Strategy Mapping

As a performance management tool, strategy mapping is used in the description and communication of organization strategies to the employees. It is a principal method used by institutions to align, plan, and communicate the overall strategy and direction of a business. Strategy mapping helps organizations in the identification of supporting objectives necessary to achieve the ultimate organizational goal or objective. While strategy mapping presents various benefits to a firm, the most critical one regards assisting a firm in remaining focused on cross-functionality. It forces an organization to assess how various organizational departments support or interact with each other. Besides, it improves corporate communication, especially among the key stakeholders. In performance management, strategy mapping is critical as it to a greater extent determines the profitability of the organization and whether or not a firm will meet its target goals/objectives. In examining the relationship between strategy mapping, performance management, and value proposition, this paper seeks to analyze the Glacier Inn Case Study.

After a visit to Quebec Ice Hotel, the owner of Glacier Inn copied its design and made a more or less hotel which she based in Northern Minnesota.  Due to its unique design, the owner was convinced that it would attract a lot of adventurous Americans and Canadians. The hotel’s vision was “To be an ice hotel of global renown, where innovative and unique offerings provide unmatched value, an unrivaled experience and total satisfaction for our guests.”  The owner had high hopes that the firm would be successful and so borrowed loans which she anticipated to refund within the shortest time possible. However, contrary to the expectations, the firm did not perform well as it was revealed by the financial and operating results of the first year of operations. As a result, the owner knew something had to be done to rectify the situation.

Strategy Mapping and Performance Management

Performance management and strategy mapping go hand in hand since the implementation of the corporate strategy is critical in the determination of the performance management system’s success. Today, most organizations are driven by the desire to record better performance. Notably, this is where strategy performance comes into play as strategy maps are vital in better management of organizational performance. Strategy mapping provides a conducive environment for implementation of the necessary changes that would allow for achievement of the set performance targets through a visual presentation of the operational details essential for bringing the desired organizational changes. In other words, strategy maps seek to improve the quality and level of communication between the corporate stakeholders to encourage collaboration among them and as a result improve performance. In regards to the case study, it is apparent that Glacier Inn Hotel lacked a properly laid down strategic map, even though it had a vision, it lacked the map that would tie together the vision to the firm’s objectives and as a result help in the monitoring of the hotel’s performance to determine whether or not any progress made is in line with the expectations.

In measuring and indicating a firm’s progress and thus effective performance management, a balanced scorecard is vital. However, the development of an effectively balanced scorecard is pegged on strategy mapping. In other words, strategy maps enable organizations to come up with working balanced scorecards that are in turn used in tracking a firm in regards to performance. If a firm fails to peg the balanced scorecard to the strategy map, the scorecard would be an ineffective operational tool especially when it comes to the tracking and management of organizational performance. However, with both balanced scorecard and strategy maps working together, the scorecard becomes an effective tool used in the improvement of performance management systems through the facilitation of strategic communication and execution. Had glacier incorporated the use of strategy maps and balanced scorecards, it could have tracked its performance and narrowed down the gap between the expected occupancy (98%) and the actual occupancy (91%). However, due to the lack of a combination of balanced scorecard and strategy maps, the firm was unable to track its performance thus the unexpected operation and financial results.

Moreover, strategy mapping relates to performance management in that it is a tool used by a firm’s executives in performance measurement and aligning of resources to realize the objectives of the company. Compared to the balanced scorecards, a strategy map is considered superior since provides not only the company’s executives but also other stakeholders with the detailed description of the factors driving organizational performance and even the strategies in place. In particular, the map details the various corporate objectives from which a manager can choose and also select the most appropriate or matching goal from the scorecard thus enhancing the management of organizational performance. In other words, by helping a firm to align itself with its critical objectives, strategy maps allow a firm to save through ensuring efficient and effective utilization of resources. As a result, it enhances the operations of performance management systems. In regards to Glacier Inn, it is apparent that the firm was failing due to lack of integration of strategy maps into the organizational objectives thus they were unable to effectively align their resources to achieve the organizational set targets/goals.

Strategy Mapping and Value Proposition

In simple terms, value proposition regards the promise of value that an organization makes to its clients. Like performance management, value proposition works hand in hand with strategy mapping in that an active strategy map yields value not only to the clients but also to the firm. Strategy mapping enhances stakeholders’ engagement through clearly visualizing or depicting the value a firm desire to offer to the clients and the strategies put in place to achieve it. One of the key strengths of strategy maps that enables it to support value proposition is its emphasis on the organizational strategies and evaluation processes. As a result, strategy maps create a conducive organizational environment that allows for the application of appropriate management methods, the creation of a balanced scorecard performance measures and allocation of a firm’s resources to projects that align with the value proposition of the company. Strategy maps also support value proposition in that it helps the company in the articulation of both the strategies and the values. Also, strategy mapping facilitates coordination between vision, mission and strategies and thus enhancing the ability of an organization to deliver value to its clients especially through enabling effective and efficient utilization of the available resources. Using strategy maps a firm will guarantee value to its customer since the tool does not only measure/track performance but also clarifies both the firm’s objectives and value proposition.

Conclusively, it is apparent from the discussion that strategy mapping as a critical performance tool works for hand in hand with both the performance management and value proposition. In other words, a practical value proposition and reliable performance management systems require strategy maps. Strategy mapping and performance management relate in the following ways. First, the strategy map helps in the implementation of organizational strategies that are critical in the determination of a firm’s performance. Secondly, it helps in the development of an effectively balanced scorecard which is also essential in performance management systems. Moreover, strategy maps are critical in the tracking of a firm’s performance. On the other hand, the relationship between strategy mapping and value proposition is that a useful map guarantees value to the customers as it aligns organizational resources and process to the value proposition.