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Strategic Planning Terminology

Vision Statement ‐ A statement that captures the long‐term picture of what the organization wants to become or accomplish. A vision statement must be inspirational, memorable and reflect the desires of those with vested interests. Example: XYZ will be nationally recognized as a top research University in the United States.


Mission Statement ‐ A brief description of a company's fundamental purpose. A mission statement answers the question, "Why do we exist?" Example: XYZ University provides a high quality education, while promoting discovery and innovation.


Value StatementBeliefs that are shared among the stakeholders of an organization. Example: XYZ University values integrity, honesty, openness, personal excellence, constructive self-criticism, continual self-improvement, and mutual respect.


Prioritya high-level, inspirational statement about what we would like to be known for or achieve in a specific "mission" area. Strategic priorities need to support both mission and vision statements. Example: Develop interdisciplinary research programs that focus on discovery & innovation. (defines further how XYZ University will be national recognized).


GoalOutcome statements that define what an organization is trying to accomplish both programmatically and organizational. Example: Expand clinical & translational research efforts. (defines further the type of research programs XYZ University would like to grow).


ObjectiveVery precise, time-based, and measurable actions that support the completion of a goal. Example: Hire five new clinician scientists over five years. (defines how XYZ University will grow clinical and translational research).


IndicatorA measurable variable (or characteristic) that can be used to determine the degree of adherence to a standard or the level of quality achieved. Example: Amount of clinical research funding. (the measure that will be tracked to determine how XYZ University will know they are successful).


Targetdefines the magnitude of change for a specific indicator that the organization aspires to achieve during a specific period of time. Example: A 10% increase in clinical funding over five years. (10% over five years is the target that must be reached for XYZ University to know they have been successful).


BenchmarkA standard of comparison used for judging performance. Example: the national average for clinical funding across all Universities is X.


BaselineA standard by which things are measured or compared. Example: Current level of clinical research funding at XYZ University.


Action Plan/ProjectA planned series of actions, tasks or steps designed to achieve an objective or goal. Example: Recruitment plan for the five clinician scientists. (this is where the work really happens!)


NOTE: There is an increase in granularity as you progress from vision to objectives.