Disciplined Agile

Develop Common Vision

This Inception process goal describes how we will come to, and communicate, a common vision as to the purpose of the team. To be effective, we need to consider several important questions:

  • What strategy will we follow to develop the vision?
  • How will we capture the vision (if at all)?
  • How much detail must we capture?
  • What level of agreement must we come to with our stakeholders before we can move on into Construction?
  • What level of formality must we get for this agreement? 
2021 Project Management Institute Develop Common Vision v5.2 Vision Strategy Collaborative Stakeholder driven Sponsor driven Team driven Capture the Vision Expected outcomes Business canvas Vision statement Business case Project/team charter Level of Detail of the Vision Lightweight Detailed Level of Agreement General agreement Consensus Dictated Formality of Vision Statement of intent Formal agreement - lightweight Formal agreement - detailed Contract Communicate the Vision Kickoff meeting Information radiators Milestone review Review/walkthrough Documentation

Figure 1. The Develop Common Vision process goal diagram (click to enlarge)

Why is This Important?

There are several reasons why this is important:

  • Our stakeholders want to know what they’re going to get. Chances are very good your stakeholders will want to know what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it, how much it will cost, and how long it will take. You will need to provide them with plausible answers to those questions if you hope to have Construction funded.
  • Our team should agree on how we’re going to proceed. As a team we should agree on what we’re supposed to be producing and how we’re going to do so. This is particularly important when people are working from different locations or when the team is large and organized into subteams.
  • We want to capture key decisions. Early in the lifecycle we often make important promises about the projected business benefits, the payback period, the scope, and even the technologies to be used or supported. We should strive to fulfill the promises that we make, and disciplined teams (and stakeholders for that matter) will track progress against them.
  • We want to stay on track. Having a vision in place, particularly one that is sufficiently captured/documented, provides the team with something to check against during Construction. When you allow the requirements to evolve over time, when the design evolves in step, and when your plan similarly evolves it is easy to get off track and start going in a different direction. Throughout Construction the team should ask itself if they’re still heading in the direction they said they would, and if not their either adjust the direction or the vision accordingly.

More Information

Choose Your WoW!

The strategies/practices referenced in the goal diagram above are described, including the trade-offs involved and considerations for when (not) to apply them, in the book Choose Your WoW! A Disciplined Agile Delivery Handbook for Optimizing Your Way of Working.

If you want to succeed at enterprise agile you need choices, not prescriptions.