Strategy and Roadmapping

What is strategy and why is it important?


noun   A plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.
synonyms: master plan, grand design, game plan, plan (of action), action plan

“(from Greek στρατηγία stratēgia, “art of troop leader; office of general, command, generalship”) strategy is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty. In the sense of the “art of the general”, which included several subsets of skills including “tactics”, siegecraft, logistics etc., the word “strategy” came to denote “a comprehensive way to try to pursue desired ends.”  paraphrased from wikipedia

Strategy seems like a simple concept, however many organizations find it very challenging.  execution not begin with strategyIt is very helpful, if not necessary, to have a VISION STATEMENT of your future state for the company and a MISSION STATEMENT of why the company exists, who you serve, and how you do what you do.

Once you are clear on your desired future state and your purpose, you are in a position to create a strategy or game plan to fulfill your MISSION and achieve your VISION.  Vision and Mission are topics to discuss on their own. To be successful long-term, vision, mission, and strategy have to be more than making money and profitable growth.  Long-term profitable is an outcome and happens when stakeholders believe in, and are aligned with the vision, mission, and strategy.

“To be successful long-term, vision, mission, and strategy have to be more than making money and profitable growth.  Long-term profitable growth is an outcome and happens when stakeholders believe in, and are aligned with, the vision, mission, and strategy”

What are the characteristics of an effective strategy?

Strategy Elements 20150920

There are two types of Organizations:

  1. Those that have a strategy
  2. Those that don’t

For those that have a strategy, the effectiveness can be measured by looking the desired strategy versus the actual strategy.Desired vs actual strategy

Need to develop a strategy?

How to make a start.


WHERE TO PLAY SLIDEStrategy can be thought of as your organization’s playbook, spelling out “where to play” and ‘how to win” with your customers and consumers, and how you will beat others competing with you in the same arena.  

Developing and articulating strategy can be challenging. 

Each functional role in the organization must be aligned and engaged in strategic activities in order for execution to be optimized and goals achieved.  Alignment and focus achieve productivity in terms of speed, efficiency, and strategic impact.  

A integrated systems approach to strategic planning and execution can be visualized by using a number of tools.


  1. Business model canvas
  2. Portfolio analysis
  3. Competitive landscape (strategy canvas)
  4. SWOT analysis
  5. Market segmentation schemes
  6. Cluster analysis
  7. Ansoff matrix
  8. White space mapping
  9. Voice of consumer/customer insights – value proposition
  10. Business and product line roadmaps

In the next several sections, we will discuss each of these tools and their application to developing strategy.


What the heck is product line roadmapping?  Why do it?  How do we do it?

roadmap pictureStrategic product line roadmapping is a cross-organizational process within the full architecture of product portfolio management. Roadmapping drives and links the front-end concept generation to the target market segments that achieve the business strategy.

At a high level, product line roadmaps, for most companies, link the business strategy to the management or development of product lines, or product platforms, that meet the needs, or provide solutions, for strategic target market segments that drive growth and profitability.


If we use this definition it forces us to know a few things before a roadmap can be created, including but not limited to:

  1. the business strategy
  2. target market segments
  3. user needs (CTQs) in those market segments
  4. competitive landscape of existing solutions
  5. channels of distribution for the target market segments

Next we will deal with why and how to conduct product line roadmapping.  Stop back to read more.

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