Strategy Map: At Your Service
One way to determine the value of a new technology such as XML is by drawing a map setting forth your specific strategic goals, and then working backward to determine what it will take to achieve those goals. Can the new technology be aligned closely to your strategy without completely disrupting your current business operations and breaking the bank? The example below posits an imaginary product-distribution company that's looking to increase revenue and decrease the cost of sales by upping its customer repurchase ratethe percentage of customers who buy again within a quarter. Working down through the chart, achieving that top-line goal is possible only by reducing order-processing time from 10 hours to 3 hours and providing real-time order information to internal groups. Then it's up to IT to decide whether XML can help achieve that goal efficiently and economically.