A Shared Vision

A Shared Vision

Continued from a Previous post

There are four common areas to address when preparing to implement change in your organization:

  1. Pressure for Change
  2. A Shared Vision
  3. A Capacity to Translate to Execution
  4. A Realistic Workplan

Let’s talk about a Shared Vision.

What does having a Shared Vision mean?

From the book – A Beautiful Constraint (Source: &Strategy – adapted by Michael Hay):

We need a view of where we want to go, and why, which everyone needs to buy into. Without a shared vision, we run off in different directions — the very best outcome of which is that nothing gets done.

Similar to the pressure for change, A shared vision starts at the top. The reason for the purchase of software – in other words, the definition of value – needs to be clear and regularly referenced throughout the lifespan of a software implementation. Without a standard set of goals and measures for achieving these goals, there is no shared vision.

Why is a Shared Vision significant?

The definition of value is where the vision should be derived.  The vision is the specific success criteria for any implementation. The “shared” part is the accepted worldview to obtain that success (or value). It’s critical to have both elements as one, success, is essential to get to an end-point; and two, a shared understanding of that success will keep the focus on a single end-point – and perhaps, one way to get there.

In the book Value as a Service – Rob Bernshteyn postulates that the key to success in delivering value is not just having a shared vision internally at your organization but also having the same shared vision with your implementation partner. Value – as such, needs to be agreed by any key party that is going to be involved in delivering success.

What happens when you don’t have it?

From A Beautiful Constraint:

Without shared vision, we run off in different directions–the very best outcome of which is that nothing gets done.

The Affordable Care Act website release is an example of a project that was absent a shared vision. Why? There was no agreed upon success criteria. Consultants and Department of Health all saw the website, and it’s goals differently. The leadership was lacking, and communication was poor. Combine that with a back-end team that was disconnected with everyone – and the result was a massive initiative that fell flat on its face.

When an organization purchases a software for many departments, without a shared understanding of the value of the software – the first department to embrace the technology usually modifies the definition of value to fit their needs. The problem can sometimes manifest into Anarchy as different departments fight for a competing vision. However, what happens more often is the other departments don’t embrace the purchased software. They don’t see their uses cases or can’t agree with the altered vision, so they disengage. So they chose not to implement the software. And the one department that did implement is now left with a solution that is way to large for just them.

Though a Pressure for Change is still essential, a Vision that is shared and sustained is critical to implementing software that may have been intended to break down silos and create a more collaborative organization. Still – it’s the value that needs to be measured. And without all of the departments bought into the vision, the measurable value will remain elusive.

For more on the Affordable Care Act Website launch – here’s a report from the Washington Post.

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