Mission statements

Subject: Mission statements
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 14:01:54 -0500

There's a really good case for a mission statement when
your group really doesn't know why it exists, and neither
does anyone else. I'd hope that this statement doesn't
apply to many techwhirlers; if it does, you're on dangerous
ground. Managers love mission statements because they're
something they can post on the walls to impress visitors
and scare the children, but they have no practical purpose
if management doesn't believe in the mission right up to
their pointy little heads and won't provide you with the
support necessary to get you where you're going.

If you absolutely must create a mission statement, keep it
to two sentences totaling less than 50 words. If you can't
say it in one or two breaths, you'll never remember it, and
if you can't remember it, forget about implementing it. My
own team's mission statement isn't wonderful, but it
basically says one thing: "to help our authors communicate
with our audience". I'd love to have said it that way, but
I don't set the rules for these things. If you're a writing
group, you could probably delete "help our authors" with
little loss.

<Fe> Of course, you could probably take this pithy phrase
and convert it into Latin to lend it the necessary air of
majesty and mystery... </Fe>

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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