VMOST Mission Board – Overview

What is it and when do I use it?

The Mission Board is an Agile strategy planning tool which allows teams to identify what they want to do and why.

It focuses on the rapid creation of a strategic plan by getting teams to linking a backlog of ideas (Tactics) into the context of how they help to deliver the organisation’s Vision.

By prioritising the tactics, based on a traceable return on investment, teams are able to maximise their return on investment and avoid local optimisation at the expense of wider goals.

What is it for?

What? Why?
Removal of siloed investment Split objectives or siloed thinking leads to local optimisation where focus is often upon “how do we get better at what I do”. There will always be someone doing those things better than us so we need to make sure what we are investing in changing is the most valuable... Getting better at something is irrelevant if we are not doing the right thing in the wider context of the organisation.
Team Collaboration Traditionally Strategic direction is broadcast downwards in a organisation. By helping the team define their own vision of the future and how it will be achieved, they will buy into the Strategy and be more informed to enable them to make the right decisions.
Allows pivoting without affecting the overall end goals Marketplace adaption and emerging trends are a fundamental part of business. By concentrating on the higher deliverables within the Mission Board (such as the Vision, Mission and Objectives), organisations can invest in new ideas, without jeopardising their return on investment
Financial alignment and Portfolio investment By overlaying a predictable run rate onto the Mission Board, MDs and other senior members of the organisation can adopt a portfolio approach to investment, providing more resources to areas which they seem as more important to the organisation.
Highlights type of change needed within the organisation By understanding the type of Tactics that are in scope allows the areas of change to be addressed. Bringing mostly new features into scope highlights that improving the delivery process can help teams achieve the greater throughput they desire. Focusing on changes to People / Process and the wider Organisation shows that the organisation is focused on going through a period of transition.

How do you do it?

The Mission Board is created by helping the team to identify the components that will be used within the VMOST Canvas. These components are:

  • Vision - What the future looks like
  • Mission - The big areas of change needed to reach it
  • Objectives - The metrics used to measure success
  • Strategies - Areas of focus that will move the metrics
  • Tactics - The changes within each area of focus
1. Brainstorming - Gather the team together to generate all ideas of what the future looks like. A skeleton outline of a number of visions, missions, strategies, and sporadic tactics is created. ...
2. Refinement - Missions, Objectives, Strategies, Tactics are refined and clarified by the team. The board is likely to be ‘too busy’ at this point. ...
3. Reflection - The Vision is condensed to a single statement with 3-4 missions. Each mission has (approximately) 3-5 strategies and a number of tactics per strategy. Strategies linked to objectives to illustrate the trace-ability from top to bottom. ...
4. Reality - This stage defines the changes that are in scope. Benefits and effort to complete Tactics are estimated. The team Identifies how many Tactics can be completed within an agreed budget period (usually 12 months). ...

Do's & Don'ts

Do... Don't...
Ensure that workshops have participants with different levels of seniority and interests to cover all layers of the VMOST Canvas Be tempted to split sessions across audience groups. This will hinder collaboration and empowerment within the teams and result in a potential top down approach to strategic delivery.
Use Design Thinking techniques when facilitating workshops By having pre-conceived ideas of what we will do. By classifying things as "out of scope" too early on in the process, the creativity within the team is severely restricted and new ideas will not emerge.
 Make the Mission Board visible within the organisation.
Having a full size focal point for your Vision and Strategic approach somewhere visible within the team allows you to constantly ensure that you are doing the right thing.
"Write-up" the board and bury it somewhere on a laptop... despite your best endeavours, it will be forgotten!

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