How to use a T-map as Part of Your Strategic Planning Process
You’ve made the decision: your organization (or an area of your organization) needs to transform. This can include adding greater automation through technology, redesigning the customer and work experience to provide better service or putting in further safeguards to proactively manage risk and compliance.
No matter the transformation, how do you ensure you’re not simply window dressing or swinging for the trees and hoping for the best? Simple. You need a strategic planning process that manages and monitors all the elements that will drive your initiative to meet the timelines and goals identified. One of the best ways to do this is by using a Transformation Map.
What is a Transformation Map?
A Transformation Map (or T-Map, for short) is a visual representation of the strategic planning and execution process. T-Maps include all the important elements of successful strategic change: goals, actions, milestones, timelines, results, and impact. Think of a T-Map as a tool to present your way from strategy to execution, while at the same time ensuring organizational and leadership orientation. T-Maps turn the usual fear of change and reorganization into motivation to achieve clear and defined goals, with outcomes that also guide future decision making.
Using T-Maps in the strategic planning process
T-Maps are useful when you want to agree on, communicate and track the multiple (and often complicated) components of your strategic planning process with stakeholders.
As with other large-scale change initiatives, the planning process is most successful when key stakeholders from various supporting departments can collaborate. Involving the appropriate stakeholders in the progression of the process – workshopping, evaluating and refining the T-Map – is as important as the T-Map itself. This is because to achieve the positive outcomes you define in the T-Map requires buy-in and ownership of the change process, something which will not be realized without stakeholder input and engagement. Thus the T-Map functions as a great way to kick-off and reach agreement on the strategic planning process, and as a valuable reference tool for those times when the waters get muddy (as we all know they tend to do).
Not only this, but in a post COVID world where in-person workshops are few and far between, you must still have tools that foster collaboration, virtual workshopping and crowdsourcing knowledge from your associates – in short, your T-Map needs to be cloud-based and accessible to remote workers.
Maximizing the value of your T-Map
Once you’ve agreed on and visually described all the elements of your strategic change process, your T-Map becomes a valuable asset to your business. T-Maps eliminate uncertainty in the change and transformation process and provide the boundaries for successful strategy execution. They support alignment of your leadership team and allow the transmission of key ideas and goals throughout the organization. Finally, they provide a solid anchor for progress meetings.
Ultimately, having all the right ideas about where you want to go is only the first step in successful strategic business transformation. You also need to know the details of every step you’re going to take along the way.