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Any website or company with long term plans should have a mission statement. From what I have seen, most major companies have one with more than a hint of commercial twang, while some of the open source and scientific mission statements I have read are more natural in their wording and true incentives.
I would like to ask your opinions on mission statements, how they should be structured, what they should contain, and anything else you feel is relevant to a mission statement at large, visible to the public.
One of my bigger queries about the subject is the persona in that it is written, i.e. there are "webmaster type" mission statements about the evolution of the site, and perhaps also information for users who want to know what the site is about. Also, other webmasters or those involved in the field subject of your site may also want to know why the site exists and any co-operation/partnerships/opportunities that may arise etc
So....mission statements? I get the impression writing a cracking statement could dramatically change the face of what is to come in regards to a sites future....almost like the forum charters here at WebmasterWorld, which provide that sort of direction that gives more than a hint what WebmasterWorld is about.
Would love to hear experiences and suggestions.....
our mission is to bring you the best food and beverage values you can find anywhere, and the information you need to make informed buying decisions. You'll find more than 800 unique grocery items in our label, at prices everyone can afford. We work hard at buying things right: Our buyers travel the world searching for new items; we work with a variety of suppliers who make interesting products for us; and we make special purchases which are presented to us throughout the year. All our private label products have their own "angle," i.e., great flavor, unusual recipes, high quality ingredients, special nutritional claims, and all natural ingredients.
A mission statement is short (one paragraph) and clearly, in active voice, describes exactly why the company exists. A good mission statement has no ambigiuity.
What you seem to be describing is a "charter" or "about page" or something similar, which includes a mission statement. These pages may or may not include the mission statement.
Mission statements may or may not be appropriate for a web site. However, they are vital to the long term success of a company. They put all employees on the same page, shooting for the same goals. If made public, they also inform the public of your company goals, thus getting them on the same page as well.
Hope that helps,
I used to create mission statements for a living (well, that was one of the tasks of a strategic planner), and my primary complaint is that they are often too nebulous, too complex, and provide little actual direction.
I can understand a mission statement that says, "We want to be the world's largest supplier of commercial-grade widgets and be the leader in widget research", but all too often mission statements evolve into fluffy stuff about how well a company will treat its customers, vendors, employees, dealers, wholesalers, shareholders, communities, and everyone else, all while being the best at everything and very profitable. Not a useful roadmap for an enterprise.
Thus Dilbert [dilbert.com].