Do you ever feel that decision-making processes trivialize your problems by simplifying them down to a few “boxes, circles and lines”? It is true that, if used correctly, the simplest of models can deliver powerful insights. However, some problems are just, well…complex.
Strategy mapping, related to root cause analysis, allows you to manage the complexity inherent in your organization decisions. Strategic decisions are represented as a detailed (1000+ concepts) cause and effect diagram. Actions, leading to options, leading to strategic themes, leading to goals. What you can do now, leading to what you want to achieve in the future.
Concepts in a strategy map are elaborated using the “five whys”. At any point in the map where we have a concept that is not a goal, we ask “why” that concept is important, and include the answer as a consequence of the concept under discussion. We then do the same with the new concept, and so on, until we reach a goal—something that is self-evidently desirable to the stakeholders. As the decision-maker elaborates the problem locally, the software ensures that his insights are integrated into the wider model. This allows for the emergence of novel insights from the subtle interplay of “unrelated” issues.
By representing your strategic deliberations as directed graphs, powerful analytical tools can be brought to bear on them—uncovering opportunities and threats that remain beyond the limits of the unaided mind. Handing the information management problem over to technology allows the decision-maker to focus his mental energy on the creative aspects of decision-making.