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Are You Ready for 2010?

BalancedScorecard_1It’s that time of year again where businesses and people take a step back to regain perspective and plan out the upcoming year.

Budgets are being crunched and plans put into place.

Where are you in your strategic planning process?

I asked that on Twitter the other day and Rob, a.k.a. @7breaths_, responded immediately with how he is mapping out his 2010 strategic plan.

Rob’s plan is a mapped version of the balanced scorecard which you can download here:

Download the Balanced Scorecard Strategy Map Template

If you’re using Internet Explorer, download this file: Balanced Scorecard Strategy Map

The balanced scorecard was first documented by Harvard’s Robert Kaplan and David Norton in the early 90’s. It was used as a strategic planning framework which helped organizations:

  1. Translate the vision into operational goals
  2. Communicate the vision and link it to individual performance
  3. Create the business plan
  4. Provide a system for feedback and learning, and course correction

The scorecard can be applied to organizations, departments, or even adjusted to look at individuals. Use the map to:

  • Clarify, communicate, and align teams with the strategy
  • Drive the execution of your strategy
  • Make it operational
  • Align strategic initiatives
  • Link budgets with initiatives that drive your strategy
  • Conduct periodic reviews to adjust strategy and enhance results

The map reviews the following four perspectives: financial, customer, internal processes, and learning.


Beyond Rob’s template, you may want to consider the following factors to augment the map and make it your own.

Financial Perspectives

Financial results (private sector)

  • Profit
  • Return on capital
  • Cash flow
  • Margins

Financial results (non-profits)

  • Income from sponsors or government grants
  • Cash flow
  • Cost control results

Customer Perspectives

What is your value proposition?

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Availability
  • Selection
  • Functionality
  • Service
  • Partnership
  • Brand

Internal Processes Perspectives

Operations management processes

  • Supplier relationships
  • Produce products and services
  • Distribute and deliver products and services
  • Manage risk

Customer management processes

  • Selection
  • Acquisition
  • Communication
  • Retention
  • Growth

Innovation processes

  • Identify opportunities for new products and services
  • Research and development
  • Design thinking
  • New product development process & launch process

Learning Perspectives

  • Organization
  • Information
  • Resources (people)

Make Your Scorecard Actionable

For each perspective in the scorecard, there is a branch for a Balance review. In this section, you can define your objectives, measures, targets and initiatives.

Rob laid out the structure like this:


I prefer the following format which shows a more direct relationship between objectives and their corresponding measures & initiatives.

Balance Review

Either way, use the method of mapping that makes the most sense to you and your team!

So, that’s Rob’s planning tool. It’s one of many ways to break down your strategy and view it holistically with a MindManager map.

You can download and customize a copy for yourself here:

Download the Balanced Scorecard Strategy Map Template

If you’re using Internet Explorer, download this file: Balanced Scorecard Strategy Map

Rob – Thanks again for sharing this map!

For more great productivity and GTD tips, get more from Rob on Twitter and his blog, 7 Breaths!

So, how are you planning to plan for 2010?

We’d love to see how you’re mapping your way to success in 2010!  What types of strategic planning maps are you using? And, if you have a template version to share, we’d love to post it here!

  • Drive strategy execution;
  • Clarify strategy and make strategy operational;
  • Identify and align strategic initiatives;
  • Link budget with strategy;
  • Align the organization with strategy;
  • Conduct periodic strategic performance reviews to learn about and improve strategy.

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