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Can You Really Create a Great 1-2 Page Project Vision Statement? – Part 1

projectmgmt.jpgPART 1: A Sample Project Vision Statement – This Blog

Many of you see the value in creating a short project ‘Vision’ statement, to capture the assessments and trade-offs made during the planning process and maximize the project’s chances of success. This could also be a way to achieve alignment, commitment, and accountability:

: in order to guide the team during the development and later phases of the project. The Vision should not be a marketing document, or a detailed specification, but should provide the team and management with enough information to approve and manage the project without everyone getting involved in all the details of a huge specification document up front. This has been very successful in reducing the number of scope changes.

Here is a hypothetical project Vision that I call Musicpod, which is representative of many of our client Visions leading to projects being done “in half the time and cost, with double the profit and fun.”

1. PROJECT MISSION DESCRIPTION, AND CASE FOR ACTION (One or two sentence summary of this project and why we are doing it).

> Develop a portable hand-held player to listen to songs downloaded from my PC.

2. TARGET CUSTOMERS AND HOW THE PRODUCT WILL MEET THEIR NEEDS (Problems, Benefits): (Who are the customers, both leading edge and typical? What benefits will this product provide? What problems do your customers have and how will this product solve them?)

> The customers will be music lovers of all ages, but especially those in the 8-20 year old range. They will be able to customize music to their taste and carry it with them. This will avoid the problem of paying for songs that they don’t want, such as with a CD.

3. KEY ISSUES CUSTOMERS WILL USE TO JUDGE QUALITY (such as measurables): (Clarifies which capabilities of this product will be the most important to their perception of its overall value).

> Set the standard for high quality sound with earplugs – See Sound Spec. A

> Designer look – Wow-factor above that of our current products – See Drawing B

> Convenient song search – 3 seconds to find and select a song

> Speed and ease of downloading – set-up 30 seconds, download, 4 seconds

> Durable and reliable – 25G drop test, MTTF of 5 years

4. KEY TECHNOLOGY AND KEY FEATURES (Key technology to be employed in the product and specific features required to meet customers’ need. Be sure to list what it doesn’t include):

> Palm-size or less: 2.5 x 4.0 x 0.6 inches maximum

> Lightweight: less than 4 ounces

> High quality sound (advanced DSP chip)

> Aluminum case for high end, plastic for low end, 5 colors

> Store 10,000 songs, with an intuitive search interface

> Apple and Microsoft compatible

> Offer songs for $0.99 each through key media relationships

> It does not include a HDD

5. CRUCIAL PRODUCT FACTORS (Elements that are not a primary part of the product functionality, but are key attributes that must be present):

> AC adapter, replaceable and rechargeable batteries

> Water safe for 5 minutes

> Fire Wire cable, and PC Fire Wire adapter

> Offer 4 MusicPods at price points of $49 to $149

> Extensible to second generation products

> Overseas manufacturing; 2 sources

> 85 db limit for sound, software controlled

> Patent protected

6. RELEVANT FINANCIAL NUMBERS (The economic factors driving this project, such as sales, units, price, cost, market window, delivery day, late-cost-per-week, budget):

> Delivery day – Oct. 1, 2009

> Project LCPW – $500K/week

> Cost – 60% margin, PBT – 20%

> Units 1M first year, Sales dollars $100M

7. ASSUMPTIONS, RISKS:

> Assumptions: Inexpensive 10-50 GB Flash IC; schedule and market launch can be met; media relationships can be signed for $0.49 songs.

> Risks: Development of MusicPod software in time; DSP cost.

8. SIGNATURES OF TEAM AND MANAGEMENT: Key for total company commitment.

I hope you find this useful, and watch for my next blog on the 7 steps in creating such a Project Vision,

Jeff

Jeff@ProjectAcceleration.com

©2007 Jeff Schlageter, ©2008 Global Brain

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About the Author

JEFF SCHLAGETER, is the President of Project Acceleration, and a Consulting Partner with Quality Rapid Product Development. Jeff also is an instructor of Program Management at UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Extension, and a co-instructor at UC Berkeley Extension, and Stanford University Continuing Studies. Jeff's worldwide program management consulting business spans the spectrum of Fortune 500 companies down to pre-IPO companies in integrated circuits, systems, software, IT, medical, and web products. Previously, Jeff's background includes over 20 years as a VP of Engineering and Software for advanced product development, and as a General Manager of three high-tech businesses. Companies where Jeff has been employed include Ortel/Lucent, General Electric, Cirrus Logic, Actel, Advanced Micro Devices, Mostek/ST, Standard Microsystems, and Fairchild Semiconductor. He has also been President of the IEEE Memory Standardization Committee, has presented at the IEEE Solid States Circuit Conference, taught at Project World, written numerous articles, contributed to two books, and has a systems architecture patent. Jeff's education includes a BSEE and MSEE from UC Santa Barbara. He has an office in San Jose, and likes to ski, golf, travel, and build houses for Habitat for Humanity. jeff@projectacceleration.com
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2 Responses to “Can You Really Create a Great 1-2 Page Project Vision Statement? – Part 1”

  1. Very cool. It seems like this could be a good way to structure your project charter, no?

    Josh Nankivel
    pmStudent.com

  2. Hi Josh,
    Yes, it would be a great format to use for a project charter. It helps to make sure that all the key items are incluced, and it also can be used to obtain all of the management signatures,
    Jeff

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