Helen Keller once said “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” This applies to many things, but if you don’t have vision when aligning your portfolio of work to your programs and projects, your blindness will keep you from developing cohesive strategies to achieve the vision. Consulting expert Rick Carmona explains.
An organization needs vision. A vision can be very self-encompassing and very aggressive in terms of what they want to accomplish. For example, someone like Nike could have a vision to “become the best footwear and apparel company in the world.” To accomplish this, what are the different strategies that are going to help you get there?
- Increased market penetration?
- Increased customer satisfaction?
- Improved penetration of a specific target market?
- Marketing campaigns grabbing awareness?
You then have the data you need to create your different programs and projects. If you’re talking about increasing revenue, what are the activities that will help you increase revenue? Marketing campaigns are one way, another is through new products. After looking at the data and your vision, say that you want to create 10 new products. What are those specific projects that are going to deliver those products? You have different planning functions for each product or program, as well as different execution projects and sustained engineering functions that all need to tie into the vision. Those are driven by your strategies.
Once you get the vision, you build the strategies to accomplish it. A strategy is something more concrete with solid deliverables or metrics or accountabilities. If you think about this as a cascading pyramid, your overall vision is the top, and the second layer is your strategies.
As a general guide, we try to recommend 3-5 strategies per vision environment. Using the footwear and apparel company as the example, a strategy may be “Increase sales in existing markets by 13%” You have a statement and a direct result of the strategies and goals that you can measure and adjust if needed.
If you are blind and don’t have a vision when aligning your portfolio, you can’t create a strategy or even see what you’re aligning. What is your vision?
Contact Rick Carmona by email at RickC@vmc.com or 877.393.8622.