Goals Based Strategic Planning - Part X (TERMINOLOGY)

strategic planning process is fairly simple and straightforward. Understanding the terms and having a good grasp of what they represent is critical. In order to generate a good strategic plan and the associated work products, it is not sufficient to know the textbook definition of the terms. It is vital to understand the underlying purpose and intent of the work product represented by each term.


The mission statement of an organization is a broad description of the nature and purpose of the business and/or the "reason for existence." It usually covers the major functions and operations of the organization and answers the following questions:

•What do we do? •For/To whom do we do it?


•Why do we do it?


A vision statement is a conceptual image of the desired future that answers the question “What do we want to be?” Vision statements should be short, memorable, idealistic, inspiring and should challenge everyone within the organization to achieve that future.

Vision statements are often confused with mission statements, but they serve complementary purposes. The most impactful vision statements typically describe outcomes that are five to ten years away.

Vision statements can be much longer than mission statements. Their purpose is to portray an emotional message that can energize and inspire the rank-and-file of the organization.


The value statement is one of the soft elements in the strategic planning process. It defines the values that govern the organization and the beliefs of its stakeholders.

Broadly defined the values are the organization’s rules of professional conduct that influence both the mission and the vision of the organization.


The core strategic planning team will conduct this activity during the strategic planning process. This typically includes a thorough review, of the organization's internal environment (i.e. political, social, economic and technical).

This information in conjunction with the SWOT should be used to revise the mission and vision. It should also be considered when developing the strategic goals and objectives.


Simply defined a SWOT analysis is an exercise that identifies the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats that are currently causing or may in the near future cause an impact to your organization. SWOT is sizeable effort unto itself and is therefore addressed in a separate chapter later in this book


Goals are broad statements that define what the organization will be able to do when it achieves the desired future state. An organization’s goals help bridge the gap between the current state and the future vision. Goals are qualitative statements and can be lofty ideas, using words like "robust," “adaptable,” or phrases like "demonstrates industry leadership capability," etc.


Objectives are statements of achievements that support the fulfillment of a goal. Further defined, an objective is a specific, measurable target for accomplishing a goal that:

•Describes a specific accomplishment that meets the goal

•Focuses on expected result/s of the accomplishment

•Forms the foundation for strategies


•Is expected to be achieved within a pre-defined period (near term)


A strategy is a specific, high level action or approach that the organization plans to implement to achieve goals and objectives.


Dr. Uchil is an entrepreneur, business-owner and author embodying almost three decades of management and consulting experience. Prior to founding The Uchil Group and Uchil, LLC, Dr. Uchil spent over eighteen years in a variety of senior management roles at several large consulting organizations. In addition to his PhD in Business Administration Dr. Uchil also holds an MBA in Consulting Operations Management, a BSEE in Electrical Engineering and a Diploma in Electronics and Telecommunicati...

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