- starting a pilot project, you might want to say, "Use agile techniques to see how to adapt them here." In the Project NewQuant example, the focus is on the ability to compare previously non-comparable items. Unseasoned project managers can trip over this step if they try to enumerate all the reasons for the project. A project doesn't focus on five things; it focuses on one overall vision. If your project requirements are too broad to encompass in one vision statement, maybe your project is too big.
- Write as much as you need to, and then edit until you're down to two to four sentences. If your vision is longer than four sentences, you haven't described the project focus yet.
A project vision doesn't make it easier to schedule, but it makes it easier to judge how much work is required and when the project is done. Once you have the vision, you can ask the technical staff and sponsors other questions about the project, assess risks, and start creating release criteria. Now you've started the initial planning, which provides more depth and is more valuable to you than a mere schedule.
I thank Esther Derby, Dwayne Phillips, and Keith Ray for their review of this article.