Why you need to review sample mission statements

Reviewing sample mission statements from project management books or from past successful projects is an excellent method of learning how to write a mission statement. It also helps you understand more than just trying to answer the questions what, for whom and how.

A mission statement is about conveying the ethos of your organization, business or team in a concise, referable manner so that not only can you branch out your project specifications from that statement but you can also outline value statements that team members are expected to uphold during the project life cycle. But searching for sample mission statements only leads you to general cases where you can find mission statements for companies and organizations, but not projects.

The truth is that mission statements are not given as much importance because it is generally assumed that with a hands-on approach and closely knit project team, any ambiguities with project specifications can be handled as they come. But project management best practices teach us that as project size increases, project specifications become more important and subsequently, small matters like mission statements need to be more coherent, thought-out and well-written than ever.

To help you understand the process better, here are two sample mission statements for you to analyse and learn from. The first is a development project headed by 'Azad Awaz', an NGO in Pakistan, to improve political participation in the country. The second is more mainstream; it's an IT project initiated by 'LoneStar Publishing', a New Jersey-based organisation. Both mission statements, as you will see, offer valuable insight into the best practices of defining and focusing on your goal.

"We aim to significantly increase understanding of civic rights and political awareness in the region of Punjab in the next year by means of educating citizens through seminars, media campaigns, localised social forums and more. This will ensure that come the next elections, the province is more involved in the decision-making process of the state, helping the state become more representative."

"Our mission is to upgrade the IT infrastructure of the Marketing Department within two weeks to deal with current extraordinary influx of media campaigns as well as to ensure that the setup put in place is scalable both in terms of size and quality."

What did both sample mission statements have in common? They stated their primary goal immediately, they established a timeframe, they included a broad overview of 'how' they were going to do it, as well as identifying the desired outcomes that would be acheived by accomplishing the primary goal.

So, find sample mission statements by analyzing past successful projects. Also, use general-purpose business and organizational mission statements to establish what ‘voice’ works best in not only encapsulating your purpose, but also motivation and direction.

Other resources

  • Risk Analysis
    A good planning phase for a project includes many things like time analysis, assignments of the tasks, quality plan... and among them it also includes a risk analysis which consists primarily of a collective brain storming involving all project team. It is recommended to be done after the plan has been elaborated. You can also conduct a technical feasibility analysis which is an easy-job for experienced people. They can detect most risks.
    Read more: Risk Analysis
  • Quality control plan: What you need to know?
    A quality control plan is an important tool in project management to ensure that projects are consistent and that they fulfill the client’s expectations.
    Read more: Quality control plan: What you need to know?
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