Strategy Mapping

Strategy mapping has revolutionized the way that strategy has been formulated and executed[1]. Pioneered by Robert Kaplan and David Norton (also the founders of the balanced scorecard movement), strategy mapping is a cutting-edge approach to the art of strategy execution. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Well-conceived strategy maps assist organizations to tell their “strategy story” concisely and succinctly. Strategy maps allow organizations to describe and communicate their strategies in a way no other implement can.

Here is a look at just a couple of generic strategy map samples (one for the private sector, one for the not-for-profit sector): click image to enlarge.



While they look complicated, with excellent guidance they are not! For optimal results, strategy maps should always be customized to the adopting organization. To be considered best practice, strategy mapping is usually comprised of six or seven steps (depending on the sector). The benefits are numerous, and include (but are certainly not limited to):

  1. Superior formulation of strategy;
  2. Better execution of strategy;
  3. An excellent springboard to superior performance management;
  4. Improved communication of strategic efforts; all which lead to,
  5. Enhanced management credibility.

If you are interested in finding out more about strategy mapping, start right here.


This content has been adapted from i) Scholey, C., Schobel, K.B. (2016) Performance measurement for non–profit organizations THE BALANCED SCORECARD AS AN APPROACH, Management Accounting Guideline, CPA Canada; ii) Scholey, C. (2013), “Strategy Mapping – APPLYING A SIX-STEP PROCESS TO YOUR ORGANIZATION, CPA Canada Guidance; iii) Scholey, C. (2008), Using Strategy Maps to Drive Performance in the Not-For-Profit Sector – Management Accounting Guideline, CMA Canada, AICPA, 2008.