If you aren’t the cake baking type, historical revisionism is always a good way to spend a rainy afternoon. At 24point0, cakes and cookies are always magicked from thin air leaving lots of time to conceptualize and create cool new PPT tools for time pressed business consultants. So not long after we made this Strategy Map, we began to wonder what would have happened if Napoleon Bonaparte ever had it in his repertoire. He would have conquered Russia, would have never gone to Elba, would never have escaped that island and lost at Waterloo and would have become Emperor of all Europe. We’d probably be writing this post in French too (What’s French for macaroons? Oh.).
Okay – it was the snow and the cold and Russian resilience that destroyed Napoleon’s campaign. Plus disease and famine-like conditions as illustrated by this astonishing Charles Joseph Minard graphic that demonstrates the power of visualizing information. However, as we sink our teeth into a particularly nutty cookie, the nagging thought remains: if he’d had this Strategy Map, he could have planned his campaign so much better.
Sure, it’s good looking. And graphics have to be attractive in PowerPoint presentations especially when you are discussing complicated, multi-level project roadmaps. It’s flexible and easy to use. You can apply different color themes and change it to suit your overall PPT style guide. So what if you’re not a power hungry, self-declared Emperor trying to conquer vast swathes of Europe? Even as a Project Manager in charge of a complex IT project, you’re bound to find this the perfect tool to plan your implementation and execution strategy. Particularly when trying to explain how you’re going to assign resources and enable cost/effort savings to your bosses.
The Strategy Map is also ideal for retrospection – hindsight, they say, is 20/20 and this diagram can definitely help you achieve clarity of vision on how a project went right or wrong. The kind of clarity Bonaparte could have done with.