VMGOSPA – nested organizational objectives


I mentioned AlphaBlox in my last post and that made me think of something I learned from Michael Skok (CEO and Founder of AlphaBlox, now Partner at North Bridge Venture Partners).

Michael had a great framework for explaining how each person’s daily activities fit into the larger company objectives. He called it “VMGOSPA”, an acronym for the following framework:

  • Vision — The company’s long term vision. E.g., “Acme Widgets is the world’s leading provider of basket weaving technology”
  • Mission — Short-term (1-2 year) mission statement that builds toward the company Vision. E.g., “Acme Widgets’ mission is to dominate equipment sales in the fastest growing segment of basket weaving technology: underwater basket weaving”
  • Goals — Immediate goal statements that build towards the Mission. E.g., “Successful completion of human trials for Acme’s innovative noninvasive underwater basket weaving equipment”
  • Objectives — Current objective statements for executives, business units, functional departments, or teams that collectively achieve the company’s Goals. E.g., “The R&D department’s Q1 2008 objective is to produce 20 units of UBW equipment for trials.”
  • Strategies for achieving Objectives
  • Plans for implementation of Strategies
  • Actions on a day-to-day basis that execute the Plans

Now, the seven layers of VMGOSPA clearly will not apply to all companies. Small companies and startups, especially, may not have enough team members to subdivide and delegate actions to! 😉

The key concept here, though, is absolutely critical to scaling up an organization: every individual’s daily activities should aggregate up to achieve the company’s mission and thereby propel the company towards its vision. The way to do that is to visualize and define each person’s and team’s objectives in a recursively nested structure.

One Comment on “VMGOSPA – nested organizational objectives”

  1. thanks for the GREAT post! Very useful…

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