The Case For a Project Mission Statement
Your project mission statement should communicate the goals of and methods for your project. Creative briefs are great templates that can help you achieve that. Sometimes, however, you need something of shorter length. That is where having the right project mission statement can benefit you most.
For large projects, you need to summarize all desired outcomes using the creative brief. You may also need to combine the project mission statement with your business mission. With smaller projects, a project mission statement should suffice.
What Is a Mission Statement?
In business, a mission statement describes the fundamental purpose of the organization – why it exists. It defines the target customer and sets expectations for how the work gets done. A project mission statement works the same way, just within the scope of a smaller team and set of actions. Writing a project mission statement adds value to the creative team’s role. Since business partners are used to thinking in strict terms, make sure you write a clear one. Doing so means the creative team can work with business partners on equal terms.
How to Write a Project Mission Statement?
At its simplest, a mission statement for a project needs to tell the team what they are creating and why. Often that also needs to encompass a reference to a specific audience, or who they are creating the thing for.
The deliverable, or output to be created by the project – whether it is a thing, service, event, etc.
What target audience is the end user of this product / project – are they internal or external?
How will this output create value for the target audience? What is the business justification for this project?
The statement should be at most a sentence or two. It must be simple and memorable, so you can keep it in mind as a guiding principle throughout the project. And make it inspiring enough to motivate your team with it. It must be whatever is the most useful for your team.
Whether a sentence or a full brief, make sure your stakeholders agree on it. It should capture the essence of what they want to accomplish with the project. It cannot and should not cover every nuance of every objective of the project. Still, your major stakeholders should agree that it keeps everyone heading in the right direction.
Project Mission Statement Formula and Examples
A good formula to use if you are stuck is ‘To [do what thing?] that [does what/why] for [whom].
Here Are a Couple of Examples
To (what?) create a new intake form that helps (who?) sales managers (why?) save time by inputting leads from the road more quickly.
To (what?) update our landing pages with regionally focused photography and language options (why?) to support our company’s goal of expanding our reach (for whom?) in Latin markets.
In the examples above, the project may have come in as a more generic request such as a new form for sales leads. Add language options to landing pages may have been another one. Having a mission statement allows the creative team to add value and stay on topic.
Keep Your Statement Updated
On larger projects, put your project mission statement right up at the top of the brief, so it can remind team members briefly of what, who, and most importantly, why. For projects where the entire brief is a task in a project management system, make the mission statement the task title or email subject, or at least put it at the top of the description field to keep it top of mind.
Projects can and do evolve. If you find yourselves veering away from your project mission statement, it may be time to back up and create a more comprehensive brief. But if you can quickly align with your project sponsor and update the mission statement with just a quick conversation, it is worth doing so.
This will not only keep you and the project sponsor on the same page, but also help communicate the scope change to the rest of the team as well.Â
Are you interested in tools that will help you address current project challenges and provide you with the support needed for future ones? Lytho helps you streamline workflows and harmonize all brand collateral under a single, uniform platform. Feel free to reach out to us by scheduling a demo and learning how our creative solutions can boost the effectiveness of your creative projects. We look forward to speaking with you!