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Public Service Commission

Strategy mapping guide

A guide to support senior leaders with organisational strategy.

Strategy Mapping for the NSW Public Sector

The Strategy Mapping for the NSW Public Sector (the strategy mapping guide) utilises Kaplan and Norton’s Strategy Map and Balanced Scorecard methodology to support senior leaders to articulate organisational strategy and align overarching organisational goals with individual performance management systems. 

Strategy maps link organisational purpose to desired outcomes and required capabilities to demonstrate how the agency will convert its intangible initiatives and resources into tangible outcomes to achieve organisational objectives. The result is a visual depiction of the agency’s plans, priorities and capabilities aligned with the agency’s goals and purpose.

Balanced scorecards support senior leaders to execute organisational strategy through setting measures, targets and initiatives for each objective in the strategy map. The balanced scorecard is a framework for measuring and monitoring organisational strategy and can be cascaded to individual performance management systems.

The strategy mapping guide

This step involves completing the main elements of the strategy map by defining the agency’s purpose and articulating the public value and operational efficiency outcomes.

This step involves analysing the underlying drivers in the business to identify the key strategies and capabilities that will help achieve the outcomes defined in the strategy map.

This step involves stress testing the strategy map. Validating and testing strategy is an essential and often overlooked process. Taking time to validate strategy and address any gaps that emerge ensures the strategy is robust and likely to deliver intend

This step involves developing measures, targets and initiatives for each element included in the strategy map. The strategy, priorities, measures, targets and initiatives are then cascaded to group, branch and individual levels to create a line of sight b

This step involves communicating the strategy to frontline staff, customers, stakeholders and Ministers’ offices. While included as the final step, constant communication throughout the entire process is critical.

Supporting material

Leadership actions and behaviours are key drivers for creating shared beliefs and experiences in the organisation that ultimately lead to the delivery of results. The strategy mapping guide is supported by a leadership module, Actions with Impact, to assist executives with concrete, practical actions to turn strategy into reality.

Each part of the strategy mapping guide is supported by a practical example. The practical example is based on a fictitious agency, Widget NSW, and uses strategy map and balanced scorecard methodology to articulate the agency’s strategy and cascade accountability to individual performance management systems. Each practical example can be found in the ‘Additional resources’ navigation bar.

How to use the guide

While this guide includes five steps, the process is not necessarily linear and should be implemented depending on the agency’s needs.

If senior leaders have a low comfort level or the agency is undergoing significant change, it can be helpful to commence with Validate, test and refine. The outputs of this step will help to inform Populate draft strategy pap and Define key priorities and capabilities. Similarly, where an agency is traditionally less outward focusing, starting with Validate test and refine will guide the customer discussions in Populate draft strategy map.

Where senior leaders have experience articulating and cascading strategy, the executive can choose to follow the guide in sequential order, or select only the steps that are most useful.

The guide can also be used to by program managers and team leaders to articulate branch and team initiatives aligned with overarching organisational objectives. The guide will support program managers and team leaders to identify measures and targets for each initiative to enable leaders to measure and monitor progress towards achieving goals.