First-Time-CEO

V2MOM for startups - entrepreneur beacon and company alignment

V2MOM for startups including a template. Founders can complete it in under an hour .

Laura Benson

July 30, 2020

There are many management methodologies used in different stages of the company, various teams, and trying to achieve different goals. You might have come across MBO’s, SMART goals, KPIs, BSC, OKRs, North Star metric, Zone to win, business model canvas, and others.

In this blog, we’ll focus on the V2MOM (pronounced: “Vee Two Mom”)  and explore if it’s the tool for you, why you should consider it, and when. If you’re too busy, just list your “Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, and Measures” to achieving your goals, and you’ve implemented V2MOM.

Salesforce first V2MOM
Salesforce first V2MOM

TL;DR You can also jump scroll down and download the template.

What is V2MOM?

V2MOM is a methodology for achieving strategic goals developed by the founder of Salesforce, Marc Benioff. The strengths of V2MOM are its simplicity, short time of implementation, and ease of digestion by other members of the team. The same methodology covers a wide variety of use cases, from company alignment through department focus to personal goals and progress. 

To apply the methodology, you simply need to ask yourself some basic questions and document them down in a document. You should use the V2MOM output document as a documentation tool (“this is the outcome of the process we did”) as well as a communication tool (“look at our set goals and let’s all align around them”).

Who should use it and when?

V2MOM is a great alignment tool, and you should consider using it once alignment is needed, such as whenever completing or planning a strategic stage. 

Specifically, for startups, when the founding team feels they have a solid understanding of what sort of customer they would like to serve and what problem they would like to solve, it is an excellent time to run a V2MOM session.

It’s also great to run a V2MOM process whenever there is substantial growth in the company’s headcount.

The benefits of the alignment the V2MOM creates are to make sure everybody is working towards the same goal, and allow the team members to identify how they can contribute towards achieving that mutual goal in an accountable manner. Using it in adjacent to a strategic discussion helps clarify the results of that discussion. 

The output document

To implement V2MOM, you need to fill the V2MOM document and publish it to your internal stakeholders. It’s best to explain the thought process behind each bullet.

Of course, this is related to personal management style, reviewing it with the whole company in a fun and inclusive manner can be an excellent mobilization tool for your employees.

Once reviewed, make sure to get the team’s input, make sure all is clear, and that you managed to improve the company’s alignment towards the vision. 

Publish the V2MOM process results. In pre-2020, it was probably useful to put it on your office wall. That is perhaps not the best medium for communication these days.

Structure (more details in the template)

Vision

What do you want to accomplish?

Values 

What would you like your external stakeholders, such as your customer, to say about your brand?

Methods 

Activities that will help to get to your vision.

Obstacles

What obstacles will interfere with your way of accomplishing your vision, and how can you overcome them?

Measures

SMART (Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) metrics ensure you are in the right direction towards your goal. 

To who should you send your V2MOM?

Generally speaking, you should think of the V2MOM as something you publish to your stakeholders, i.e., it is a document your stakeholders should be able to review at any time.

The relevant stakeholders to publish to depend on the context of the document. While you might not feel comfortable publishing your secret V2MOM where you prepare your next career step; there is a great benefit of sharing it with a broad audience. 

Generally speaking and in an ideal world (startups seldom strive for the perfect state), every employee in the company will have three reference V2MOM documents:

  • The company’s V2MOM - aligning all the company’s employees with the same strategic goals.
  • His managers V2MOM - aligning all the functional team’s effort
  • His professional V2MOM - setting personal goals that are aligned with two of the above.

For example, Jill, a CMO of a SaaS company, might:

  1. Corporate with her CEO create the company V2MOM with the vision of: “Provide the fastest SaaS for insurance pricing.”
  2. With her direct reports, she’ll create an publish the marketing department V2MOM, which might have a vision of: “Get the biggest insurance companies actuaries to reach out to us.”
    She’ll publish it both to her manager, peers, and her subordinates, but not necessarily to the whole company simply to reduce noise. 
  3. Create the CMO’s V2MOM with the vision of: “have at least 1 of my subordinates promoted to CMO in another org in 5 years.”
    She may publish it or not, but it’s worth reviewing with her manager. 
  4. She might have a personal V2MOM she keeps very private, which has a vision of: “get to $100M in my balance and dance out of the building to the sound of Drake.”

V2MOM template for your use

The template is hosted on Google docs, so you’ll need to sign in with Google to make a copy. The template includes many helpful cues to help you with a fast and efficient process.

V2MOM template on google docs

Here is the published content if you don’t have access to Google: 

V2MOM template if you can't login to Google

Take it easy

Marc Benioff is one of the greatest entrepreneurs and managers of our era. Being so, he’s a great role model on how to run a process. If you look at salesforce’s first V2MOM document, you’ll notice that the Measures section doesn’t include any S.M.A.R.T. goals. It is an excellent indication of keeping yourself and team within the process, while not getting bogged down by it and allowing flexibility.

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