J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

Vision Scope Template

Vision Scope Template

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How do you convince a team of venture capitalists to bet on you?  There's a lot of ninja techniques but here I'll share the fundamentals. 

Vision and Scope
We use Vision Scope milestones in patterns and practices to sell management on how we'll change the world.  Knowing the vision and scope for a project is actually pretty key.  The vision will motivate you and your team in the darkest of times.  It gets you back on your horse when you get knocked off.  The scope is important because it's where you'll usually have to manage the most expectations of what you will and won't do.

Thinking in Terms of Venture Capitalists
When I do a vision scope, I think of the management team as the venture capitalists (a tip from a friend.)  This helps me get in the right mindset.  I have to convince them that I have the right problem, the right solution, the right customers, the right impact, the right team, the right cost and the right time-frame.  Hmmmm ... I guess there's a lot to get right.  A template helps.  The right slide template helps because it forces you to answer some important questions.

Template for Vision Scope
Here's the template I used from my last vision scope meeting:

  • Agenda
  • Problem
  • Vision
  • Approach
  • Prioritized Tests for Success
  • Scope
  • Key Activities
  • Deliverables
  • Execution
  • Team
  • Budget
  • Schedule
  • Asks
  • Go/No Go

It's implicitly organized by problem, solution, deliverables and execution.  While the slides are important, I found that the real success in vision scope isn't the particular slides.  It's buy in to the vision, rapport in the meeting, and trust in the team to do the job. 

What works for you?

  • As a long time MCS consultant, I also use a similar approach. However, I notice you don't have a section on risk management. I believe that is fundamental to achieve project success.

  • If you have to compete for resources or budget or sell an idea, one of the keys is a business case. One

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