What is strategic roadmapping?

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Overview of strategic roadmapping

Strategic road mapping is the activity involved in turning a high-level strategy into more actionable activities. The process involves identifying the resources needed – both internally and externally to the firm – and developing a series of steps to acquire or develop those resources.

A key component of roadmapping is prioritizing and sequencing the activities needed to enact the strategy. For example, certain actions may need to be undertaken first to allow later stages to be achieved. By identifying the most time-critical components, you can start to prioritize which elements should be completed new, and start to develop the sequence of later activities.

Short-term and long-term prioritizations

When turning a strategy into a roadmap, it is useful to consider both the short-term activities that will be needed to enact the strategy, as well as the longer-term considerations. For example, there will be some activities that the firm needs to actively plan for in the coming months and year, and other priorities that the firm may want to actively be considering in the slightly longer term.

Short-term strategic roadmaps

Short-term considerations are important in actually implementing the strategy. These are the activities that need enacting now, or in the immediate future – and planning these out helps ensure that the strategy gets enacted. In the short term it is important to consider the series of steps needed to enact the strategy. 

Long-term strategic roadmaps

While a detailed step-by-step plan is important to enact the strategy short term, it is also useful to have a more high-level staged approach to enacting the strategy longer term. This helps ensure that the firm does not lose sight of the bigger directions by focussing on the day-to-day enaction activities. Considering the longer-term also ensures that a logical staged approach is developed – with initial prioritization given to the fundamental that lay the groundwork for further expansion

Importance of strategic roadmaps

Strategic roadmaps are an important stage in converting a formulated strategy into an implemented strategy. It is not uncommon for a developed strategy to remain solely at the planning stage – potentially formulated in an annual planning cycle, only to be forgotten about because little consideration is given to how to actually implement the strategy. The roadmapping process ensures that formal consideration is given to the more specific activities needed to enact the strategy.