Strategy Mapping and Balanced Scorecard

Strategy Mapping and Balanced Scorecard




Strategic decision making in the today’s business world is one of the greatest competitive tool that many organizations rely on. Statistical analysis about the strategic business analysis reveals that many strategic plans fail because of the management approaches concerning the execution and implementation factors of the given strategies of the organizations. Considering these implementation and execution factors, many organizations are revolutionizing means and processes in accordance with the organization’s values and strategic plans that are mainly executed and implemented using strategic mapping (Jones, 2011). Strategic mapping therefore forms the basis of analyzing the success and achievements of the Balanced Scorecard, thereby raising awareness and concerns on the important values of the integrated strategic scorecard systems. Strategic mapping has been the latest focusing tool for implementation of the strategic framework and practically realizable achievements of the set goal and objectives. This paper analyzes the process of strategic mapping and examines how strategic mapping relates to performance management as well as establishment of valued propositions of an organization. Taking Glacier Inn as the case study, the paper presents an application of value proposition based on the Balanced Scorecard achievement to pursue the organization’s missions.


Strategy mapping is like a cutting-edge approach for strategic execution that involves intertwining the balanced Scorecard values, like financial, customer, internal, as well as learning and growth, with the mapping guidelines. The main objective of strategy mapping is to dictate what to accomplish and how to accomplish it. In line with the above mentioned Balanced Scorecard values, the strategy mapping framework follows a step to step process, involving maximization of the company’s values through improved strategy execution. The strategy map encompasses learning how to select the key financial strategies that are crucial in achieving the firm’s primary objective. It also involves learning the process of selecting key customer strategies that result into better financial performances of an organization and achievement of the overriding plan of action (Jones, 2011). In the same way, it helps in learning key internal processes that supports the customer strategic move that will eventually lead better financial results and performance. Besides, the important of growth processes that will support the internal strategies are realized, thereby leading to higher customer and financial achievements.

Glacier Inn is a Northern Minnesota ice hotel whose major uniqueness is the ice materials used in constructing the hotel. The mission of the management of Glacier Inn Hotel is to make it a globally preferred ice hotel through its innovative structures, nature, and unique offerings that present unmatched values and experiences for total satisfaction to its customers and guests (Kaplan, & Norton, 2003). The expectations and the actual performances of the hotel were weighed later after the beginning of its operations. It was reported that the financial and operating results were below the firm’s expectations. Consequently, the ownership and the management of the hotel had to devices new approaches to improving the profitability and sustainability of the hotel. The board recommended changes to the hotel’s strategy mapping and the Balanced Scorecard assessment. The proposed changes would be a fundamental step of developing, communicating, and measuring the achievement of the hotel’s strategic goals and objectives.

As states the strategy mapping principles, with relevance to Balanced Scorecard, the first step for Glacier Inn for implanting the proposed change was the specification and identification of the form’s overriding objective. The overriding strategy outlines or identifies the short-term goals and objectives that should be achieved over the next few years for success to be realized. This is equally critical in linking up strategy map to the initial values, mission, and vision of the organization. Specification of the overriding objective begins with the determination of right goal as well as a superior long-term investment that is sustainable and must be able to generate projected profitability and economic outcomes. Such values are attached to customers’ expectations on the services rendered by the hotel (Huff, 2002). Under the circumstances, Glacier Inn’s overriding strategy was to increase cash flow and profitability over the next three years of operations. This objective was prioritized over the shareholders wealth maximization objective following the investment and market expectations analysis in addition to minimization of the hotel’s operation costs.

Choosing a value proposition was the next stage in strategy map by considering the image drive of the hotel. Prices, unique attributes of the hotel, and relationship levels of the hotel became very critical at this stage. In this case, operational excellence in terms of costs efficiencies, product leadership, and customer loyalty (intimacy) in terms of customer solutions are the main ideological factors that embrace value proposition (Kaplan, & Norton, 2003). Glacier Inn believed in product leadership as the best value proposition because the hotel was actually and generously designed to attract visitors whose intention are not based on costs or comfort, but rather based on adventure, uniqueness, and experience in a unique iced hotel.

Choosing the most optimal and feasible financial strategy from the range of available alternatives forms the next step in strategic mapping. Financial strategy contributes to revenue growth, productivity, and asset utilization. The strategy must be consistent with the value proposition of the overriding objective (Kaplan, & Norton, 2003). Since Glacier Inn was pursuing product leadership value proposition, maximization of this value had to primarily focus on revenue generation from its unique offerings. Revenue generation in this case had to focus beyond hotel revenues to non-hotel revenue sources like ice museum (that was intentionally designed to attract visitors during the day), adventurous clientele services, and outdoor activities. In addition to exhaustive revenue sources, Glacier Inn had to search and implement a cost-saving strategy for the purposes of its physical and human assets that emphasized on revenue growth and productivity. All are to be uniquely focused on revenue growth in line with the hotel’s vision.

In order to pursue sustainable profitability index as the overriding strategy, customer choosing should be prioritized as a way of increasing the hotel’s customer base (Kaplan, & Norton, 2003). This step involves all the measures taken by the hotel’s marketing department to retain the its current customers and also attract new customers, increase revenue per customer, and reducing cost per customer. Glacier Inn aimed at implemented this sustainable profitability strategy through its unique competitive advantage such as adventure, experience, and uniqueness. The hotel also had to maintain the unique threshold levels of the available amenities.

Execution from the internal perspective strategies through internal operation excellence, innovation, and commercial supremacy as well as customer management is the next course of action in strategy map (Huff, 2002). Glacier Inn must not only market its unique theme, but also ensure continuous development of its unique features in addition to hiring and training programs to enhance the competence level of its workforce. This calls for the adoption of growth and learning strategies. However, this strategy ranks behind the financial stability and customer base strategies, thus helping in identifying any knowledge gap that is deemed appropriate for the execution of the chosen strategies (Huff, 2002). To realize the above overriding strategy, Glacier Inn must exploit the existing and emerging ice technology, introduce project management system, and encourage active staff involvement in the daily operations of the hotel.

In conclusion, it is important for organizations (Glacier Inn not excluded) to consider reviewing their actions, plans, and strategies in the event that the firm’s financial position and customers’ level of satisfaction falls below the firm’s expected level. It is through such policy and strategy reviews that the organization is likely to identify its source of failure or under achievement, thereby pursing its most overriding strategy in line with the organization’s visions, values, and missions to correct the past.


Huff, A. S. (2002). Mapping strategic knowledge. London [u.a.: SAGE.

Jones, P. (2011). Strategy mapping for learning organizations: Building agility into your balanced scorecard. Farnham, Surrey, England: Gower Pub.

Kaplan, R. E., & Norton, D. P. (2003). Strategy maps: Converting intangible assets into tangible outcomes. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School.

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