Mission Statement Sample – Simple Version

September 30, 2011 by  Filed under: Branding 

What is a Mission Statement?

Comments below relate to project management but are equally applicable to business or personal life.

It is a summary of what the project (or company etc) is trying to achieve. However, if you ask many people what is the Mission Statement most wont know. Many wont even realise that one exists.

Good leadership processes should often remind personnel of the Mission Statement. It can be used to give focus to planning and as an aid to setting goals, objectives and may help decision making.

If you have no real idea of what you wish to do it will be hard to know how to proceed. This can be seen in an excellent extract from Alice in Wonderland (by Lewis Carroll), where Alice is speaking to the Cheshire cat:

Alice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
Alice: “I don’t know where.”
Cat: “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

This sort of approach will lead to confusion, increased costs and a failure to meet deadlines and produce quality products.

So, how do you go about getting a Mission Statement sample?

Simple approach

Remember that a Problem Statement is not an example of a Mission Statement. It is easy to confuse the two. However, a Problem Statement can help formulate one. A simple Problem Statement might be ‘no hovercrafts exist suitable for private use’. Once the problem has been defined the Mission Statement, using a simplified approach, should answer:

  • What do we do? e.g. build a hovercraft (product)
  • For whom do we do it? e.g. private individual use (customer)
  • How do we go about it? e.g. contract out design and manufacture (strategy)

From the above a simple agreed sample of a Mission Statement could be:

‘We intend to build a hovercraft for private use by contracting out the design and manufacture’.

Having derived a Mission Statement example from the above, any decision making in the project should always meet with the Mission Statement.

The derivation of the Mission Statement depends on your viewpoint of the ‘product’, customer’ and the ‘strategy’. A product could relate to the services of a business or some aspect of family or personal life. The customer in simple terms will be the end user of your product or output. This needs careful consideration within a business organisation. Products within an organisation will often find many customers but the end user of the overall product will be different.

The strategy really indicates how you will get to the product in broad terms and not a daily list of tasks that may exist in a work breakdown structure. Strategies may need to take into account other aspects, for example, legal, regulatory, resource and financial issues.

The simple approach here is useful for short term and non complex needs. Other areas may require a more formal approach which delves deeper.

We try to produce simple jargon free information covering a wide area for business and personal use. Typically, these are Project management, Prince2 2009, prince2 2005, Risk management, Time management and leadership.

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