Laptop with VisPlan

Boost Your Strategy: How Graphical Strategic Planning Can Help Achieve Success

Clarity in Communication

One of the key advantages of using graphical strategic planning is that it helps to improve clarity. Using visual elements such as flowcharts, mind maps, and infographics, organizations can communicate complex information in a simple and easy-to-understand format. This makes it easy for everyone in the organization, from top-level executives to front-line employees, to understand the plan and their role in achieving it.

Collaboration and Co-Creation

Graphical strategic planning also helps to promote collaboration and co-creation. By involving team members in the planning process, organizations can build buy-in and ownership of the plan among team members. This also allows for a more diverse set of perspectives and ideas to be incorporated into the plan, which can lead to more effective and innovative strategies.

Flexibility for Adaptation

The flexibility of graphical strategic planning is another major advantage. Visual plans are easy to update and adapt as circumstances change, which allows organizations to respond quickly to new challenges and opportunities. This flexibility can also help organizations to adjust their strategies and tactics as needed to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment.

Accountability for Progress

Another key benefit of using graphical strategic planning is that it helps to improve accountability. By using clear, measurable goals and objectives, organizations can hold themselves and their teams accountable for achieving the plan’s objectives. This helps to ensure that everyone is aligned and working towards the same goals, and it can help organizations to achieve their objectives more effectively and efficiently.

Engagement for Motivation

Finally, graphical strategic planning can help to engage and motivate employees by showing them how their work contributes to the organization’s overall goals. By providing employees with a clear understanding of how their work fits into the organization’s mission and vision, they can better understand the bigger picture and be more motivated to achieve success.


In conclusion, using graphical strategic planning can be a powerful tool for organizations looking to boost their strategies and achieve success. It helps to improve clarity, collaboration, flexibility, accountability and engagement, and can be a great way to ensure that everyone in the organization is aligned and working towards the same goals. Organizations that adopt this approach can achieve their objectives more effectively and efficiently, and stay competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment.

VisPlan Teams Meeting

Make sure your business is transparent and visually aligned

We communicate and work in Teams, Zoom and Slack – share screens within all types of modern digital meeting rooms. One implication of this is that it is getting harder and harder to get your arms around the organization with the spread of functions and people outside the traditional office workspace.  

Just recall the recent headline from Elon Musk, about his frustration that he cannot control all his workforce and demand them to show up in office.  

We need to align all business disciplines in a digital way to coordinate work across the organization. What if you can represent your organization by functions, lines of business and its capabilities with the what’s and the how’s the workforce is conducting their daily operations on a one-page visual representation? 

sub plan hierarchy
Each line in the Master Plan has its own Sub Plan

VisPlan visualizes your organization in its context whether it is a corporation with divisions, business areas or programs aligned with the content of the What’s and How’s.

VisPlan has a visual graphical representation that is not unique but rather a representation that most of us recognize and can relate to. What is unique though, is that the same structure has a built-in method that is generic and guides you in any type of business, gov. agency, personal plan, or industry to match your objectives and initiatives.

You can map and align your organization from the top or from the bottom and build your way up or even map completely independent “islands” just to connect them all to a fully aligned master plan with linked sub-plans.

The key thing here is the horizontal lines! Each line can be identified as a line of business, company function or at best as a business capability. And the boxes on the lines hold the collective Ambition Initiatives that contain related Actions for the execution of all the linked plans.

Please review the corporate Big Bank example and its separate business areas and how it breaks down below. Each line is assigned as a function or a division, but all connected with a logical sub-plan breakdown that allows information to trickle down and at the same time aggregate data upwards.

Master Plan to Sub Plan
The Capability Line Retail Banking has a Subplan. The Ambitions (boxes) become the Capability Lines in the Retail Bank Sub Plan

Don’t hesitate to let us assist you in mapping out and visualizing your digital organization structure in VisPlan. 

Please book for a free consultation in our calendar! 

Working with Capabilities and Ambitions

Working with Capabilities and Ambitions

Our How to work with Capabilities and Ambitions guide will help you to get a better insight in how to define and improve your capabilities and ambitions in an existing plan.

VisPlan List View

New List view

The list view has been requested by many customers. It makes it easier to work with all the Actions in the plan in a more condensed way and it has many features to help you be more efficient. 
You can filter and sort the Actions on many different properties. The view can be customized to fit your needs and also exported to Excel.

Have a look at this video where we walk you thorough many of the features in the list view. 

 Try it out! 

The new list view is already available in all versions of VisPlan. If you don’t have VisPlan, Download a Free Trial today.

The VisPlan Method

All tools need a method, so does VisPlan. We have a method structured into Consulting Advisories, built into the tool to guide you in developing your strategic plan step by step to a complete executable interactive strategy.

The VisPlan Advisories has an introduction to the tool and how to do it.

The order of sequence or steps below are considered as the well-known or common way to work through the creation of a strategic plan.

You should always start from the top with the Position Statement and then break it down into the essential plan components.

VisPlan with Advisories
VisPlan with sidebar containing the Advisories.

Position Statement 

Start with defining the Position Statement, the position you want your organization to be in when the plan has been executed. 

Strategic Objectives 

The Position Statement which is the value the business will deliver must be measured somehow. By identifying what to measure you need to identify a few Strategic Objectives. These are carefully chosen objectives that support your Position Statement and align with the overall official goals of your organization, each with a set of well-defined lagging Key Result Indicators (KRIs). 


The Capability line represents the delivery side of the plan. What and how the organization can deliver or perform towards the desired business value. The horizontal lines are the specific identified organizational capabilities, either existing or new capabilities needed to achieve your Position Statement and Strategic Objectives. 

A Capability is normally based on the combination of a competence or special skill and a resource or tool set, sometimes mixed up with Functions. Dividing a plan by function can work too, but most often you will get a better effect if you can combine some functions into a Capability. 


Each capability line will be composed of a set of chosen strategic Ambitions. 

Ambitions are broad ideas that enable your organization to build or leverage your capabilities to achieve your Position Statement. 

Each Ambition should significantly impact at least one Strategic Objective and may have associated leading Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). 


Ambition is not an Action, but rather the lead reasoning to develop Actions from. 

Actions are a set of specific initiatives that stem from their respective Ambition. Actions are not meant to be a to-do list but a selection of strategically important actions. 


We need to make the plan move forward constantly, to make that happen we divide the plan into multiple focuses. Each focus is a step forward. 

The Focuses are a series of milestones that determine which Actions to prioritize as you communicate and roll-out your plan. Your Focus will shift over time as you execute your plan.  

Try it out! 

It is just that easy! All steps are instantly supportive for you to become a successful strategic planner. 

Get ready, download a free trial from Teams AppSource, or book a demo and we will show you how it works and help you out with your own plan. 

HBR: Roger Martin - A Plan Is Not a Strategy

Roger Martin: A Plan Is Not a Strategy

In a recent viral video Prof. Roger Martin claims that a plan is not a strategy, rightfully so, but a strategy needs to be executed! 

Prof. Martin is doing an excellent job in explaining that planning isn’t equivalent with what strategy is. 

But a defined strategy needs to be executed and it is hard to execute anything if it is not taken down into a one-pager road map.

In most cases, when you plan, you take a set of things you need to do, i.e., known actions and structure them in a timely fashion, to what it is supposed to do.

With strategy it is different, the initiatives in a strategy is the outcome of strategic thinking, or use the word strategic planning for that matter. In strategy you must start with the desired business outcome, the unique position to be in, if not in place the whole process is pointless.

From the desired business outcome position, you must look at your needed capabilities to execute and perform the strategy.

Prof. Martin alludes to Southwest Airlines as an example. And their strategy works perfectly well to put into an executable coherent strategy plan. See the below image of how it could look like.

BlueAirlines Strategic Roadmap
Strategy plan - VisPlan in Microsoft Teams

Do you have a strategy that needs to be executed – VisPlan will make it Visually Interactive and Executable!

Book a demo and we can  show you how

VisPlan Flywheel

How to improve your business outcomes by visualizing your game plan

How do you make sure everyone in your company understands your strategy and how to implement it in daily work?  

Having a clear business strategy means nothing if it can´t be implemented throughout your organization. To do that effectively your resources, actions, decisions and investments need to unified and work consistently towards your set goals. You need strategic alignment.   

However, aligning and executing strategy with program- and project management, across multiple departments and regions is easier said than done. Here are some key challenges you need to overcome; 

  • Centralizing objectives across departments and keep everyone on the same page
  • Monitoring that actions and initiatives are clearly connected to overall goals from different systems 

Making your game plan for success known and understood for all your key stakeholders- from management filtered down to every individual  

By visualizing your strategy you make it available and connected to your organization’s daily work. Businesses with strong strategic alignment have higher customer retention, customer satisfaction and leadership effectiveness. 

Real time monitoring of strategic goal and associated KPI fulfillment from management to individuals provides better decision making and simplifies prioritization.  

Fully implementing your strategic game plan into your business takes focus and commitment.
By visualizing your strategic alignment and monitoring every action against this consistent view you provide an accessible facility to make sure that your team fully understands the big picture. 


About VisPlan

The Gantt-view displays when Actions are set in time and colors indicate the progress

VisPlan update New Gantt view and completed Actions

In this release, we introduce a completely new view – Gantt, and a new grouping in the sidebar for completed actions.

Gantt view

The Gantt view makes it significantly easier to see the plan’s actions placed in time and in relation to each other.

There are three different grouping options:

  • Capability – Ambition – Action By default, this mode is collapsed to Capability – Ambition level. Expand each Ambition to show the Actions.
  • Focus – The Actions are displayed grouped by each assigned Focus in alphabetical order
  • Assigned to – The Actions are grouped by the person it is assigned to. If an Action is assigned to multiple assignees, each person will appear as a heading in the list.
    This view is very effective when you want to look at all the Actions assigned to you.

Work in Gantt Edit mode

By entering the Edit mode, you can drag the bar for an Action and move it in time or adjust the ends to alter its duration. You can also adjust the smaller slider on an Action bar to alter % Complete. (if you do this for an Action linked to Microsoft Planner, % will be reverted again as it is supposed to be reported only in Microsoft Planner)

Grouping of Completed Actions in Sidebar

In the Sidebar, completed actions are now grouped at the bottom. These are collapsed and displayed in a lighter tone. To view them, expand the grouping.

VisPlan to Microsoft Planner

VisPlan and Microsoft Planner

We are proud to announce that VisPlan for Microsoft Teams now allows users to automatically generate linked Microsoft Planner Plans from your main VisPlan visual master plan, for easy reporting back into VisPlan. 

Create Microsoft Planner Plans from VisPlan

 The VisPlan Status indicators and Progress will be updated based on each Checklist item status as well as Actions/Tasks completed. This will allow organizations to have a broad and easy to use procedure of reporting on actions from Microsoft Planner and ToDo mobile Apps. 

Update progress from Microsoft Planner

VisPlan is a Strategy- and Program Execution solution characterized by its powerful visual roadmap overview serving as the Master Plan. There is also a built in validation method to evaluate the overall effectiveness of your Plan versus Strategic Objectives. 

VisPlan helps all organizations bridge between Strategy formulation on one hand and Strategy communication and execution on the other.

Present your strategy on one page

Visualization is key to creating an aligned mental model for leaders and coworkers, helping them relate to the information and remember it more effectively

While using images can make a presentation more visually appealing, a variety of images can create confusion and misalignment. It’s been found that people remember only a small portion of a wordy presentation, around 10-30%.

Our clients, both large corporations and government agencies, have found success in using a one-page strategy with a visual layout. This not only leads to better outcomes but also saves time in the implementation process. As Bruce Scheer explains in the video, this approach may not have scientific validity but based on our clients experience it has been successful.

Consider simplifying your presentations by using a visual layout that is easy to understand and remember, and see the difference it makes in the effectiveness of your communication.