- Jul 9, 2004
- Management Reference Guide
- Table of Contents
- Strategic Management
- Establishing Goals, Objectives, and Strategies
- Aligning IT Goals with Corporate Business Goals
- Utilizing Effective Planning Techniques
- Developing Worthwhile Mission Statements
- Developing Worthwhile Vision Statements
- Instituting Practical Corporate Values
- Budgeting Considerations in an IT Environment
- Introduction to Conducting an Effective SWOT Analysis
- IT Governance and Disaster Recovery, Part One
- IT Governance and Disaster Recovery, Part Two
- Customer Management
- Identifying Key External Customers
- Identifying Key Internal Customers
- Negotiating with Customers and Suppliers—Part 1: An Introduction
- Negotiating With Customers and Suppliers—Part 2: Reaching Agreement
- Negotiating and Managing Realistic Customer Expectations
- Service Management
- Identifying Key Services for Business Users
- Service-Level Agreements That Really Work
- How IT Evolved into a Service Organization
- FAQs About Systems Management (SM)
- FAQs About Availability (AV)
- FAQs About Performance and Tuning (PT)
- FAQs About Service Desk (SD)
- FAQs About Change Management (CM)
- FAQs About Configuration Management (CF)
- FAQs About Capacity Planning (CP)
- FAQs About Network Management
- FAQs About Storage Management (SM)
- FAQs About Production Acceptance (PA)
- FAQs About Release Management (RM)
- FAQs About Disaster Recovery (DR)
- FAQs About Business Continuity (BC)
- FAQs About Security (SE)
- FAQs About Service Level Management (SL)
- FAQs About Financial Management (FN)
- FAQs About Problem Management (PM)
- FAQs About Facilities Management (FM)
- Process Management
- Developing Robust Processes
- Establishing Mutually Beneficial Process Metrics
- Change Management—Part 1
- Change Management—Part 2
- Change Management—Part 3
- Audit Reconnaissance: Releasing Resources Through the IT Audit
- Problem Management
- Problem Management–Part 2: Process Design
- Problem Management–Part 3: Process Implementation
- Business Continuity Emergency Communications Plan
- Capacity Planning – Part One: Why It is Seldom Done Well
- Capacity Planning – Part Two: Developing a Capacity Planning Process
- Capacity Planning — Part Three: Benefits and Helpful Tips
- Capacity Planning – Part Four: Hidden Upgrade Costs and
- Improving Business Process Management, Part 1
- Improving Business Process Management, Part 2
- 20 Major Elements of Facilities Management
- Major Physical Exposures Common to a Data Center
- Evaluating the Physical Environment
- Nightmare Incidents with Disaster Recovery Plans
- Developing a Robust Configuration Management Process
- Developing a Robust Configuration Management Process – Part Two
- Automating a Robust Infrastructure Process
- Improving High Availability — Part One: Definitions and Terms
- Improving High Availability — Part Two: Definitions and Terms
- Improving High Availability — Part Three: The Seven R's of High Availability
- Improving High Availability — Part Four: Assessing an Availability Process
- Methods for Brainstorming and Prioritizing Requirements
- Introduction to Disk Storage Management — Part One
- Storage Management—Part Two: Performance
- Storage Management—Part Three: Reliability
- Storage Management—Part Four: Recoverability
- Twelve Traits of World-Class Infrastructures — Part One
- Twelve Traits of World-Class Infrastructures — Part Two
- Meeting Today's Cooling Challenges of Data Centers
- Strategic Security, Part One: Assessment
- Strategic Security, Part Two: Development
- Strategic Security, Part Three: Implementation
- Strategic Security, Part Four: ITIL Implications
- Production Acceptance Part One – Definition and Benefits
- Production Acceptance Part Two – Initial Steps
- Production Acceptance Part Three – Middle Steps
- Production Acceptance Part Four – Ongoing Steps
- Case Study: Planning a Service Desk Part One – Objectives
- Case Study: Planning a Service Desk Part Two – SWOT
- Case Study: Implementing an ITIL Service Desk – Part One
- Case Study: Implementing a Service Desk Part Two – Tool Selection
- Ethics, Scandals and Legislation
- Outsourcing in Response to Legislation
- Supplier Management
- Identifying Key External Suppliers
- Identifying Key Internal Suppliers
- Integrating the Four Key Elements of Good Customer Service
- Enhancing the Customer/Supplier Matrix
- Voice Over IP, Part One — What VoIP Is, and Is Not
- Voice Over IP, Part Two — Benefits, Cost Savings and Features of VoIP
- Application Management
- Production Acceptance
- Distinguishing New Applications from New Versions of Existing Applications
- Assessing a Production Acceptance Process
- Effective Use of a Software Development Life Cycle
- The Role of Project Management in SDLC— Part 2
- Communication in Project Management – Part One: Barriers to Effective Communication
- Communication in Project Management – Part Two: Examples of Effective Communication
- Safeguarding Personal Information in the Workplace: A Case Study
- Combating the Year-end Budget Blitz—Part 1: Building a Manageable Schedule
- Combating the Year-end Budget Blitz—Part 2: Tracking and Reporting Availability
- Developing an ITIL Feasibility Analysis
- Organization and Personnel Management
- Optimizing IT Organizational Structures
- Factors That Influence Restructuring Decisions
- Alternative Locations for the Help Desk
- Alternative Locations for Database Administration
- Alternative Locations for Network Operations
- Alternative Locations for Web Design
- Alternative Locations for Risk Management
- Alternative Locations for Systems Management
- Practical Tips To Retaining Key Personnel
- Benefits and Drawbacks of Using IT Consultants and Contractors
- Deciding Between the Use of Contractors versus Consultants
- Managing Employee Skill Sets and Skill Levels
- Assessing Skill Levels of Current Onboard Staff
- Recruiting Infrastructure Staff from the Outside
- Selecting the Most Qualified Candidate
- 7 Tips for Managing the Use of Mobile Devices
- Useful Websites for IT Managers
- Automating Robust Processes
- Evaluating Process Documentation — Part One: Quality and Value
- Evaluating Process Documentation — Part Two: Benefits and Use of a Quality-Value Matrix
- When Should You Integrate or Segregate Service Desks?
- Five Instructive Ideas for Interviewing
- Eight Surefire Tips to Use When Being Interviewed
- 12 Helpful Hints To Make Meetings More Productive
- Eight Uncommon Tips To Improve Your Writing
- Ten Helpful Tips To Improve Fire Drills
- Sorting Out Today’s Various Training Options
- Business Ethics and Corporate Scandals – Part 1
- Business Ethics and Corporate Scandals – Part 2
- 12 Tips for More Effective Emails
- Management Communication: Back to the Basics, Part One
- Management Communication: Back to the Basics, Part Two
- Management Communication: Back to the Basics, Part Three
- Asset Management
- Managing Hardware Inventories
- Introduction to Hardware Inventories
- Processes To Manage Hardware Inventories
- Use of a Hardware Inventory Database
- Managing Software Inventories
- Business Continuity Management
- Ten Lessons Learned from Real-Life Disasters
- Ten Lessons Learned From Real-Life Disasters, Part 2
- Differences Between Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity , Part 1
- Differences Between Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity , Part 2
- 15 Common Terms and Definitions of Business Continuity
- The Federal Government’s Role in Disaster Recovery
- The 12 Common Mistakes That Cause BIAs To Fail—Part 1
- The 12 Common Mistakes That Cause BIAs To Fail—Part 2
- The 12 Common Mistakes That Cause BIAs To Fail—Part 3
- The 12 Common Mistakes That Cause BIAs To Fail—Part 4
- Conducting an Effective Table Top Exercise (TTE) — Part 1
- Conducting an Effective Table Top Exercise (TTE) — Part 2
- Conducting an Effective Table Top Exercise (TTE) — Part 3
- Conducting an Effective Table Top Exercise (TTE) — Part 4
- The 13 Cardinal Steps for Implementing a Business Continuity Program — Part One
- The 13 Cardinal Steps for Implementing a Business Continuity Program — Part Two
- The 13 Cardinal Steps for Implementing a Business Continuity Program — Part Three
- The 13 Cardinal Steps for Implementing a Business Continuity Program — Part Four
- The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
- The Origins of ITIL
- The Foundation of ITIL: Service Management
- Five Reasons for Revising ITIL
- The Relationship of Service Delivery and Service Support to All of ITIL
- Ten Common Myths About Implementing ITIL, Part One
- Ten Common Myths About Implementing ITIL, Part Two
- Characteristics of ITIL Version 3
- Ten Benefits of itSMF and its IIL Pocket Guide
- Translating the Goals of the ITIL Service Delivery Processes
- Translating the Goals of the ITIL Service Support Processes
- Elements of ITIL Least Understood, Part One: Service Delivery Processes
- Case Study: Recovery Reactions to a Renegade Rodent
- Elements of ITIL Least Understood, Part Two: Service Support
- Case Studies
- Case Study — Preparing for Hurricane Charley
- Case Study — The Linux Decision
- Case Study — Production Acceptance at an Aerospace Firm
- Case Study — Production Acceptance at a Defense Contractor
- Case Study — Evaluating Mainframe Processes
- Case Study — Evaluating Recovery Sites, Part One: Quantitative Comparisons/Natural Disasters
- Case Study — Evaluating Recovery Sites, Part Two: Quantitative Comparisons/Man-made Disasters
- Case Study — Evaluating Recovery Sites, Part Three: Qualitative Comparisons
- Case Study — Evaluating Recovery Sites, Part Four: Take-Aways
- Disaster Recovery Test Case Study Part One: Planning
- Disaster Recovery Test Case Study Part Two: Planning and Walk-Through
- Disaster Recovery Test Case Study Part Three: Execution
- Disaster Recovery Test Case Study Part Four: Follow-Up
- Assessing the Robustness of a Vendor’s Data Center, Part One: Qualitative Measures
- Assessing the Robustness of a Vendor’s Data Center, Part Two: Quantitative Measures
- Case Study: Lessons Learned from a World-Wide Disaster Recovery Exercise, Part One: What Did the Team Do Well
- (d) Case Study: Lessons Learned from a World-Wide Disaster Recovery Exercise, Part Two
This section discusses what a mission statement is, describes some of the benefits and drawbacks of mission statements, shows how to develop an effective mission statement for almost any organization, and presents several examples of commonly known (or perhaps not so widely known) mission statements.
Introduction to Mission Statements
A mission statement is a concise description of who an organization is and what it does. When properly constructed, a mission statement can provide a clear, concise description of an organization's overall purpose. This can enable large groups of individuals to work in a unified direction toward a common cause.
There are a few other entities that are often associated with mission statements. The most common of these are vision statements and corporate values, each of which is covered in other sections of this guide. Other related items include charters, policy statements, and slogans:
A charter describes what an organization is expected to accomplish, usually over a specific timeframe, and usually specifies the amount of authority and responsibility given to the participants. Team leads, supervisors, and project managers often use charters to clearly define the overall purpose of teams, activities, initiatives, and projects that they are heading.
Policy statements are rules of engagement or enforcement for issues involving employee behavior and the use of corporate assets.
Slogans are usually short-lived marketing-oriented statements that apply to a specific product or service. Slogans often are tied directly or indirectly to the organization's mission statement.
Mission statements can apply to a wide diversity of organizations whose size, scope, and geography can vary greatly. For example, a huge multinational corporation may have one mission statement for the entire company, other mission statements for each of the divisions, additional mission statements for each business unit within a division, and still others for each department in the business unit. Despite the variety of mission statements that may exist within one corporation, common attributes help to make any mission statement worthwhile. In addition to ensuring that the various statements support each otheror, at the very least, don't contradict each otheran effective mission statement has these key characteristics:
Clear: No complex words; no awkward wording.
Concise: The fewer words the better; less than 25 if possible.
Catchy: Snappy sounding without using slang or colloquialisms.
Memorable: Easy to recall; easy to explain.
Steps To Developing Effective Mission Statements
The following procedure is a proven method for developing an effective mission statement for almost any organization.
Select a representative group to brainstorm an initial draft.
Concur on brainstorming ground rules.
Agree on what your organization is and what it does.
Identify key phrases.
Draft an initial mission statement using most or all of the key phrases.
Wordsmith the initial draft to reduce words and redundancies.
Digest the initial draft for a day or two.
Finalize the initial draft.
Submit the finalized statement to an appropriate authority for final approval.
Following these nine steps can help any group to create a useful mission statement that is easy to market, quick to implement, and simple to apply.
Sample Mission Statements
The following are ten current mission statements considered to be effective in terms of their form and content. Note their common characteristics of briefly describing who they are and what they do. These are all taken from a variety of well-known American companies. How many of these organizations do you recognize, or could identify based solely on their mission statements? The answers will be given next month.
A month has now gone by, so now it's time to reveal the companies who are the owners of the following mission statements. How many of these did you answer correctly? Just in case you want to try one final time to determine the identity of these companies, I will list the answers at the very bottom of this section. So don't scroll ahead. For each answer listed, I will offer a brief comment about characteristics of the mission statement and its relationship to the organization it describes.
Ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.
Our business is renting cars. Our mission is total customer satisfaction.
The primary mission is to expand our world-wide leadership position in the spice, seasoning, and flavoring markets.
To be America's best quick service restaurant chain. We will provide each guest great tasting, healthful, reasonably priced fish, seafood, and chicken in a fast, friendly manner on every visit.
To provide any customer a means of moving people and things up, down and sideways over short distances with higher reliability than any other similar enterprise in the world.
To offer all of the fine customers in our territories all of their household needs in a manner in which they continue to think of us fondly.
Provide shareholders a secure investment with a superior return.
We will be our customers' choice for high-value, high-quality data, voice and video communications.
To offer the fast food customer food prepared in the same high-quality manner world-wide, tasty and reasonably priced, delivered in a consistent, low-key décor and friendly atmosphere.
To offer the best possible personal computing technology, and to put that technology in the hands of as many people as possible.
The companies to whom the above mission statements apply are:
Ritz-Carlton Hotels - This is one of the briefest yet most effective mission statements ever developed. With a mere seven words, it describes who they are and how they expect their employees to behave; what they do; and the identity and treatment of their customers.
Avis Rent-a Car - This statement distinguishes the company's business which is rental car focused, from the company's mission of total satisfaction which is customer focused.
McCormick and Company - This statement implies that the company has several missions of which expanding its world-wide leadership is primary.
Long John Silver - This says it simply wants to be the best. It stresses the healthful nature of fish and chicken.
Otis Elevator - This is a rare business-to-business mission statement. Their primary delineator is high reliability.
Wal-Mart - In keeping with its well-guarded image, Wal-Mart's mission statement is very down-home and wholesome sounding with phrases such as 'fine customers' and wanting to be thought of "fondly'.
Exxon - This is short and direct: provide secure, profitability investments. Interesting in that nothing is mentioned about the quality of their petroleum products.
Bell South - This emphasizes the value and quality of their products and lists the core products.
McDonald's - This statement stresses the consistency of their food preparation and of their surroundings. Similar to Long John Silver's, it also emphasizes low price, speed and friendliness.
Apple Computer - Two simple ideas here: provide the best technology to the maximum number of people. In light of the many discounts and donations that Apple made early on, it's interesting that it does not emphasize maximizing sales and profits, but maximizing the number of recipients.
The above list provides describes mission statements from a variety of companies covering a diverse cross section of industries. Below are 13 additional statements from wide assortment of organizations.
To provide quality financial products and services that create value by achieving superior customer satisfaction and sustainable financial returns in a challenging and rewarding environment for our associates. (Option One Mortgage Corporation.
United Community Center is a human service agency providing emergency assistance, daycare, social services and recreational activities for low-income children and families at risk in inner city Atlanta, Georgia. (United Community Center)
To achieve quality land management under the sustainable multi-use management concept to meet the diverse needs of people. (United States Forest Service)
The YMCA of San Francisco, based on Judeo-Christian heritage, seeks to enhance the lives of all people through programs designed to develop spirit, mind and body. (San Francisco YMCA)
Minimize the exposure to risk and maximize the capability to respond to events that threaten or harm personnel, property, data or business continuity.
(California Independent Systems Operator (ISO))
To market vehicles developed and manufactured in the U.S. that are world leaders in quality, cost and customer satisfaction through the integration of people, technology and business systems and to transfer knowledge, technology and experience throughout GM.
(Saturn Division of GM)
Our mission is to work for the success of people we serve by providing our customers reliable electric service, energy information, and energy options that best satisfy their needs.
(Public Service Company of New Mexico)
The mission is to improve the equality of human life; to enhance self-reliance and concern for others; and to help people avoid, prepare for, and cope with emergencies.
(American Red Cross)
To develop a reliable wireless network that empowers people with the freedom to travel anywhere--across the hall or across the continent--and communicate effortlessly.
(McCaw Cellular Communications)
To provide all banks, S&Ls and investment firms with error-free financial instruments delivered in a timely fashion. Error-free means absolutely no errors; timely means a 48-hour turnaround. (Deluxe Checks)
To provide economy and quality-minded travelers with a premiere, moderate-priced lodging facility which is consistently perceived as clean, comfortable, well maintained, and attractive, staffed by friendly, attentive and efficient people. (Courtyard by Marriott)
To appeal to a younger-thinking, style-conscious, moderate and better priced customer by providing trend merchandising and superior service. Trend means private labels, fast reaction, measured risks; service means warm, friendly, helpful people in a convenient, efficient environment. (Dayton Hudson)
To satisfy our customers by providing quality cars & trucks, developing new products, reducing time it takes to bring new vehicles to market, improving efficiency of all our plants & processes, & building on our teamwork with employees, unions, dealers, & suppliers.
(Ford Motor Company)
"What Should Our Mission Statement Say?" by Ron Meshanko. Internet Nonprofit Center, 1996.