Strategy Maps in BSC Designer

Video manual Check out video manual for strategy maps.

A strategy map is a great business tool that helps to share the big picture of your business challenges with your team. A properly designed strategy map explains a business context, helps to communicate your strategy, and is a base for the discussion of a company's objectives. 

Strategy map in BSC Designer

Strategy map in BSC Designer is not just a simple drawing or presentation tool. It visualizes business goals, connections between them, and aligned KPIs.

In a business scorecard project you can have many maps:

No more time-consuming designs using presentation software! Those maps have no live data for indicators, and are hard to maintain! In the contrast, maps in BSC Designer can be created almost automatically and visualize all the data you need.

Create a new strategy map

To create a new strategy map follow these steps:

Before using various automation features that Map Wizard suggests, let's start with a blank map:

The new objects are fully customizable:

Adding business goals and KPIs

For now, BSC Designer was used as a classical drawing tool. Now, let's add some live data.

The resulting map is not just a nice diagram that can be created in any presentation software, but is a live map with business objectives, initiative, and indicators.

In this way you can create business process maps, and add some indicators that visualize control points of these processes.

Balanced Scorecard map

There are some maps that BSC Designer can create automatically using the data about business objectives, their connections, and aligned KPIs.

On the new map there are four perspectives that correspond to the top level objectives from the "Business goals" tab.

All the details about the "Business goal" tab were explained in the respective section of the manual. You can continue using the "Business Goals" tab, or you can go back to the "Strategy map" tab and start managing your business goals directly from the map.

Creating links visually

You can also use "link" buttons to define relationships between goals. Create a new link, BSC Designer will ask if you want to create a cause-and-effect connection.

Align KPIs

In the example with the business process map we added a stand-alone KPI to a strategy map. Another way to visualize a KPI on the map is to "align" an indicator with a business goal. 

Updating the map

After changes are made to the business goals, BSC Designer will ask your permission to update a strategy map. When updating, BSC Designer will clear an old map and build a new one. As a result, it will change the positions and styles of objects to the default ones, unless the "Lock" function was used.

Map with KPIs

Another map type that BSC Designer can build is a "Map with KPIs." 

Now, you can associate some KPIs with certain regions on the map:

The list of the regions from the map will appear. For example, we can associate a selected indicator with "Austria."

Toolbar for the map with KPIs 

To create your own map with regions use the toolbar on the right. You will need to:

You are not limited to geographical maps only. Find "Hotel Balanced Scorecard" project in "Samples" of BSC Designer. In that project we used a hotel picture as a mapped background image, and created specific areas to reflect various processes in a hotel, and aligned KPIs with them.

Learn more about creating new maps with KPIs.

Overview map

Sometimes, you don't need a map with all of the details. In this case choose "Overview" map in the Map Wizard. This map displays top level KPIs or business goals only. It is useful if you do a presentation or need to explain key parts of your strategy to partners or the press.

KPI map

On the "Others" tab there are maps that BSC Designer can build for KPIs or business goals. The program uses different placement algorithm for each of the maps.

Cascading map

When the business scorecard is implemented across the company the scorecards of business units are connected into a cascading scorecard. A typical situation is when a top level scorecard reads the data from the department level scorecard. These connections might be complicated and hard to track. 

Check out "Cascading" project in the "Samples" folder. 

A "Cascading projects and indicators" map is similar, but includes even more details about cascading.

Integrate strategy map in your business process

In BSC Designer strategy maps, business goals, KPIs, and dashboards are connected. 

With the "Export" menu you can easily have a copy of your strategy map as a picture file or create an HTML report.

Finally, we take map printing seriously:

Conclusion

As you can see, a strategy map in BSC Designer is not just a drawing tool. It can be an excellent tool to visualize some important business processes, with business objectives and KPIs. It can serve as a base for strategy discussions, performance reviews, or a presentation of your strategic ideas.