Visionate: The What? (Part 2) -- Establishing the Collective Vision

Doug is the author of the landmark book, Extreme Project Management®: Using Leadership, Principles and Tools to Deliver Value in the Face of Volatility. He works with clients who undertake projects in very demanding environments: those settings that feature high speed, high change, high unpredictability and high stress. Doug has lived in the trenches --from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to Beijing, China --with over 275 project teams with budgets that ranged from $25,000 to over $25 million. He is one of the founders of the Agile Leadership Network, an organization dedicated to connecting, developing and supporting great project leaders. You can visit Doug at

Warning: The Menu is Not the Meal
You can only be successful in applying the definitions, doing the activities and using the tools that comprise the Flexible Project Model by infusing and deploying them with the underlying principles, values and practices of eXtreme Project Management. (See the Happy Clients diagram.)

In the first step of the Visionate Cycle, you captured the sponsor’s vision, however fuzzy. With many questions still unanswered, progress has been made in answering the first Business Question: Who wants what and why?

Even though your sponsor may have significant political and financial clout, this by no means guarantees that her project will see the light of day or achieve its intended business outcome. Even if the project is completed, that is also no guarantee that the so-called beneficiaries will utilize the system of service as intended. Buy-in among stakeholders is critical.
The next step, then, is to ensure that key stakeholders have a say in shaping the project; that is, to create the Collective Vision. This takes place at the Scoping Meeting, which is scheduled after the third meeting with the sponsor, assuming, that is, the sponsor still wants to move forward after reviewing your rough assessment in answer to Business Question 2: What will it take to do it?
During the process of formulating the Collective Vision, it is not unheard …

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Necessity is the mother of taking chances.

- Mark Twain