VMOSA/T is a strategy analysis framework which says you should start with a Vision, then define your Mission, set your overall Objectives, develop Strategies to achieve them and finally create Action plans / Tactics to deliver your strategies.Summary by The World of Work Project
The VMOSA / VMOST framework
The VMOSA / VMOST framework is a simple way to think about the overall strategic framework that many organizations broadly follow. It provides a series of steps that fit together into a process for strategic planning.
It’s not complicated, but it provides a helpful overview of a structured way to think about organizational strategy. There are five stages to the framework which we detail below.
Stage 1: Vision
The framework follows a waterfall concept and says that an organization’s first requirement in developing their strategy is to create a clear vision for the future. Only once this vision has been created can they move forward and be certain that their strategy will help them move towards where they want to be.
An example of a vision for a fictional car company could be: “A world where everyone can benefit from the power of automobiles”.
Stage 2: Mission
The second step of VMOSA is to define the organizational mission. Here the mission builds on the vision and defines what the organization will actually do to make its vision a reality.
An example of a mission for a fictional car company could be: “To create affordable automobiles at a global scale in an ethical way”.
Stage 3: Objectives
Once an organization has defined its vision and mission, it can move forward with the rest of its strategic planning. The third step in this framework is the creation of SMART objectives relating to the organization’s vision and mission.
These objectives ensure that the organization knows specifically what it is hoping to achieve in a given time frame. They also create a way for the organization to track its progress and re-prioritize actions and resources over time to help ensure that its objectives are met.
An example of a single objective for a fictional car company could be: “To sell 30,000 automobiles within India over the 20XX calendar year.”
Stage 4: Strategies
The fourth step is defining specific strategies to help the organization achieve its objectives. This sounds a bit unhelpful, but it basically means that you need to define the “broad brush” or high-level approach that will be taken to ensure that each objective is likely to be met.
An example of a some strategies to support our fictional car company’s objective to sell cars in India could include: “Creating a franchise dealer network in urban India” and “Launching a community sharing and finance scheme in rural India”.
Stage 5: Action Plans (Tactics)
The last step of the VMOSA/T process is the creation of sub-action plans (AKA Tactics) that detail how the organization will make each strategy happen. Each action plan should be fairly detailed and include timelines for achievement.
An example of an action plan for our fictional car company’s strategy to create a franchise dealer network in urban India could include: “Hire strategic leader, structure franchisee legal terms and market opportunity”, or similar.
The World of Work Project View
This framework has some flaws, but isn’t too bad of a way to start thinking about how to design then achieve a strategy within your organization, or for your self.
Once tactics have been identified, organizations need to go through a cost benefit prioritization approach to decide which to implement. To really be effective strategy needs to include more analysis than is shown in this model, not just of internal but also of external factors and expectations for the future.
In addition, models like this should be used at an organizational or system level if they are to create most value. If they’re done at sub-levels, then silos may pursue their own goals, not organization goals.
Overall it’s a useful tool, but more as general guidance around some of the through processes of strategy than anything else.
Sources and further reading
Where possible we always recommend that people read up on the original sources of information and ideas.
This post is not based on any specific books, but has been informed by a mix of work related experience and sources from around the internet. An interesting summary of the framework, which focuses on the creation of a public health intervention, has been created by the University of Kansas as part of their Community Tool Box. You can read more here.
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