A Strategy Map

Roman Pichler
5 min readMar 4, 2019
Photo by ellladee on Unsplash

Without an effective strategy, it’s hard to achieve product success. But what does strategy entail? And which tools are best suited for making strategic decisions? This article offers my answers and introduces a strategy map — a guide to the strategic decisions required to make and keep products successful.

Maps are the Foundations on which Adventures are Built

When I was a little boy, I truly loved all things pirate. Even as an adult, I very much enjoyed reading pirate books with my children. One of them even came with a separate treasure map that could be unfolded to discover a hidden treasure. Coming up with a set of tools to capture important strategic decisions reminded me of treasure maps: It should guide you to product success, bearing in mind that not all treasure is silver and gold, as Captain Jack Sparrow put it. The map below shows the strategy tools I find helpful to make effective product strategy decisions. For a bigger version of the image below, please click here.

As the Strategy Map above shows, you should be aware of the overall business and product portfolio strategy in order to make the right strategic product decisions, as these provide the necessary context. To put it differently, if you don’t know the business and portfolio strategy, or if these plans don’t exist, then it will be hard for you to get the product strategy right and choose, for example, the right market and target group.

Additionally, you should be able to correctly state the information captured by the product visionand strategy, product roadmap, KPIs, and business model on the map above. Please note that you should derive the KPIs from the value proposition and business goals so that they help you understand how much value the product is creating for the users and the business.

The Strategy Map can help you check if you have any strategy blind spots. I find that some product people forget about the business strategy and the business model; others aren’t aware of the portfolio strategy, for instance. If that’s the case for you, then explore what it would take to fill the gaps and acquire the relevant…

Roman Pichler

Product management expert. Author of “Strategize,” “How to Lead in Product Management” and “Agile Product Management with Scrum.” www.romanpichler.com