Impact of a good vision statement

Vision Statements

Don’t underestimate the impact of a good vision statement, in order to write a powerful vision statement, every word must count. This can seem like a challenge, but it’s a skill which can be mastered just like any other.  A vision statement is a foundational business document. As project managers, from time to time, when an idea is considered, a vision statement is required.

There is a lot of paperwork that clutters the office any organization, but the vision statement is unique from the rest. Often confused with a mission statement, the vision statement has a different purpose.  A vision statement looks towards the future, but a mission statement talks about what the company is doing in the present.

Because the vision statement is a foundational document that will guide the company’s direction for years to come, consider using project planning tools and brainstorming techniques to get input from everyone on the team. That way, greater buy-in from the company may be achieved and widen the net for collecting ideas.

A vision statement is a document that states the current and future objectives of an organization. The vision statement is intended as a guide to help the organization make decisions that align with its philosophy and declared set of goals. It can be thought of as a road-map to where the company wants to be within a certain time-frame. A vision statement is not only used in business, as non-profits and governmental offices also use them to set goals.

Vision statements are not necessarily set in stone. They can be returned to, reviewed and revised as necessary. Any changes should be minimal, however, because a vision statement should have been given a great deal of thought before being finalized.

A vision statement doesn’t have any length. It can be as short as an aspirational sentence or pages long; it depends on how much detail it should be given to get the point across. However long it is, the vision statement is formally written and is used as reference in company documents to serve as a guide for actions now and in the future.

A vision statement isn’t a pie-in-the-sky document that collects the shared fantasies of the organization and then is filed away. Like a mission statement, it’s a living document that is referred to as a lodestar to lead a company to its next innovation.

Some might think a vision statement is a waste of time, but it fills a vital need for the company. For instance, it sets a broader strategic plan for the organization. It’s very easy to get bogged down on the day-to-day details of running an organization. The vision statement helps plan long-term.

Whatever goals are set, without motivating employees to achieve that goal, chances are it won’t go anywhere. A motivational vision statement will both motivate existing employees and drive talent to the company.

A strong vision statement also works to help differentiate the company from others. All companies want to become profitable, but a company that can set an agenda to achieve that goal is going to set itself apart and inspire others. Use a vision statement to focus the efforts of the organization on the core competencies it needs to achieve its goals.

There is no template to writing a vision statement, however a common structure for successful ones includes these traits:

  • Be Concise:  It should be simple, easy to read and cut to the essentials, so that it can be set to memory and be repeated accurately.
  • Be Clear: Focus on one primary goal, rather than trying to fill the document with a scattering of ideas. One clear objective is also easier to focus on and achieve.
  • Have a Time Horizon: A time horizon is simply a fixed point in the future when the vision statement can be achieved and evaluated.
  • Make it Future-Oriented: The vision statement is not what the company is presently engaged in but rather a future objective where the company plans to be.
  • Be Stable: The vision statement is a long-term goal that should, ideally, not be affected by the market or technological changes.
  • Be Challenging: The objective shouldn’t be too easy to achieve, but also it shouldn’t be so unrealistic as to be discarded.
  • Be Abstract: The vision statement should be general enough to capture the organization’s interests and strategic direction.
  • Be Inspiring: Create something that will rally the troops and be desirable as a goal for all those involved in the organization.

Once the vision statement has been composed the real work begins. To achieve that vision, surround yourself with the necessary tools. Cloud-based project management software with tools like online Gantt charts, task lists and Kanban boards help to complete projects which assist with realizing a vision. Let us know your thoughts on vision statements and if they have assisted you achieve your goals.

All the very best on your project management journey.

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