Vision, Goals, and Objectives Strategy


Change management is a responsibility of the program manager. It is a role that is underappreciated, underutilized, and not performed well by some program managers. Change management is complex, and there is no cookbook recipe to apply.

Our 9 part Guide to Change Management will focus on how to prepare the customer, stakeholders, and team for change.

Part 1 of 9: Change Management-What Is It?
Part 2 of 9: Fear
Part 3 of 9: Change Models
Part 4 of 9: Change Management – Evidentiary Strategy
Part 5 of 9: Change Management – Vision, Goals, and Objectives Strategy
Part 6 of 9: Change Management – Segmentation Strategy
Part 7 of 9: Communication
Part 8 of 9: Training
Part 9 of 9: Mentors

Part 5 of 9: Vision, Goals, and Objectives Strategy

The vision, goals, and objectives method is another way to create change in an organization. With respect to this discussion, a vision is a future state that may or may not be described with a high level of detail. A vision is supported by goals and objectives. Goals support the vision, and objectives support the goals. From a change management point of view there is little or no difference in the change strategy between a goal and an objective, and so I will use the terms interchangeably.

Setting goals is a powerful method for inducing change. A goal can be set by a leader or by the organization itself. When the leadership sets the goal, the strategy is to usually tell people what to do, not how to do it. Buy-in to the change occurs as the organization comes up with how. From a program manager’s perspective, it is important to know how you got to this point so that it can be effectively communicated to the full stakeholder community, since all of them may not have participated in the goal definition or the process that defined how the goal would be achieved.

In creating goals and objectives, it is very important that they be achievable. People readily accept achievable challenges and will work very hard to try to make them happen. Additionally, there is nothing wrong with having competing teams that attempt to address the same goal or challenge from a different perspective. With competing teams, it is very important that the criteria to evaluate the results be fully defined and communicated to all.

Another method of change within vision, goals, and objectives is visioning. This is done when you create a vision of the future state and the organization changes to adapt to the vision. The vision must be unique and short enough to be both memorable and repeatable in the absence of the leader. People should be able to see themselves and the organization in the vision. Once the vision is defined, the goals and objectives should naturally come out of it.

As a program manager you should be able to visualize the change and communicate it in a way that allows the stakeholders to visualize it. The stakeholders should be able to see themselves as individuals operating in the future state. Consider this quote from the psychologist Harriet Lerner when you are thinking about the future: “Although the connections are not always obvious, personal change is inseparable from social and political change.”

Once your team has decided on their plan and process, PPM software can help you execute that process. WorkOtter helps you successfully execute your program process strategy for project success. Get a demo of WorkOtter and see how we can make your program management effective.

“The Handbook of Program Management: How to Facilitate Project Success with Optimal Program Management, Second Edition” by James T. Brown is a copyrighted work of McGraw-Hill and McGraw-Hill reserves all rights in and to the Content. ©2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. Purchase the book on Amazon.