Mission (Statement) Accomplished?

Brad Egeland

There are so many documents associated with the beginning of the project that we need to create, should create, would be nice to create…you get the idea. Some you do if it’s a large project, some you do if senior management demands it, some you do if your customer wants it and some you just do because it’s good to have in place and it gets the project started off on the right foot. For me, there are a few documents that fit that last description--the Communication Plan, the Risk Management Plan and the Project Mission Statement are three that are definitely on there. In this article, we’ll focus on the mission statement.

Developing a problem statement for the project and a mission statement for the project go hand in hand. As you work on defining the problem with the customer, you usually begin to see the mission more clearly, and vice versa. Look at it this way: “If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?” This questions sums up the reason some projects go astray. If we lived in a perfect world, we’d always have perfectly detailed, accurate requirements to work from. But that’s almost never (okay, never) the case, so the mission statement is there to guide us through some of the questions we have pertaining to requirements. It also helps us ask the right questions during the …

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