What is a strategic roadmap and why does your organization need it?

By: Annette Klososky, Partner & Sr. Leadership Consultant, Executive Development Associates, Inc.

Therefore, you worked hard and developed a strategy that articulated the purpose, values, vision, and goals of your organization. Now you need to develop an implementation plan to execute this strategy-but this is where many organizations encounter obstacles.

How do you successfully translate your strategy into an execution plan? The answer is a strategic roadmap.

A strategic digital roadmap is a documented set of artifacts that records all the action items needed to help an organization complete its mission in the world. The strategic roadmap details all the steps required to achieve a specific goal.

There are two symbiotic steps in creating a viable and easy-to-understand digital strategy. One is almost meaningless without the other.

Step 1: Define the destination that the organization seeks at the end of the estimated time frame for the strategy. This sets the promise for the desired state required to support the organization's business goals.

Step 2: Define the combination of action items and the order in which these events arrive at the destination within a given time. This is called a road map.


The strategic roadmap details all the steps required to achieve a specific goal.

The first mistake many organizations make is not knowing what they want to achieve from their digital strategy.

It's like starting a journey without knowing where you are going. The result is inconsistent efforts to use technology in a powerful way, with little support for overall business goals. Once everyone agrees on the destination, a route map can be designed to reach that exact destination.

route map

An effective digital roadmap is a roadmap to reach the target KPI in the most cost-effective and realistic way. It is easy for anyone who has seen it to understand it.

The roadmap is not a collection of software and system upgrades. In too many cases, leaders accept the upgrade checklist as a strategic document. The roadmap does not attempt to show every action item that the IT department will execute within that time frame. This will only encourage organizations to waste money and time on IT budgets. In the absence of business investment, it does not make sense to have technicians formulate strategies in a vacuum.

The roadmap is just to show the larger and more critical tasks that must be completed. The roadmap should also be updated annually or semi-annually.

Visual language

The purpose of creating a visual version of the strategic roadmap is to make it easier for non-IT team members to understand.

There is a fine line between putting too much information or not enough in a vision. For this reason, every organization can customize the visual language to suit them.

When anyone inside or outside your organization can quickly understand the main activities required to develop a successful digital strategy, you know that you have achieved your goals.

Do you need a road map?

In short-yes, you need a road map. As digital tools and processes become more and more important as agents of progress for the entire entity, the need for thoughtful strategies is increasing.

In addition, as the cost of buying and building technology becomes higher and higher, the risk of wasting resources is also increasing because the strategy is flawed or not well thought out from the beginning. The money you spend on developing a best-in-class strategic roadmap will be rewarded five times in terms of avoiding waste of resources and maximizing support for team members to realize their efforts.

About the author:

Annette Klososky serves as a senior leadership development consultant and head of operations as a partner. She has more than 20 years of experience in influencing changes and results within organizations. As a successful entrepreneur and organization development expert, Annette established a peer consulting business in less than a year, which is composed of members representing companies with more than 40,000 employees and $23 billion in revenue. Published in Entrepreneur Magazine. She is keen to provide leaders with measurable personnel analysis data and so on.