Generally, the project vision materializes from an observation, directive or hypothesis.
Observations may be internal or external. Internal observations may include unacceptable performance against key performance indicators or simply unhappy customers. External observations may come from knowledge of other organizations that outperform the observer’s in some way, industry benchmarks, trade shows or vendor presentations.
Directives may be the result of process or system non-compliance. For example a legacy system may be in a state of disrepair and no longer maintainable. In this case the organization is compelled to change. These objectives are also referred to as “burning platforms”.
A hypothesis is an educated guess that a project investment will result in an acceptable return.
Buyers frequently lead this project phase with niche expertise provided by vendors as needed; conversely, in subsequent phases, buyers will probably want a vendor to lead the effort with support from the buyer (to take full advantage of the vendor’s capabilities and enable risk transfer).At this time, the project vision is directional, subject to subsequent adjustment, validation and detail. This phase is more entrepreneurial than scientific. The science comes later.
Once the Project Vision Template is complete, it is refined and further detailed in an Initial Project Scope Template. This document describes the project vision in the context of a COTS project and COTS solution so that candidate solution providers can propose their solutions. This phase may include site visits to peers, vendor references, vendor solution demonstrations and engagement of agnostic consultants.