MSPOT Strategy Document for Startups

Brian Halligan, CEO and co-founder of HubSpot, has a great post up titled Scale-up Leadership Lessons I’ve Learned Over 9 Years as HubSpot’s CEO. One section of the post, called Documenting Strategy, talks about their equivalent of the Simplified One Page Strategic Plan. They call it the MSPOT document and is has the following components:

  • Mission: Rarely changes
  • Strategy: Annually changes
  • Projects: 4 or 5 big annual initiatives
  • Omissions: Projects we decided not to fund
  • Tracking: Numbers we are looking at to see if we are on track

Omissions is a section I haven’t seen before and represents a cool idea: what projects that were under consideration are explicitly not going to get done. Most strategy docs focus on what needs to be done, but people still hope other strategic projects get attention. An omissions section helps make it clear what isn’t going to be done so that people are more focused on what is going to get done.

Entrepreneurs would do well to have a strategy document that gets updated on a regular basis and is shared with every stakeholder.

What else? What are some more thoughts on the MSPOT strategy document for startups?

One thought on “MSPOT Strategy Document for Startups

  1. I’m a huge fan of the Omissions section. It is the company equivalent of the Jim Collins “Stop Doing” list (http://www.jimcollins.com/article_topics/articles/best-new-years.html).

    Also, in a past life I was a project manager and one of the most important things I did was document for a given project what was out-of-scope and the reasons why the decision was made. Invariably, someone would come along midway through a project and ask about why feature x, y, and z weren’t in the project and you would have to re-explain it or it would lead to a change request, etc.

    Saying what your company does not represent is as important as what you do represent. Without the omissions, then you get scope creep.

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