What are Your Organization’s Mission, Vision and Values?

I think that strategic planning builds the frame for all organizational activities and products.  The strategic plan should define an organization’s internal drivers for how work will be done and how folks will work together.  The plan also should set the tone for the external face the organization presents to its customers and suppliers.  Your organization’s strategic plan defines its strategy and direction.  Funny thing is, many folks aren’t fully aware of the mission, vision and values of where they work and how what they do contributes to this strategic bottom line.

A concise strategic plan consists of vision and mission statements supported by business goals.  Developing the plan requires some strategic analysis, using techniques such as SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) or PEST analysis (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological) in order to formulate actions to be taken and the strategy, mission, vision, values and business goals.  Let’s make sure we all define these terms the same way. Many people mistake the vision statement for the mission statement. The vision describes a future identity and the mission describes why that future identity will be achieved. 

  • Mission: States what is important to the organization and what needs to be achieved.
  • Vision: Defines where the organization wants to be in the future and how the work that is being done will help the organization get to that future state.
  • Values: Characteristics reflecting the organization’s culture and priorities that frame decisions being made in order to achieve the mission.
  • Strategy: Defines the business objectives necessary to achieve the mission and is documented in the strategic plan.  
  • Business goal or objective: State predetermined results towards which effort is directed, such as a strategic position to be attained or a purpose to be achieved.

Basically, your organization’s strategic plan should tell everyone where the organization currently stands, where the organization wants to go and how the organization will get there.  That means you need to ask three questions during strategic planning or when you are reading your organization’s strategic plan:

  1. “What do we do?”
  2. “For whom do we do it?”
  3. “How can we beat or avoid competition?”. 

Take a look and see what your mission, vision and values are for where you work.  Are they what you thought they would be? Do you feel that your organization’s strategic plan and mission/vision/values drive and frame the work you perform every day?  It’s always nice to know the big picture we are working within on our projects and programs.  Please check out Learning Tree’s course on strategic planning, IT Strategic Planning if you are looking for assistance in defining your organization’s business-driven IT strategic plan.

 Susan Weese

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