Project Management Institute

Sharing the vision

VOICES Project Perspectives

Lionel Mann, PMP

principal, LioZal Management Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The vision and objectives of the organization have to be measurable and time-based in order to make the connection to the project. (If they are not, then it is unlikely for the project to succeed, as there is no measure of success.) Knowing the measures enables the project algorithm to be applied: If these deliverables are in place by x, then we will achieve y (the vision and objective of the organization).


Penny Isaac Malm

project manager, Axfood, Stockholm, Sweden

In practical terms, you run a session about the organizational vision and objectives, giving the team time to discuss them and let them sink in. Put them on the wall in the project space—virtual and physical. The vision should be short enough that everyone knows it. Sync it with the deliverables, giving meaning to the madness. Work with the team to understand how the project outcomes will be measured against said vision and objectives. The team that feels involved and part of something significant will be a happier and more productive group.


Adrian Johnson

principal partner and owner, Fast Forward Project Management, Brighton, England

The key to high-performing project teams is collaboration, and this includes engagement with the project sponsor. All too often, goals, objectives, plans and vision statements are prepared in isolation.

The sponsor should always be present at the project initiation/startup meeting to communicate the purpose and intended goal of the project and to engage in an interactive debate with the team to ensure organizational strategic alignment. This process can even help the sponsor to understand any limitations and needed improvements.


Marcel Piller, PMP

senior project manager, B-Source, Zurich, Switzerland

“If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” —Antoine de Saint Exupéry

If your project team wants to find out what the endless sea looks like, they will run to build the ship—and you can easily explain strategies as well as plans. If you can influence the key players, you win. And it's not only the vision and how you tell it; it's you as well. The more enthusiastic you are, the more you can motivate others.


Malcolm Meintjes

program and project manager and trainer, Smart Project Delivery, Johannesburg, South Africa

The project manager needs to work through these visions and objectives in terms of each team's roles in the project because these will differ vastly. One must ensure up front that each team understands and buys into the implications of the visions and thereafter, at appropriate frequencies, revisit the progress, buy-in and alignments to it. Don't forget to identify those who do not buy into these visions. They require a little more effort to prevent them from negatively influencing the rest and hopefully to ultimately bring them in line with the rest of the team. The better you understand the various paradigms of your team members and what makes them “tick,” the more effective your relationships with them will be.

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