In helping you get focused, get on track, and get back to profitable growth this blog is part 11 of a 12 part series providing more detail supporting the Business Change Flow presented on my web site, Center for Managing Change.

The previous blog in this series talked about 2 Key Steps Building A Requirements Work Plan To Implement Your Vision. Now, let’s turn our attention to 6 Criteria For Creating A Successful Vision and Solution Scope of Work.

When working to break through to more profitable growth a Vision Statement must be developed both as a rallying point for everyone to see and as the reference point when overcoming existing problems.

The Vision Statement includes the benefits that will accrue to the business once that future “To-Be” state is reached. At the core the vision statement describing the To-Be state needs to be concise and have a laser focus on the solution to the business problem.

Additionally, there is a Solutions Scope portion of this work that sets boundaries so the Vision doesn’t go out of control and consume available resources during implementation of changes and no improvement results.

These two components are brought together to create the Vision and Solutions Scope Document (VSSD).

At its core, the VSSD lists the general features a solution contains, For example, “Able to process an invoice within 2 hours.” It also includes the general benefits the business will experience once the vision is realized. For example, “With a 2 hour turnaround time on invoices working capital can be reduced.”

In general, the VSSD must have the following characteristics:

  1. Clarity. The document must be understandable to anyone with experience in the business;
  2. Opportunity. Clearly state the business opportunity that implementation of the Vision will bring about. People need to know what the payoff is if they are going to commit to going through the change;
  3. Solutions. Describe the solution in a general sense and be internally consistent. (For example, the product can’t be both tall and short at the same time.);
  4. Buy-in. There needs to be general agreement among key stakeholders as to what the vision is. The work being proposed must ultimately improve workers’ and other key stakeholders conditions, however they are defined. This buy-in includes having key members from all levels and across the organization provide input to the document’s creation.
  5. A General Course of Action. Stakeholders and team members need a clear understanding at a high level of how work will proceed.
  6. Realistic Limits. Now, for 1-5 above to be credible realistic limits need to be set. In other words, a business scope must be set.
    This can can be achieved through a Visioning Workshop as described below.

A Visioning Workshop can comprise:

  • Initially ideas are generated without any judgement being placed, e.g., brainstorming.
  • The ideas are grouped with a method such as affinity diagramming.
  • This is followed by prioritization based on goals, resource limitations, etc.
  • Finally, the business scope is created. So the flow looks something like this:Idea generation ➔ Idea groupingPrioritizationScope Creation

With key players participating in the process from steps 1 through 6 the odds of buy-in being generated increase accordingly. The reason is this approach addresses the political component right along with the business. That unity will be needed when going through the actual implementation where things will not go exactly as planned. But more immediately, this work sets the stage for creation of the Requirements Work Plan (RWP) which, in turn, will be used to create the Business Requirements Document (BRD) that provides an exact picture of how, business-wise, that To-Be state will function.

A Vision and Solution Scope of Work is only as good as the Business Plan upon which it is based. To learn more read the next blog in this series, 8 Criteria For Building A Better Business Plan.

Also, for more information regarding change management and how you can get your arms around it download my free e-book, Mindset – 5 Simple Ways To Look At Complex Problems.