Every company, regardless of size, needs to invest in the right initiatives and perform them efficiently. That typically requires a well thought out plan. A Strategy Roadmap incorporate industry best practices and help companies formulate an actionable strategic path customized to their organizations. This strategy roadmap is an integral part of project planning, but many companies don’t realize they need one or more and often struggle to create one.
A good strategy can incorporate either short- and long-term needs, or both, balancing immediate results with successes over time. Although I first learned the importance of a strategy roadmap in the financial services industry, my later experience has shown that it is essential in any industry. The benefits of a cohesive plan are easy to recognize: improved efficiency, timely execution, customer loyalty, higher revenues, and ultimately a dominant, lasting market share.
Whether a company is thinking in terms of a broad initiative or a targeted approach (for example, a particular geography or function), the first step is to engage stakeholders in an open conversation about the various aspects of their business challenges. Depending on the company’s unique priorities, a plan is designed to ensure consistent prioritization and execution of initiatives to attain the overall objective.
A strategy roadmap is particularly useful in merger situations where internal processes need to unite in order to form cohesive operations. Regulatory demands are also critical to how business is done—and what a roadmap must address. The strategy roadmap defines not only the processes that need to be used, but also the technologies, costs and results associated with the desired change.
For example, a financial institution’s greatest asset is its customer base. When one of our financial clients faced long delays in on-boarding their customers, we worked together to understand and clarify the issues from end-to-end including paperwork, hand-offs, staff training and systems used in the processes. Because of our team’s experience, we could work with the client to understand what processes and/or technologies should be streamlined, re-engineered, or even eliminated; and what individual projects would deliver the biggest impact so an organization can present its business case for these undertakings. Let me emphasize: a comprehensive plan requires one to look beyond the obvious as “one size” doesn’t fit all and technology is hardly the sole solution.
A strong strategy roadmap helps define overall objectives and provides enough detail to break it down into smaller tasks for members of an organization to tackle together. This way, companies not only pinpoint and define their needs—but they respond to them as well with concrete solutions.
How has your company implemented strategic planning?