Re: Mission Statements

Subject: Re: Mission Statements
From: John Posada <JOHN -dot- POSADA -at- EY -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 14:04:59 -0400

>>Well, I didn't spend two months devising a mission statement, but I did spend
two months performing a software process assessment, and then another two
months developing the action plan based on the findings of the assessment. I
agree with you that the process *for the people involved* was exciting and
beneficial. It's what happens when it is all said and done that's the killer.
Management signs off on the action plan -- a gesture that presumably shows
their support -- then two months
later reorganizes the organization so that all our hard work becomes invalid.
Yeah, we were pumped while it was happening,<<

You're comparing apples and oranges. A mission statement is SUPPOSED to change
the organization because it determines what WILL be, not what is. If the
mission statement is effective, then the organization will change. At that
point, a new mission statement needs to be developed to take it to the next
step. And when that step is reached, new statement and more changes.

>>A mission statement is not for the primary benefit of a customer. The
mission statement is for the benefit of the organization.<<

>No argument there. I think this is a basic understanding.

That's the ISN'T a basic understanding. I've been involved in this
three times and each time, the initial thought was that it identifies the
organization to their customers. When they realized that it was for internal
use, the statement changed completely, both in words, process, and in intention.

Regarding your comment on the statement, it wasn't what is said as much as how
it made the people involved understand the meaning. If the statement had been
created in a vacuum, then it would state the obvious. However, knowing what
was involved and knowing that the obvious wasn't obvious at the time, then the
meaning of the statement becomes different.

John Posada
Ernst & Young
Tactical Applications Group
Lyndhurst, NJ
john -dot- posada -at- ey -dot- com (work)
john -at- tdandw -dot- com (personal) (work) (personal)
(201) 842-2699

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