Ensuring That Organizational Activities Deliver Your Vision of the Future
(Also Known as MOST Analysis)
Is your team headed in the right direction? Are people working together, towards the same objectives? Do your objectives reflect your ultimate vision? And will your day-to-day activities help you achieve that vision?
These questions are extremely relevant for all organizations. Yet, more often than not, they can get pushed into the background.
It's easy to focus so much on day-to-day activities that you lose track of your original business plan. Strategies become redundant or unnecessary, vision and mission statements lose relevance, tactics may not lead to the results you want-and you may not even realize that you've inadvertently changed direction.
VMOST was developed by Rakesh Sondhi, a business consultant, in his 1999 book, Total Strategy. It is an analysis framework that helps you avoid this trap by checking whether the five VMOST elements – Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics – are in alignment.
The tool serves two purposes. First, it helps you re-connect to your business vision, and highlights any problem areas that you need to address. Second, it helps you create and evaluate plans for the future, so that you can make sure that they're aligned with your vision of that future.
Understanding the Tool
Let's look at the five VMOST components:
- Vision – This is your organization's purpose, in terms of its values or how it goes about doing business. It should inspire staff, and help customers understand why they would want to use the company's products or services.
- Mission – This is also your organization's purpose, but expressed in terms of key measures that must be reached to achieve your vision.
- Objectives – These are specific goals that you must meet to achieve the mission.
- Strategy – This is the overall plan you'll follow to meet your objectives.
- Tactics – These are specific sets of actions needed to execute your strategy.
For any organization to be successful, all five components should be well-aligned – whether you view them from top to bottom or from bottom to top.
Looking from the top down, you need alignment because a clear vision drives the mission – which, in turn, lets you set your objectives or goals to achieve that mission. You design strategies to meet your objectives, and you implement your strategies with specific tactics or activities.
Looking from the bottom up, your tactical actions should fulfill your strategies, which help you meet your objectives, which help you accomplish your mission, which, in turn, helps you realize your company's overall vision.
How to Use the Tool
To conduct a VMOST analysis, you need to determine...