The Four Key Dimensions of Target State Clarity

The Four Key Dimensions of Target State Clarity

Where do you want to go?  Seems like an important question before heading off somewhere.  In my personal life, I am quite stubborn about not getting in the car and driving until the destination has been agreed upon.  This can be frustrating for the other parties I’m sure, but I know from experience that the confusion that can ensue is much more frustrating and dangerous out on the road than before the journey begins.

The same holds true for any major banking program, project or change initiative.

It is essential to begin with the end state in mind, and have clarity and alignment on that end state before attempting to achieve it.

But what does clarity look like?  I believe that there are four key dimensions where clarity and alignment are essential before moving forward with any major program.  These are some of the critical questions that need to be answered to define what the destination is:

  1. Strategic Clarity: What are our key strategic objectives?
  2. Business Clarity: What are the business capabilities that we are driving towards?  What are the KPIs that will be used to measure our outcomes?
  3. Technology Clarity:  What are the target technology capabilities that are needed to support the required business capabilities?
  4. Portfolio Clarity:  What are the investments that will be made to achieve the objectives, and how will these be phased or sequenced?

If these four dimensions of clarity are not agreed upon and understood the result will be churn/surprises/missed estimates/recalibration and other sources of program strife.

With these defined and understood, and starting with an aligned direction in mind the program has a greater chance of success.

Even with the greatest GPS in the world and the fastest car it will be really hard to reach the right destination without agreement and an address defined at the start!


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