Poor Vision

Scott Berkun writes about why vision documents stink. I agree with Scott’s three theories. And I’m sure anyone who has gone through the painful vision thing on their team could add a few bullets to Scott’s list. To me, great vision statements are powerful because they are precise; they are passionate because they are personally owned and supported by those directly involved in the project; and they resonate because they are written to express something great, not to inform multiple and disparate audiences or deliver messages to sell something. Also, the best person to write a vision document is, well, the visionary. Who else is there?

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2 thoughts on “Poor Vision

  1. Jim,
    A memorable passage from a 1967 TV show ‘The Guns of Will Sonnett’, “no brag, just fact!”
    Vision is interesting and requires NO work, a.k.a. ‘vaporware’, reality implies actual effort!
    SUN is actually ‘keeping up with Scott’ of late!
    GPL on ‘T1’ ware is a GREAT idea, when will someone at SUN inform the global audiance typical CPU’s are proprietary.

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  2. I think it’s also partly because there’s a ‘type mismatch’ between visions and companies.

    A ‘vision’ is a conceptual thing; it articulates principles, aspirations and values. A company (or project) is an organisational thing; it runs on processes, structures and tasks. Trying to articulate either of those purely in terms of the other is like trying to explain a mortgage by humming a tune.

    I exaggerate a little… clearly organisational goals are not so conceptually different from ‘vision’ aspirations; but I think there’s a valid argument in there: a vision statement describes things which are not in the everyday language of commerce, so it’s always likely to appear somewhat alien.

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