In this article, we will create a simple strategic roadmap for a fictitious company called RedYabber.
RedYabber is a medium sized company that specializes in selling traditional wooden toys to the local and global market. The name RedYabber was derived from the color of the wood they use that has a natural red tinge and a vision which is to encourage imaginative play (where children "Yabber" or talk imaginatively). RedYabber has operated for over 10 years and has built a strong business that employs over 200 people.
From its humble beginnings, RedYabber had a fairly conservative and traditional operational and retail capability. With their push into the global market, the need for online retail and digital services has placed critical focus on their existing IT function and its capabilities.
RedYabber's executive team have already defined their strategic vision which articulates a vision, target customers, value proposition, channels and so forth. Their new vision statement reads:
"Reaching the heart of every child through imaginative play the natural way."
Some key changes for RedYabber, from its current strategy to the new strategic vision, are:
- Switching focus from the local market to now reaching out to a global market ("Reaching the heart of every child" with emphasis now being "every").
- Expanding from building traditional wooden toys to expanding into more sophisticated wooden toys in order to reach today's more technologically savvy children.
- Switching from a mostly labor-intensive operation (hand-made) to a scaled up automated operation, in order to contain operational cost.
Jenny is the Information Technology (IT) Manager of RedYabber, and she runs a very efficient IT operations function with a team of just 10 people. Given the strategic intent for RedYabber, Jenny is facing increased pressure to support the business with its digital transformation.
For the purpose of this exercise, we will be working through the creation of a strategic roadmap for the RedYabber IT function which is owned by Jenny.
Follow the bouncing ball
The Jibility App follows the steps on the Jibility Canvas which is described in the Jibility Book and illustrated below.
(1) Defining the challenges
The first step of the Jibility Canvas is to define (or reconfirm) Jenny's challenges. For the RedYabber IT function, the top challenges are:
- The business is seeking digital transformation leadership from IT.
- IT must shift from an owner and operator of software/infrastructure to a consumption-based model.
- IT solutions build capability cannot meet innovative requirements.
- IT is not valued by the business leaders.
- Legacy technology cannot meet business needs.
To define Jenny's list of challenges in Jibility, she can use the search function to find and review the list of pre-defined common challenges, then select and drag/drop it onto her list. The example given below was built using common challenges provided in Jibility.
Note, we have purposefully kept our list of challenges to just three so that we can stay focused on these top challenges only for this exercise.
(2) Addressing challenges with objectives
In the second step, Jenny must now address each challenge with at least one objective. Similar to challenges, Jenny can search for and drag/drop from a list of pre-defined common objectives to her top objectives list, like the following:
Note, in this example, Jenny described each of the objectives with some bullet points in the Description field to provide clarity on what she means by the objectives.
During the process of defining her objectives, Jenny also linked each objective to the corresponding challenge (as shown below). Doing so helped her to understand whether she has missed any objectives.