Blurry Vision?

Brad Egeland is an IT/project management consultant and author with over 25 years of software development, management and project management experience leading initiatives in manufacturing, government contracting, gaming and hospitality, retail operations, aviation and airline, pharmaceutical, start-ups, healthcare, higher education, not-for-profit, high-tech, engineering and general IT.

Personally, I’m on the fence on this one…but it’s curious enough to me to bring it up. I’ve created official vision statements for several of my projects--usually larger ones that are very visible and will be closely scrutinized by company senior leadership and the customer’s leadership as well (mostly because it likely mattered quite a bit to the bottom line of each organization).

We have statements of work, requirements and other project documentation. So the question still begs to be answered, is a project vision statement necessary? I can say that on the projects where I created an official, documented vision statement, it was well received and appreciated by those who paid attention to it (mainly executives). And the customer appreciates a documented statement for the vision of their project. It shows you care about the project; the vision statement serves notice to them that you are on the same page concerning the overall goals.

Let’s look at some of the perceived advantages of having a documented vision statement in place at the beginning of the project engagement…

1. It clearly formulates in people’s minds what the project is to achieve. In other words, it communicates the scope of the project, helping to avoid scope creep, often thought of as the unintentional expansion of the project’s boundaries. …

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