6-3-Build a Vision

Step 2: Build a Vision

Finalize the more specific strategies that will achieve your capability-building goal.

Determine the expected outcome based on scope

The first step to building a shared vision is to clearly understand the end goal as it relates to the scope developed in Step 1 - Determine Scope. A shared vision provides the focus and motivation for stakeholders to understand and embrace:

• Where we’re going
• Why this matters
• What’s in it for me
• What success looks like

SMART goals
Goals for your action plan should be:

Specific: clearly and unambiguously links behaviors to the goals
Measurable: provides a quantifiable measure of success
Achievable: realistic within agency responsibilities and resources
Relevant: makes sense in the context of the project
Timely: provides a deadline for completion

Understanding the expected outcome informs “What” is the expected destination, but does not describe the “How,” that is, what the journey will look like get there. An example of a supporting strategic plan vision statement is Arkansas DOT’s data management vision statement to “ensure all stakeholders have ready access to coordinated data for the optimization of business processes and decision making.”

Understand how effort will support other strategic initiatives

This is also the step to ensure the action plan will be aligned and not working at cross-purposes with other strategic plans, initiatives, goals and objectives. The time frame for the expected outcome should be consistent with other strategic goals and help to bring them to life. This step is the time to give thought and consideration to elements within the action plan for putting in place the skills, resources, processes and tools to meet the target state.

An example of this step is a state DOT that has a performance level goal in their five-year organizational strategic plan to achieve a 10 percent improvement in pavement condition by 2024. The agency has already determined in Step 1 that a gap in their capability to perform predictive analytics exists, and that it is the result of a limitation in the way staff are able to share data across systems. Even if the data were available, the agency has always based its assessment of performance on post-project results. In this example, the agency establishes a vision to establish a data management effort to coordinate data, and put in place a formalized process to link target setting to outcomes for all projects going forward.

Establish performance measures to communicate your vision

Another important component of this step is establishing performance measures that can be used to communicate a vision. This helps to bring focus to the effort by determining the ways success will be measured and how the tasks within the action plan will be coordinated across business areas within and beyond the agency.

In the previous example, the DOT could set a goal of putting in place a data governance structure by July 1, 2020, and running predictive analysis on 75 percent of their projects in the first year. The agency aims aim to achieve anticipated project outcomes 60 percent of the time in the first year.

See the attached Vision Template for a guide on completing this step.

Action Plan Performance Measures DOs and DON’Ts
• Use quantitative measures if at all possible
• Use a mix of leading and lagging measures to communicate your vision, verify the validity of your approach, show results and adjust your approach along the way.
• Have a clear understanding of your data sources and their limitations.
• Make sure your measures are valid and reliable before you use them to communicate your vision or results.
• Document your measures so they can be traced, easily understood and provide continuity when staff turnover.
• Let perfect data get in the way of measuring progress.
• Rely on one measure to tell the whole story.
• Measure in a vacuum – involve your stakeholders so they have skin in the game and can interpret the results from their perspectives.
• Forget that performance measures reflect facts but can’t replace the common sense of humans who use them to create value.
• Think of performance measurement as one and done. It is an ongoing process.
Step 2 Checklist
Determine expected outcome based on scope
• Do we know where we’re going?
• Is our vision clear?
• Are we able to articulate it?
• Do we have SMART goals?
Understand how effort will support other strategic initiatives
• Do we know why this matters?
• Are we aligned with other strategic initiatives?
• Are our time frames consistent with other agency goals and objectives?
Establish performance measures to communicate your vision
• Do we know what success looks like?
• Do we know what measures we will use to communicate it?
• Do we have a mix of leading and lagging indicators?
• Do we have the data we need?
• Are our measures valid and reliable?
• Have we documented our measures?
• Have we engaged with our stakeholders?
• Have we established a measurement system for ongoing measurement?
Complete Step 2 — Build a Vision
Vision Statement
What is our expected outcome, based on our scope? How does this relate to other strategic initiatives, including timelines? This is a living document – update as new information is available

Project NameNote: “Working name” for the project.
Project SponsorNote: Leader responsible for supporting implementation team and removing barriers to ensure successful project completion. Typically, the leader of the area responsible for the activity, or one of the key owners in the case of activities with shared responsibility.
Project ManagerNote: Staff person responsible for managing project through implementation and post action assessment.
SMART Goal(s)Note: Goals for your action plan should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.
Performance MeasuresNote: Include a mix of leading and lagging indicators, if possible. Include period and timing of measurement.

Data neededNote: Include as much detail as possible, including frequency, timing, hyperlinks, as well as any notes about data reliability/validity

PM1 – Data field(s), Data source/location, documentation location/link

PM2 – Data field(s), Data source/location, documentation location/link
Stakeholder engagementNote: Provide a summary of high-level actions to ensure the appropriate stakeholders are engaged throughout the process. This will be refined in later steps.
Additional documentationNote: Attach any supporting business or data documentation.