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Company Alignment & Individual Goal Setting

Deep company alignment and individual goal setting it hard. Done well, it sets companies a class apart; done poorly the company is a bureaucratic mess. Everyone at Intempt does a live V2MOM - it constantly updates to reflect reality and changes in the market, yet it provides a north star to each of us to write down what we are going to do and then just get it done.

How to V2MOM

How to write a one-pager operational plan

V2MOM is an exercise in awareness. When correctly implemented it results in total alignment across organizations while executing at high speed. V2MOM (pronounced “Vee Two Mom”) is an acronym for vision, priorities, methods, obstacles, and measures and is expressed as a one-page document communicating these five areas of a strategy. V2MOMs are the API resourcing and ROI measures at our company.

Structure

Writing good V2MOMs is a critical skill for leadership in thinking through what they are asking of their organizations and concisely laying out how the organization should operate, make choices, and measure progress.

When you write a V2MOM, imagine that you’re posting it to both your organization and the company as a whole, and can have no further communication for the quarter. Your organization and its service providers within the company and outside the company, need to use your

V2MOM to plan, prioritize, execute and make trade-offs during the quarter, and present to you at the end of the quarter what they have achieved based on what you have asked.

Assume you are high performance and will aspire to 150% of what’s been required, but due to circumstances beyond their control they have achieved only 70% of what their own aspirations. Your V2MOM should ensure the right priorities were delivered, which feed into the V2MOMs across the company that depend on your success.

Vision

  • One sentence definition of what you want to do. This is a summary sentence to concisely communicate priorities.

Priorities

  • List of the most important parts of the vision in priority order. When you need to make trade-offs, the V2MOM tells it to cut the lower priorities in order to achieve the higher priorities.

Methods

  • List of what’s needed from you and anyone you depend on to get the job done

Obstacles

  • List of key challenges to be overcome to achieve your vision

Measures

  • List of desired results, often numerical

V2MOM Example

Vision

  • Operate efficiently with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that are aligned, documented, easy-to-use and deliver value quickly

Priorities

  • Alignment - SOPs should clearly align to vetted V2MOMs
  • Documentation - All SOPs found online through web search
  • Ease-of-use - Experience of using SOPs is fast, obvious and forgiving
  • Agreement - RAPID feedback and agreement achieved
  • Fast time-to-value - We move faster with SOPs, not slower

Methods

  • Education on how to draft, RAPID review and publish SOPs
  • Table of Contents - Public list and link all SOPs at Operations section of the Intempt handbook.
  • RAPID review - Update SOPs with RAPID stakeholder review
  • Onboard and train - Include onboarding, training for new and updated SOPs
  • SOP iteration - Measure, monitor and manage SOPs

Obstacles

  • Too many procedures stored in email, channels and tribal knowledge
  • Too many undocumented, unclear procedures
  • Duplicate, conflicted procedure documented
  • People not knowing about and/or following SOPs

Measures

  • All SOPs are clearly tied to a V2MOM
  • 90% of non-confidential SOPs can be found via a web search
  • <5% error rate by SOP
  • 80% of SOPs document RAPID sign-off within last 12 months
  • NPS of 20+ on SOPs from users due to ease-of-use and speed

Commentary

In this V2MOM “Alignment” is the top priority. We note in the obstacles that the organization suffers from duplicate and conflicting SOPs today. If there was only one thing achieved in this V2MOM during the quarter it would be aligning SOPs with V2MOMs. This is measured by “All SOPs are clearly tied to a V2MOM”.

The next priority is “Documentation” with a measure of “90% of non-confidential SOPs can be found via a web search” to surface SOPs to further ensure alignment and removing conflict.

We note here that Documentation and Alignment are interlinked, and that there are multiple ways we could have priorized the two. For example, if we have gaps in V2MOMs then Alignment this period might not be feasible and we could prioritize Documentation, and we may end up documenting duplicate and conflicting SOPs, but in doing so resolve them.

When you write a V2MOM you need to decide how to prioritize the elements of your vision so that our organizations know how to make decisions. It’s okay to get things wrong once in a while so long as we are right most of the time, and we can course correct when we make a mistake.

V2MOM Template

The following template is used to lock annual V2MOMs in one page. Anything that doesn’t fit on one page should be added to the “Commentary†section at the end of the one page V2MOM.

# [TITLE] V2MOM Plan ([INITIALS OF DRI])

Vision

  • [Define what you want to do in one sentence]

Priorities

  • [What are the relative priorities of the elements of your vision?]

Methods

  • [What are the steps and actions everyone needs to take?]
  • [Include hiring and on-boarding if you plan to increase headcount]

Obstacles

  • [What are the key challenges to be overcome to meet vision? (typically outside your control)]

Measures

  • [What are the actual results we want to deliver? (typically numbers)]

History & the use of Priority

V2MOMs are a fork of  V2MOMs created in 1999 by Marc Benioff  to align the efforts at Salesforce.com. One key difference is we use the term Priorities to describe the stack ranked priorities of the Vision, instead of the word Values which gets too often confused with a company's Core Values.

Also, people would get confused thinking a specific method or measure was the priority for the vision, and it became necessary to be explicit on the priority for the vision.

For example, a V2MOM for R&D may have the bulk of methods and measures on product delivery, and the Vision statement may have many elements, but when High Quality is clearly listed as the top priority it is unambiguous what our focus needs to be.

Also, V2MOMs are defined by Intempt and therefore can be optimized for our business and cadence. We create yearly and update quarterly.

Some notes.

  • It's best to write down your goals for each upcoming quarter, so 4 times a year. It won't be effective nor achievable to set too many goals, or goals for an entire year at once. Make it realistic, small and measurable. Your goals should motivate you and not discourage you. It's fun!
  • To monitor your progress we would recommend discussing your goals with your lead in your 1:1's. Also, weekly review your planning, past and future projects to see if what keeps you busy is in line with your goals and is contributing towards achieving that goal.
  • Sometimes, well this is the part of the work progress too, situations happen when you are not reaching your goals or choose the wrong direction. In such cases, a time comes, believe we feel not happy about this as well, to apply some disciplinary procedures and issue you a written warning.
  • If you are new to formulating goals, you can use The Best Formula for some guidance, but you don't have to.
  • Goals give you focus and a sense of direction in which you can move forward and develop. Having clear and realistic goals can also be very motivating. But it also allows you to measure your effort and growth. So all plusses!