Written by: Freddie Tubbs
A clear and properly communicated vision can prevent a lot of problems and confusion for the team following it. A vision is also important because it can be easy for a team to start attempting to find a solution before they fully understand the problem. An effective vision statement clearly and briefly describes what the project team and stakeholders hope to accomplish. Follow these seven steps to write an effective project vision statement.
Align your vision with organizational goals
It should go without saying, but make sure you are in step with your organization’s priorities. You will need commitment from the right people, so write a vision statement that aligns with your organization’s goals. The best way to accomplish this is to link your project to some specific corporate objective.
Write using actionable language
Your vision gives the people you’re leading their goal. Use your vision statement to clarify your project’s purpose, remove confusion, and unify your group as they take inspiration and translate it into their best effort. The vision statement is a written version of your vision that condenses your big picture idea and all its emotional potential. Your vision statement sets the course for your team and helps them understand how they will get to their destination. The statement you create should follow a formula similar to this: (Action) a (deliverable) that (criteria). An example could be (Devise) an (orientation program) that (prepares employees to prioritize cyber security). By understanding this vision statement, your team knows where they are going, why, and what kind of action is expected. You can use writing tools such as WritingPopulist and Revieweal for help with writing your statement using actionable language.
Keep these key elements in mind when you are writing your vision statement. Keep it brief and simple. Make it actionable; use strong verbs such as “deliver” and “produce.” Engage your project participants by using concepts that resonate with them and encourage their best work. Do your best to make it a collaborative effort. You’ll get some great ideas by taking input from your team and clients, and there’s a higher chance of reaching a consensus. Remember what your goal is and direct your statement towards its benefits. Include some tangible criteria that will define your success.
Summarize your project vision with a persuasive phrase
Begin your statement with a powerful and persuasive phrase in the first paragraph. The most effective way to craft one of these phrases is with a memorable line that encompasses the essence of your vision. When your reader sees, or remembers, this phrase, it should bring to mind the rest of the vision statement it represents. Sometimes the best way to write this phrase is to look over your completed vision statement and then think of how to represent this vision in one sentence. You can also use writing guides such as AcademAdvisor and Academized for help summarizing your vision.
Impart a sense of importance
After they’ve read your vision statement, your reader should have a clear understanding, and be able to articulate, how important the project is. They should know just how crucial the project, and the solution it provides, is to the desired goals of the organization. Make your statement as clear as possible to ensure your goal’s importance is understood. Use editing and proofreading tools such as MyWritingWay and LetsGoandLearn to guarantee clear communication of this point.
People, process, and technology
Every project will involve people, the technology they use, and the process the two are involved in. What’s involved in the process? How does the available technology support the process? How will people benefit from implementing the vision statement? There should be a clear explanation of all three of these elements and how they interact with each other in the course of the project.
Use as much space as you need
Your vision statement’s purpose is to paint a mental picture to motivate and guide your team throughout the process, and to remind them of their core goals if they feel they have lost direction. “Something this core to your project’s success takes some space to explain itself. While you do want to avoid superfluous jargon that will confuse, it is still necessary to take some room up on the page to clearly illustrate your vision”, – explains Alice Felts, a Project Manager at Writemyaustralia and Huffingtonpost writer.
Your vision statement is your team’s guiding light. It will establish your goals and the methods you’ll follow while accomplishing those goals. When project members find themselves confused or feeling as if their work has gone off course, the vision statement will be there to get things back on track. A properly conceived and written vision statement needs to align with organizational goals, use actionable language, contain a persuasive summarizing phrase, convey a sense of importance, describe the roles of process, people, and technology, and will take up as much space as is necessary.