Project Management

Content Analysis

last edited by: Shirzad Khusrokhan on Sep 2, 2010 6:12 PM login/register to edit this page

1 Applications
2 Procedures
3 Instructions
4 References

A technique to check the vision of an enterprise against a set of criteria. After vision information is collected, the vision is assessed, and a report is presented back to key stakeholders to determine required actions.

This technique is often used in conjunction with Gap Analysis and SWOT Analysis.


To compare the vision of an enterprise against a set of criteria to enable an overall assessment.


  1. Collect implicit and explicit vision information.
  2. Confirm appropriate assessment criteria.
  3. Compare the vision statement to the criteria.
  4. Highlight any gaps.
  5. Continue the assessment using Gap Analysis and/or SWOT Analysis.


Using an appropriate information-gathering technique (see Structured Interviews and Workshops), collect explicit vision statements and implicit vision information. Choose the criteria to evaluate the vision statement, and confirm with project team members and/or other stakeholders (e.g., Sponsor, Reference Group, etc.). Compare the elements of the vision against the criteria. Criteria to be considered include those recommended by James Belasco:

A vision statement should:

  • be short and simple
  • reference value added to the marketplace
  • positively distinguish the enterprise
  • be in the minds of all stakeholders (e.g., employees, suppliers, customers, etc.)
  • produce clear decision making criteria;
Criteria to be considered also include those recommended by Michael Hammer:

A vision statement should:

  • focus on operational aspects of the enterprise
  • include measurable objectives
  • change the basis of competition within the enterprise's industry
In addition, a vision should:

  • provide focus for the enterprise
  • empower and energize employees, harnessing their talents
  • instill pride and motivation for excellence
  • be exhilarating and exciting
  • provide a context for the enterprise in a robust and cohesive way
Furthermore, a vision should be linked to actions to see it fulfilled and should be supported by everyone, from top management down throughout the organization. In Japan, this is expressed by "singing" the vision, where there is no derision and no criticism on the part of the employees.

A checklist can be used to compare the vision statement against these and other characteristics. Where there are differences, gaps, and/or where the vision seems to fall short, apply Gap Analysis. Check on the enterprise's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOTs), and complete the assessment (see SWOT Analysis). If the content of the vision does not provide a context for enterprise change, determine next steps to recommend to the Sponsor, the Steering Committee, or other stakeholders. Strategic visioning may be required before other enterprise change activities can occur.


  1. James A. Belasco. Teaching the Elephant to Dance: The Manager's Guide to Empowering Change. Plume Publishing, 1990.
  2. Michael Hammer and James Champy. Reengineering The Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution. HarperCollinns, 1993.
  3. Peter Senge. The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization. Doubleday, 1990.

last edited by: Shirzad Khusrokhan on Sep 2, 2010 6:12 PM login/register to edit this page


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