The VMOST Canvas is a strategy planning framework that rapidly allows stakeholders to gain a high level understanding of desired changes in their organisation. It presents these changes in the context of how they fit in with the strategic and long term vision of the business.
The framework links both the desired destination (the Vision) with the changes (the Tactics) to ensure that all investment focuses on value and taking the business forward in the correct direction.
The framework also highlights where additional changes may need to be identified in order to achieve some of the objectives.
Developed in 2014 as a direct challenge to how to align agile portfolio management with annual budgeting, the VMOST Canvas is a practical evolution of the M.O.S.T. analysis technique used by Business Analysts.
M.O.S.T. is an established consultancy framework used to perform an internal analysis of the organisation. Often used along side other analysis techniques such as PESTLE (for external environmental analysis) or SWOT (to bridge both internal and external environments), it helps organisations to set out their future strategy.
While M.O.S.T. documents strategies and tactics in the context of the overall mission statement, it does so for a specific point in time. This means that it can not address challenges such as how to deal with:
The VMOST Canvas was created to address these deficits by using techniques adopted from lean manufacturing and Agile software development.
People tend to address the immediate problem for their area of concern, rather than think about the bigger picture and value. This results in a split focus and conflicting objectives across teams. The challenge is how we can marry these conflicting drivers together?
For example, if you were to ask an organisation "what would would it mean to improve?" you are likely to get diverging answers, such as:
Focusing at a solution level can lead to a siloed approach to change, which could be detrimental to the wider organisation by limiting its ability to achieve its full potential.
Split objectives or siloed thinking leads to local optimisation where focus is often upon “how do we get better at what I do”, e.g.
There will always be someone doing those things better than you so we need to make sure what we are investing in changing is valuable to us... Getting better at something is irrelevant if we are not doing the right thing in the wider context of the organisation.