There have been countless workshops and consulting assignments in recent years that have the objective of developing a vision statement for an organization. The outcome of these laborious sessions is often that nobody knows what to do with the vision they have developed; it sounds good but it is missing the key factors of adoption and implementation. The result is that vision statements have the reputation of being overemphasized, overused, and of little value.
To better understand the real purpose of a vision statement is to analyze the word vision. Dictionary.com gives the definition “a vivid, imaginative conception or anticipation.” Therefore, a vision statement defines in some way an ideal future state. The strategic plan is the action of getting to this future state. If a vision statement is not connected to a strategic plan, it is essentially useless; and if the strategic plan is not followed through with actions, vision and strategy both become obsolete. Only by binding the vision statement to a concrete strategy and action does such a statement become meaningful and valuable. valuable.
Besides describing the desired future state, a vision statement should also reference principal values that will be adhered to in the process of achieving the future goals. A second component of a vision statement should contain a reference to the core purpose or fundamental reason the organization exists (Collins & Porras, 1996). One thing to note is that while the vision might change due to business requirements, market conditions, or other factors, the principal values and purpose should always remain the same.
In the context of IT and strategic planning within IT, the vision statement defines the overall direction that IT management sees themselves moving in. Therefore, a well-defined vision statement is essential in helping the IT organization realize the goals and objectives that have been laid out in the strategic planning process. This cannot happen in isolation from the rest of the business but must be tightly integrated with the overall business objectives.
Besides providing the marching direction for an organization, an integrated IT vision statement and strategic plan followed by the appropriate actions will help rally all members of the organization in achieving the desired goals. This will have a motivating effect on each member and will foster a team spirit which will in return improve overall organization performance.