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The Art of Project Management by Scott Berkun

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4.3. The five qualities of good visions

Because everything derives from the high-level vision, the team's overall leader should invest more energy in it than any other early planning material. The five most important characteristics are: simplifying, intentional (goal-driven), consolidated, inspirational, and memorable.

4.3.1. Simplifying

The most important thing to strive for is a simplifying effect on the project. A good vision will provide answers to the core questions individuals have, and will give them a tool for making decisions in their own work. While a vision will likely have ideas that raise new questions, these should be fewer in number than ones that no longer need to be asked. In the early phases of a project, people should be referring to the vision all the time—in discussions, emails, and meetings—actively using it as a tool to help make decisions and, hopefully, progress. The project manager should be on the lookout for this and be willing to modify and revise the vision to include unforeseen questions that will make it more useful to the team. The vision should never be like a religious relic, stuffed away behind a glass cabinet. It should be more like a rulebook to a good board game, providing clarity for everyone involved, making boundaries clear, and quickly settling disputes or miscommunications. It should be worn out from use and have notes scribbled in the margins. Its effect should be to put an end to the preliminaries quickly and get people into the ...

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