In their paper on “Understanding the Role of ‘Vision’ in Project Success, Christenson and Walker (2004, p.39) argue that “project vision is a significant contributing factor to project success, and, the communication and maintenance of a project vision will impact project outcomes”.
How do Christenson and Walker (2004) define project vision? What distinguishes project vision from a mission statement?
Christenson & Walker (2004, p.39-40) define project vision as the ability of a leader to get teams to work towards common team goals. This involves the communication of credible but reasonable goals in a way that is easy to understand, and compelling to follow. A successful project manager will be able to inspire teammates so that they "buy" a project and meet the objective.
A project vision differs from a mission in that a project vision relates to overall goals or "ends" to be achieved while a mission concerns the means to that end. A mission relates to the tasks needed to meet carry out the vision, many times outlined in a mission statement. A project vision answers the question "why or what?" while a mission would answer the question "how?" Visions are also more related to overall culture of a project.
In the last paragraph of the NJHoF case study, Mr. Rutland is contemplating what to do in order to make his dream a reality. What was Mr. Rutland’s project vision from the time beginning of the case study thru the end of the case where he is reviewing the recommendations of the consultant?
Mr. Rutland’s project vision was to save Paramount Theatre, a local landmark, by establishing a National Jazz Hall of Fame that could be used as a museum and performance center. The board of Directors determined that to save the Paramount Theatre a minimum of $600,000 would be needed, which caused the plan to unravel. However, to support their passion and love for jazz, they continued their efforts to establish the NJHoF in Charlottesville, VA. Mr. Rutland selected a consultant to review the project outcomes, and based upon the consultant’s recommendations, concluded they needed a mail campaign to generate funds, a better team a dedicated director to monitor project activity, and the use of strategic locations around Charlottesville to promote NJHoF. Thus, the vision focus changed from “Historic Renewal of Paramount Theatre” to “Establishing National Jazz Hall of Fame”.
If you were Mr. Rutland, using the four characteristics of a good project vision developed by Christenson and Walker (2004), prepare a project vision statement for the case study and present your argument as to why it meets the 4 characteristics of a good project vision statement.
According to Christenson and Walker (2004, p.42), a good project vision should be thoroughly understood, motivational, credible, demanding, and challenging. According to the Group 3 project vision statement, the project should establish the National Jazz Hall of Fame in Charlottesville, VA and make awareness of the hall of fame on a national scale. The Group 3 vision captures the core purpose while keeping objectives in mind. Evaluating available resources and funding, it is credible undertaking. The group members have agreed to participate in this project because for their love and passion for Jazz culture. It is easy to motivate when there is passion to accomplish the vision.
How did Mr. Rutland communicate his project vision? Explain why you think he was or was not effective in communicating and explaining his project vision? Explain your position.
Mr. Rutland’s plans for the NJHoF included:
to establish and maintain a museum
create archives and a concert center in Charlottesville
sponsor Jazz festivals, workshops, and scholarships
promote activities remembering great Jazz artists
serve Jazz enthusiasts and educate the public on the importance of Jazz in American culture and history
Mr. Rutland communicated his...
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