Program Management: Why Have A Vision Statement?

So, what’s the best way to ensure all stakeholders understand and engage with program objectives?

For large programs of work involving a multitude of stakeholders, having a high-level description of what the future organisation looks like after the program has been delivered will ensure stakeholders are engaged and encourage them to participate. A vision statement should be emotive and compelling. A program typically comprises the following stages:

• Concept

• Definition

• Delivery

• Closing

During the concept phase, a draft vision statement should be created and refined to ensure that stakeholders understand the vision and objectives of the program. Over the life of a program, some stakeholders may not understand the purpose of the change, and constant reinforcement may be needed to ensure buy-in. Meaningful change is more likely to be secured if there is a shared vision of what success is.

For a vision statement to be effective, it must be:

o   Appealing to a wide range of stakeholders

o   Easy to understand

o   Compelling and emotional

o   Memorable

o Written in future tense

A visioning workshop should be held during the concept phase of the program, involving key stakeholders such as business unit managers, sponsor, change managers and key leaders within the organisation.

A sample agenda would involve the following activities:

- Explain strategic objectives

- Describe the big-picture change that would result in achieving the strategic objectives

- Review the current state and identify the consequences of not delivering the program

- Define the future state

- Identify gaps and benefits

Have you ever been involved in a visioning workshop? Do share your thoughts.