Write a V2MOM
After completing this unit, you'll be able to:
- Write a V2MOM.
- Identify what a SMART measure is.
- Write SMART measures as part of your V2MOM.
Ready to write your own V2MOM? Should you ask your ”MOM” how? Probably not.
The first step in writing your own V2MOM is to read your company’s and your manager’s V2MOM, talk to your manager to get aligned on the Methods and Measures most relevant to you, and then get writing!
Let’s take a look at some examples of each component of the V2MOM. As we describe each one, think about how you might write your V2MOM accordingly.
The Vision represents what you want to achieve or accomplish. It focuses on what’s most important to you. Writing a great Vision helps you paint a picture of what you want the future to look like.
Speaking of the future, let’s go back to the future (or past) for a moment. Back in 1961, President John F. Kennedy shared the bold vision, “that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” We might not give that a second thought today, but imagine what an incredibly inspiring, aspirational, and challenging vision that was at the time.
Fast forward back to the future. Want to order a book about JFK, or perhaps astronaut pajamas? Look no further than Amazon.com, which has the inspiring vision “To build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” That vision is pretty much a reality today.
You might recall from the last unit that the very first V2MOM Vision at Salesforce was to “rapidly create a world-class Internet company/site for Sales Force Automation.” Having achieved that, we moved on to the Vision of providing “Global leadership in providing the software as a service model driven by an enthusiastic and wildly successful customer community, and energized by world-class employees.” Each year, we create a new Vision that boldly describes what we are trying to accomplish. And every function, team, manager and employee does the same.
What is your bold Vision for what you want to achieve this year?
When writing your Vision, think about:
- What do you want to accomplish? (Keep it to 1-3 sentences)
- What impact will it have on your company, employees, customers, and community?
- How can you make it inspiring, fun, and creative (it can and should be a reflection of you!)?
Values represent the principles or beliefs that are most important as you pursue your Vision. They guide everyday decisions and tradeoffs.
Although JFK didn’t present a V2MOM to Congress, the values to support his vision of putting a man on the moon were clear. He spoke about the dedication and discipline that would be required to make the vision a reality. To get a man to the moon, innovation would have had to be at the forefront of the values. These values likely guided decisions to commit significant resources and staffing to the space program.
Companies also use their values to make clear decisions to support their vision. Johnson & Johnson has an unwavering value of customer safety. In 1982, during a tampering crisis, it pulled Tylenol off retailers’ shelves, costing the company $100 million. A costly move, but one that symbolized their steadfast commitment to their business values.
The very first V2MOM at Salesforce included Values like “world class organization,” “time to market,” and “usability.” Now, our business Values includes words like “trust,” “customer success,” and “innovation.”
Which Values come to mind when thinking about the principles needed to achieve your Vision? When writing about your Values, consider:
- Which three Values are most important as you pursue your Vision?
- How can you describe those Values so that everyone is clear on what it means to live them?
- How will these Values guide your everyday decisions and tradeoffs?
Methods represent the actions you take to achieve your Vision.
For JFK, the most important element of the vision was the survival of the person making the first space flight. This goal meant that a lot of unprecedented things had to be accomplished. A few of the methods he proposed were developing alternative liquid and solid fuel boosters, engine development, and unmanned space explorations.
For a company or team, methods are the steps to take to bring the vision to reality. For Salesforce, some of the initial Methods that Marc Benioff and his co-founders scrawled on the back of that envelope were to hire the team, rapidly develop the product, and build partnerships—all critical steps to achieve our initial Vision.
What are the specific actions that your company or team needs to take to achieve the Vision?
As you write out your Methods:
- Think carefully about what actions you need to take to achieve your Vision
- What 5–8 things do you want to accomplish?
- Do your Methods align to the corporate V2MOM? Your manager’s V2MOM?
- Prioritize the order of your Methods with the highest priority Method at the top
- Keep your writing simple and inspiring
Obstacles are things that block your progress, get in your way, or make it difficult to accomplish what you’ve outlined. Identifying Obstacles before you jump into your work helps you anticipate challenges and proactively consider how to overcome them.
Imagine the obstacles going through the minds of Congress when JFK proposed his vision of putting a man on the moon. Or how about the obstacles in the minds of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) employees who had to execute on this bold vision? JFK acknowledged how difficult and expensive the effort would be and how a full commitment from the nation was required to overcome these obstacles.
Businesses always have obstacles like time, money, hiring the right people, getting internal support, ensuring teamwork, getting to market, or leading by example.
What are the most pressing Obstacles you can think of that will get in the way of achieving your Vision? How might you overcome them? When writing your Obstacles, think about:
- What’s going to make accomplishing your vision and executing your Methods difficult?
- What do you need to be mindful of to overcome your Obstacles?
- What specifically can you do to overcome your Obstacles?
Measures tell you and others when you’ve achieved success or successfully completed your Methods. They focus on the measurable outcomes of your work, not your day-to-day activities. It’s really the ”brass tacks” of it all. A wise V2MOM sage once said, “If you’re not able to measure it, you probably don’t understand what you are trying to achieve.”
For JFK, the one defining measure of success was very clear: “By the end of the decade, get a man safely to the moon and back.” Although he didn’t live to see it, 12 men took “a small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
You might not be traveling to the moon any time soon, but maybe you’re an established startup in the midst of growing your company. Your Measures could look like these:
- Hire 200 people in our first year.
- Launch our product prototype before the end of second quarter.
- Launch our website by February 1.
For each of your Measures, how can you clearly define success? When writing your Measures:
- Think about how you know when you’ve been successful.
- Focus on the measurable outcomes, for example “80% of managers rated as highly effective.”
- Make the measures SMART. Not sure what that means? Read on!
SMART is an acronym that helps you think through all the elements of establishing clear, actionable, and measurable Measures. When writing your V2MOM Measures, make sure they follow the SMART format.
|Specific - Clearly define your focus and what you’re going to do.
|Measurable - Quantify an indicator of progress, such as percentages, numbers, targets.
|Achievable - Set the bar high, yet make it achievable.
|Relevant - Ensure that the Measure supports the company’s and your manager’s V2MOM Measures.
|Timely - Set a specific and reasonable time frame for completion.
Want a little more clarity on what SMART looks like?
|SMART Measures Look Like This||Not This|
|Achieve market share of 30% in the United States by the end of the fiscal year.
||Dominate the U.S. market!
|Be rated in the top 3 in Gartner’s Healthcare Magic Quadrant and Forrester’s Healthcare Wave by the end of the fiscal year.
||Lead the market direction and shape the evolution of the Healthcare market.
|Achieve a top 30 ranking on Fortune’s 2017 Best Companies to Work For list.
||Be a Great Place to Work.
At Salesforce, we offer our employees two options for writing their Measures.
- Progress Measures: Setting a target number or percentage, for example “Achieve a 75% open rate for customer email campaigns by the end of Q2.”
- Completion Measures: Setting a goal of whether or not a particular activity is completed, such as “Launch a blog for internal communications by the end of Q4.”
Writing your Measures is really where the rubber hits the road. So take the time to make sure that your Measures clearly reflect what you’re aiming for—after all, you’re going to be held accountable for achieving your Measures. Get them right!
You’ve got all those V2MOM and SMART acronyms down? Great! Given all our experience writing V2MOMs, we’d like to offer some additional best practices for you to consider.
When writing your V2MOM:
|Do This||Which Looks Like This|
Keep it short
||Think CliffsNotes, not War and Peace. Make your statements focused. If your V2MOM is too long, it’s likely not focused.
Choose your words wisely
||Words make a difference. For example, you can “empower” users through support or you can ”enable” users with tools.
List your priorities in order
||Order your Values, Methods, and Measures in priority order to show their importance. When using your V2MOM to guide decisions, the priority is key.
Make it your own
||Don’t copy and paste. No two V2MOMs should be the same. Every individual in the organization should have their own Vision and Goals.
Sharing to Gain Alignment
Got your V2MOM drafted? Ready to publish it for all to see? Not so fast! Sharing is caring, and in this case, sharing is caring about gaining alignment.
- Share your V2MOM with your manager. Make sure you’re aligned with your manager on the focus on your V2MOM. Your manager might have additional Methods or Measures that you’ll want to add to your V2MOM.
- Share with your peers. Really? Yes! Wonder why? Well, you need to count on others to achieve your V2MOM. You need their collaboration and support. Showing your peers your V2MOM facilitates collaboration on complementary Methods and Measures. Additionally, your peers might actually be able to turn one of your Obstacles into one of their Methods.
- Share with your team. Include your team in the process of writing your V2MOM. It ensures that everyone is on the same page and feels ownership when it comes time for them to write their own V2MOMs from the Methods and Measures you cascade to them.
Based on feedback you receive from your manager, peers, and team, you might need to go back and make changes to your V2MOM. It’s well worth the time and effort!
- Marc Benioff: How to Create Alignment Within Your Company in Order to Succeed
- V2MOM Overview (download the V2MOM Pack)
- Sample V2MOM (download the V2MOM Pack)
- V2MOM Template (download the V2MOM Pack)