The Path for Energy Transformation: Vision and Purpose

The Path for Energy Transformation: Vision and Purpose

Aligning The Team

When starting any project, one of the most challenging activities can be getting everyone on the same page. Maybe you’ve been there before. You’re deep in the middle of some important work and you get a deliverable from someone. “What in the world is this?” You’re staring at the deliverable wondering how the individual is so far off track.

And then you think to yourself “This person is totally competent, let me go talk to them and figure out what in the world they were thinking.” You go, you sit down with this individual, and they explain a very well thought out and well considered worldview that is fundamentally different from yours.

Their goal for the project was to reduce the time needed to get the project plans from the customer through to the production team. But you saw the project more as an opportunity to get better stakeholder involvement from all of the teams that had to touch the project before it got to the production team.

You and your coworker were looking at the same project, and working on the same process, but operating with a completely different vision and purpose.

And that, at its most basic level, is the importance of defining a vision and purpose for almost every project at the outset. It gets everyone aligned and rowing in the same direction. That way you don’t find out halfway through a project that people are misaligned, which is much easier to do when projects span departments or reporting hierarchies.

What Success Looks Like

Different people have different definitions of what vision and purpose are, so here are the definitions that I typically go with:

Vision: Expresses the desired end state of the project. You want to paint a picture of what success looks like for the project. It should be a little aspirational, and should seek to inspire and motivate the team by communicating the value of the project. A good example might be: “An end-to-end integrated planning and production process where handoffs are seamless, approvals don’t delay projects, and everyone on the team knows exactly what they need to do and when.”

Purpose: Depending on the type of project and who you are working with, this can often be the more important of the two. It outlines the specific objectives that the project is trying to accomplish, and why. It focuses on the current problems and opportunities. A good example of this might be: “Improve the delivery speed of projects by improving cross-team communication between the planning and production teams so that we can realize project revenue more quickly.”

Guiding Project Decisions

Once you put these in place, it becomes much easier to define the “how” of the project, because you have the vision and purpose to act as a guide in your decision making. Do the goals you have set out for the project fit within your vision and purpose? If not, maybe they don’t need to be a part of the project. If they are absolutely needed, then maybe you need to rethink your vision and purpose.

All truly transformative solutions create change. Previously frustrated end users (relying on outdated technology) are transformed into navigating their work with ease, while at the same time complicated workflows and processes are simplified for maximum efficiency. Anything less isn’t transformation, but simply another tool.

Encouraging Ambitious Goals

None of this however, is possible without being intentional about defining vision and purpose, and then leveraging that lens to guide the team. We pride ourselves in pushing our partners to set the bar just a little higher, and to define a vision that right now might not feel completely attainable. It is that kind of vision that motivates change and gets people moving.

We actually had a client once tell us that their previous experiences with other technology teams taught them not to ask for too much. They habitually lowered their expectations in the hope of getting something accomplished, thereby preventing themselves from ever dreaming about what could be possible.

Embracing Transformation

To be frank, I hope to never hear something like that again, even if it is about our competitors. Design and technology have the power to transform organizations, and we should do everything in our power to unleash that.

Afterall, transformation can only occur after people reject the status quo and start imagining ways to create a better future.

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