Four Steps to a Strategic Roadmap

Written by

Chuen Seet

Turning your strategic vision into an executable roadmap is an art and a science, and far from a trivial task. Many strategic planning approaches have been touted over the decades, but how do you create a strategic roadmap fast?

If you are looking to develop a strategic roadmap in record time, chances are you should be taking an objective-based planning approach.

This may sound like goals-based strategic planning or issues-based strategic planning. The difference is that we have neatly boxed up our objective-based planning approach to enable you to build a implementable strategic roadmap in only 4 steps.

Before we get stuck into explaining the 4 steps, let’s understand the difference between goals-based strategic planning and issues-based strategic planning.

Goals-based planning vs issues-based planning

Goals-based planning involves determining the desired future state of your organization and then outlining goals that will help get you there. When these goals are specific and measurable, and set against a timeline, they become Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Issues-based planning focuses on where the organization needs to improve, highlighting key issues that will keep you from achieving your desired strategic outcomes and nominating objectives that must be achieved to resolve these issues.

Follow Jibility’s 4 steps to build your strategic roadmap faster

There is a lot of overlap between objective-based, goals-based and issues-based planning. When you follow Jibility’s 4 steps, you can leverage both goals-based and issues-based planning to inform your strategic roadmap without sacrificing speed of delivery.

To convert your organization’s strategic vision into a strategic roadmap quickly and easily, follow this 4-step process:

  • Determine your organization’s challenges
    Have a look at your organization’s strategic vision and goals. What are the likely challenges your organization will face? List these challenges (remember: challenges can be phrased as problems or opportunities).
  • Nominate objectives
    Pinpoint specific objectives that must be met to solve these challenges. Objectives are measurable goals your organization or team must meet to overcome the challenges and achieve your organization’s strategic vision.
  • Build your initiatives
    Figure out what needs to be done in order to meet your objectives. More often than not, multiple steps, personnel and other factors must work together to achieve each objective. This combination of factors is what makes up each “initiative”.

    It is important to prioritize the highest value and lowest risk initiatives first, to ensure they are in-scope for delivery and within your budget constraints. Prioritizing your initiatives is made much easier with a prioritization matrix like this.
  • Construct your Roadmap
    Now that you have determined your strategic vision’s challenges, the objectives to overcome these challenges, and your initiatives to ensure the objectives are achieved, you can put your strategic roadmap together.
    Group your initiatives by theme and build them onto your actionable roadmap.
Jibility's 4-step strategic planning method

Build your strategic roadmap faster

Building a strategic roadmap that works can be challenging, even when you’re using objective-based planning. That’s why we structured the approach into the above 4 steps, which form the backbone of our strategic planning tool — Jibility.

Jibility offers a super easy drag-and-drop interface, with step-by-step guidance that will help you hop, skip and jump through the 4 steps and into a strategic roadmap in no time.

Ready to go? Get started with Jibility’s 4 steps today for free (no credit card required)! Sign up here.

Or keep reading for more information on building a strategic roadmap that works.

How do I build a robust strategic roadmap?

If you are highly analytical and need to have an in-depth understanding of your organization’s strategic roadmap, you can’t go past capability-based planning.

Capability-based planning is perfect for organizations looking to bridge the strategy-execution gap, using in-depth analysis. To make the power of capability-planning available to everyone, we launched our own unique capability-based 6-step methodology: the Jibility Steps®. These 6 steps are illustrated in the diagram below.

Jibility's 6-step strategic planning method

Following the Jibility Steps® ensures you capture your organization’s capabilities, as well as determining how they need to change to realize your strategic vision.

If you would like to find out more about what the Jibility Steps® can do for you and your organization, visit our features page.

Objective-based planning vs capability-based planning — which is best?

Creating a strategic roadmap in only 4 steps is obviously faster than the capability-based 6 steps, but is it better? When it comes to delivering a truly comprehensive strategic roadmap, you can’t go past capability-based planning.

So, what are the differences between objective-based planning and capability-based planning?

Pros of objective-based planning:

  • Speed: Skipping capability analysis makes it simpler and faster to build your roadmap.
  • Visual: Objective-based planning supports the ability to start with a roadmap and work backwards (if required) to substantiate your initiatives.
  • Simple: It is easier to explain the process to business stakeholders who are unfamiliar with business capability concepts.

Pros of capability-based planning:

  • Comprehensive: Capability-based planning ensures you have an in-depth understanding of what is required to achieve your organization’s strategic vision.
  • Impactful: A capability-based planning approach helps you identify what needs to change before you start executing, ensuring lasting impact for your organization.
  • Accurate: When you take the time to go through capability-based planning, you ensure your organization or team is only investing in initiatives that are necessary to achieve your strategic vision.
  • Analytical: If you have highly analytical stakeholders, you will need to undertake capability-based planning to ensure your initiatives hold up to scrutiny and secure buy-in.

How to choose a strategic planning approach

For many of the CIOs, program managers, enterprise architects, business architects and leaders we talk to every day, the preference between capability-based and objective-based strategic planning comes down to time and experience. You need to weigh up your level of familiarity with capability-based planning against the need for speed and the importance of substantiating initiatives for your team and stakeholders.

Your decision may also be impacted what kind of organization you work for; for example, many nonprofit organizations have such tight resources that the faster and simpler 4-step method is often preferable.

Then the roadmap that will close the gap between your strategic vision and execution is just 4 (or 6!) steps away.

4-step or 6-step strategic roadmapping, Jibility has you covered

Whether you’re looking for a highly robust strategic roadmap or need to get your roadmap developed in record time, Jibility can get you there.

We've created a tool that supports both an in-depth, analytical 6-step or a fast, simple 4-step planning approach. You can choose the tool that works best for you and your organization.

Whether you’re looking for in-depth analysis or speed of delivery, use Jibility to make creating a strategic roadmap a breeze.

Free strategic roadmap tool

Our free app for business architects, Jibility, takes you through the above 6 steps, but it also supports a 4-step approach that skips Capabilities and Actions for when you need an even faster result. Find about more about this approach with our nonprofit example.