Define an Actionable Mission for the Organization

A good mission is actionable: it provides guidance and boundaries for people to use as they work and as they select which work to do.

Your group’s mission might be something like “Develop and create high-performance computing systems.” But if you have a sales department out of control, your development manager’s mission might be “Be the conscience of the sales department.” That manager explained, “We have to do enough prework to know whether we can deliver, in a reasonable amount of time, what sales wants to promise. We want to make it easy for them, so we work in short iterations and predict velocity from what we know.”

A test manager told me her group’s mission was “Assess the state of ...

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