales and marketing teams.

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