An effective organizational strategy is vital in an Agile environment. Without it, you’ll simply lose any benefits of efficiency. To achieve this level of alignment, these three items must be created and widely adopted across the organization and in all levels of Agile management – portfolio, program, and project levels.
The Mission Statement
The mission statement addresses the question, “what is the purpose of our organization?” Here is an example:
TelCorp develops, sells, supports, and provides training for medical devices that support surgical procedures and patient monitoring in hospitals. TelCorp is dedicated to enabling the best possible medical care for patients, by producing networked medical devices whose integrated management provides benefits that far exceed the sum of the individual products.
As you can see, the mission statement contains a detailed description of what products and/or services the organization provides. But it goes a step further than that. It also identifies the emotional hook the company has identified as a connection between what they do and why they do it.
The best mission statements are sufficiently detailed without being overly wordy or limiting. They allow the company to grow in a strategic direction while still providing a basic 30,000-foot view of the road ahead.
The Vision Statement
The vision statement dives in deeper to the organization’s business strategy. The vision statement answers the question, “where do we want to go in the next few years?” Here’s an example:
TelCorp will add support for leading third-party devices in 2015. The rollout of TelCorp’s new vascular-surgery robot in 2016 will expand the company’s capabilities from monitoring surgery to performing surgery, and lead the way to additional surgical devices in 2017.
The vision statement brings the overarching strategic viewpoint of the mission statement down to a closer and more detailed look ahead over the next few years, outlining specific milestones the company has identified as strategically viable and beneficial.
These milestones become goals the entire organization can get behind, even if each individual’s role in accomplishing them is relatively small.
The Strategic Objectives
The most granular component of an effective organizational strategy is a list of strategic objectives that will bring the company from where they are now to the milestones identified in the vision statement, while sticking to the path outlined in the mission statement.
These strategic objectives outline very specific accomplishments that will be achieved (conceptual definition) as well as how these objectives will be measured (operational definition).
Taking the vision statement a step further, the strategic objectives turn the vision statement’s “dreams” into actionable goals by tying them down to a specific time frame and set of success criteria. Using these objectives, every team in the company – indeed, every individual – should be able to clearly see where they fit into the long-term strategic direction of the entire organization.
And that’s powerful knowledge.
Of course, your company won’t be magically transformed into a lean, mean, Agile machine with the addition of these three items. But, they do provide a solid foundation on which to build a robust and effective organizational strategy that can be the key to sustainable and scalable Agile success in the future.