In this article you will get the answers to:
- Why companies and organizations need multiple strategies.
- How a strategy landscape helps you to get a better overview of strategic work and increases efficiency.
- How a strategy landscape supports the value generation, synergies and execution of the strategies.
The benefits of multiple strategies
In another article we have described how to build a good strategy and what it consists of. One of the main points is that a good strategy is focused, concrete and meaningful. This makes it easier to act on the strategy and easier to convert it into business value.
When a strategy is focused and concrete, that means that it is not possible to have one strategy for everything. Multiple strategies are needed for different areas and levels. This is the only way to ensure that the individual strategy is focused, easy to understand and can be executed efficiently.
It is a common misunderstanding that strategic planning is an expensive, prolonged and challenging process.
Even the work designing the individual strategy becomes more efficient. This is because a focused strategy is clear, well-defined and less complicated. This makes it easier to involve the specific people and skills that are right for the task and that makes for a shorter process.
To summarize, multiple focused and coordinated strategies are what makes strategic planning more efficient. It also means that plans are better and action-oriented.
Strategy landscapes offer a breadth of view and greater efficiency
A strategy landscape is an efficient tool for providing an overview of the organization’s relevant strategies and showing how they are interrelated. In connection with this, it is important to be aware that strategies can be called different things, such as a plan, an agenda, or the name of a specific ambition. They can have numerous scopes and forms.
The figure below shows a generalized example of how we draw up a Strategy Landscape.
At the top we see the company’s goals, ambitions and vision for the future. These elements set the framework and direction for the organization and for the organization’s strategies as well. The strategy landscape illustrates the essential interconnectivity between the business goals, business strategies and IT strategies. The visual overview can be supplemented with descriptions of prioritization, time horizons and specific conditions related to business goals, synergies, conflicts, deadlines, capacity and so on.
Although the strategies are laid out hierarchically here, they actually exist in a kind of ecosystem, within which they all influence each other. In the figure above, the central relationships are represented with arrows. The depiction of interdependencies does not have to be complicated. The strategy landscape is supposed to make it easy to identify and manage the most important relationships.
“Multiple strategies are needed for different areas and levels. This is the only way to ensure that the individual strategy is focused, easy to understand and can be executed efficiently
Benefits of a strategic landscape
In general, a strategy landscape supports the value creation, synergies and execution of the strategies. We have also described this in our article on having a holistic business perspective in strategic planning. The strategy landscape does this by zooming out and providing an overview of an organization’s strategies, so they can more easily be placed in relation to setting the goals of the business.
- In operational terms, the strategy landscape offers the following advantages:
- It makes it easier to see the interconnection between strategies and plans in different areas.
- It helps to ensure that target areas that are attached to the different strategies support each other and the business.
- It helps to define the limits of the individual strategies, so they are focused and so important target areas are not overlooked.
- It contributes to determining the optimal timing and prioritization in relation to the resources and capacity of the organization.
About the authors
Kristian Sørensen is CEO & Sr. Principal at IT ADVISORY. As a trusted management advisor and IT strategy expert, Kristian helps organizations set structure and direction for strategic initiatives and projects. Reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sune Dybdal is Ass. Partner at IT ADVISORY. Sune is a business-oriented digital consultant and strategic advisor. Sune is an expert at facilitation, change management and behavioral design. Reach out to him at email@example.com.