Strategy Maps in BSC Designer

Creation of strategy map is the first thing one should do before implementing balanced scorecard in the company.

The strategy map is visualization of company’s strategic goals.  In other words, strategy map illustrates how a company will achieve strategic goals and what these goals are.

Strategy Maps in BSC Designer

The first step in building the Balanced Scorecard is to define your strategic goals.  You can use any business analysis method you like, but you need to establish a list of your business goals, challenges, and opportunities.  The result of this analysis is a Strategy Map: a visual representation of your business goals, and how you intend to achieve them.

BSC Designer has Strategy Map functionality built right in.

To get started, simply click the Strategy Map tab at the bottom of the screen.

The Strategy Map Placement Wizard

If you click on the Strategy Map tab and you don’t yet have a strategy map, BSC Designer will invite you to use the Strategy Map Placement Wizard.  You can also access this wizard manually by opening the Strategy Map menu, and choosing “Placement Wizard.”

The Placement Wizard gives you several options to control how your data will be placed on the map:

  • Placement Style allows you to choose what kind of strategy map you’d like to create.
  • “Max Level” allows you to choose the depth of your strategy map.  That is, how many layers of categories and sub-categories should be included?
  • The “Color Scheme” tab allows you to choose which colors to use, so that you can quickly identify the categories and indicators on your Strategy Map.
  • If you like, you can edit the template to further customize your Strategy Map.

When you click on Execute, the Placement Wizard will create your Strategy Map, and automatically place your indicators and categories in the appropriate places.  Notice that your map includes more than just the names of your indicators and categories; for instance, it also includes each indicator’s weight, current value, and target value.

The Strategy Map and the Strategy Tree

If you click on an indicator or a category on the strategy map, BSC Designer will switch to the Strategy Tree view and show you all the details about that indicator or category.

From the Strategy Tree, you can right-click on an indicator and select “Find on the map” to switch back to the Strategy Map and highlight that indicator.

Also, each indicator and category on the strategy map is linked to the corresponding element on the strategy tree.  If you delete an indicator or category from the strategy tree, it will automatically be deleted from the strategy map, as well.

Please note, this is a one-way link.  If you delete an element from the strategy map, it will not affect the indicators and categories on your strategy tree.  That means you can simplify or adapt your strategy map without affecting your Balanced Scorecard.

Customizing the Strategy Map

The Placement Wizard can create your strategy map automatically, using the Key Performance Indicators on your Balanced Scorecard.

However, you can also customize your strategy map however you like.  Using the toolbar, you can remove indicators or categories from your map, add new elements, change their properties, move them, rotate them, and create visual links between them.

Changing Colors

When you add new elements to your strategy map, BSC Designer will use its default color scheme.

To change the default color scheme, open the Tools menu and select “Edit strategy map template.”  BSC Designer will open a project called “template.bsc.”  The colors used in this project’s strategy map are the default colors whenever you add a new element to the strategy map in any other BSC Designer project.  If you change these colors and save the template, any new elements you add will use the new default colors you just selected.

  • Please note: these changes will not affect the colors used by the Placement Wizard.  The wizard has its own color settings, which you can adjust from the Color Scheme tab inside the Placement Wizard.

Sharing Your Strategy Map

If you need to share your strategy map, BSC Designer gives you several easy options.

  • You can export your strategy map as an image.  Just open the Strategy Map menu, and choose “export.”  For instance, you might paste an image of your strategy map into a MS Powerpoint file when you need to give a presentation on your business strategy.
  • You can print your strategy map, using the “Print” command on the Strategy Map menu.
  • You can generate a Strategy Map Report.  Simply open the Reports menu, and choose “strategy maps.”  BSC Designer will generate an HTML document, which will include all of the supported placement styles.  Then, you can choose whichever style you like to share with your colleagues or post on your company website.

Strategy Map Step-By-Step

Step 1. Run BSC Designer. Create some KPIs or open any project.

Step 2. Click on "Strategy Map" tab

Step 2. Click on “Strategy Map” tab

Strategy map wizard will start.

Step 3. Select the type of the placement and click "Execute" button.

Step 3. Select the type of the placement and click “Execute” button.

The strategy was created automatically!

Step 4. Double click on any object, BSC Designer will find this object in the KPI tree.

Step 4. Double click on any object, BSC Designer will find this object in the KPI tree.

Strategy Maps in BSC Designer

Strategy Map in BSC DesignerOne of the most important advantages of BSC Designer is that it supports full cycle of balanced scorecard implementation: from setting strategic goals and selection of KPIs, to introduction of action-level initiatives.

Strategy map is a great way to represent visually any strategic goals.

With BSC Designer user can:

  • Design strategy map manually by adding objects and links into the map;
  • Design strategy map automatically by exporting indicator objects into the map, creating necessary links;

In addition, user can add custom objects, such as text blocks, large arrows, different types of links.

From the object on the strategy map , it is easy to navigate to object in the indicators set and back. All modifications made to indicator are immediately shown on the map.

Strategy map in BSC Designed became a great easy to use mean to create nice-looking maps for KPIs. Basic supported visual functions are gradient, shadow, rotation:

Objects can change gradient, drop shadow, change shape, be rotated

Objects can change gradient, drop shadow, change shape, be rotated

More over, BSC Designer can automatically create some nice looking strategy maps for almost any balanced scorecard, here how they might look like:

Classical Strategy Map Cascading Strategy Map
Classical Strategy Map

Cascading Strategy Map

Table Strategy Map Cyclical Strategy Map
Table Strategy Map Cyclical Strategy Map

Learn more about strategy maps in online manual.

Elements supported in BSC Designer

BSC Designer supports wide range of graphical elements:

BSC Designer supports wide range of graphical elements

BSC Designer supports wide range of graphical elements

  • Rectangles and Triangles
  • Lines and Arrows
  • Text boxes and Pictures

All these tool will help to make the strategy map visually appealing.