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How can your organization develop evaluations that ensure that mission, vision, and purpose statements are implemented?
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How does one define and judge success? One of the best ways to do this is to evaluate a program. As we are learning, there are different ways to evaluate organizations, but I think to ensure an organization remains true to its roots one should build evaluations around the mission, vision and purpose statements of an organization.
The mission statement is a concise explanation of the organization’s reason for existence. It describes the organization’s purpose and its overall intention. The mission statement supports the vision and serves to communicate purpose and direction to employees, customers, vendors and other stakeholders. Supplementing that, a vision statement looks forward and creates a mental image of the ideal state the organization wishes to achieve. It is inspirational and aspirational and should challenge employees (Society for Human Resource Management, 2018). Purpose statements differ from mission or vision in that it illustrates the organization’s impact on customers, in my case students. The statement of purpose should, therefore, illustrate how you will improve the lives of those you serve. Also, the purpose can be used as a guide to dictate company actions. If a certain decision does not align with the business’s statement of purpose, should it be acted on (Smyth, 2019)?
Your mission statement should define your company’s objective and its approach to reach these goals. Vision, on the other hand, describes your business’s goals for the future and outlines how you will get there. Meanwhile, a statement of purpose explains the type of work you do and how it will benefit your customers. These distinctions are minor, but important (Smyth, 2019).
Evaluation is a process that critically examines a program. It involves collecting and analyzing information about a program’s activities, characteristics, and outcomes. Its purpose is to make judgments about a program, to improve its effectiveness, and/or to inform programming decisions (Patton, 1987). I believe that understanding the mission, vision and purpose of the organization and then building the evaluation around the question of the organization representing and supporting these statements is the only way to do this effectively.
Patton, M. (1987). Qualitative Research Evaluation Methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Smyth, D. (2019, January 22). How to Write a Business Purpose Statement. Retrieved from bizfluent: https://bizfluent.com/how-6129266-write-business-purpose-statement.html
Society for Human Resource Management. (2018, March 5). Mission & Vision Statements. Retrieved from SHRM: https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/hr-
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Developing Evaluations that Ensure the Mission, Vision, and Purpose Statements are Implemented
Program evaluations can facilitate managers in thinking about what their program is all about, for example: Why does your program exists? Where is your program going? And, how are we going to get there? In order for your program evaluation to be effective, it is important for you to ensure the purpose, mission, and vision statements are implemented when developing your evaluation.
A purpose statement relates team member to the strategic priorities that drive an organization towards achieving its mission (Kern, 2018). The purpose statement defines relationships and interactions it has internally and externally, to provide services (Kern, 2018). The mission and purpose work together to create an organizational philosophy connecting team members and customers within the context of the organization (Kern, 2018). Before you even develop your evaluation, you must understand “why” your program exists and what is its purpose? This will help guide you in the development of your evaluation.
Mission statements are a strategic planning and management tool that provide a basis for an organization’s performance and survival (Ellis & Miller, 2014). Mission statements are designed to fulfill three basic purposes: (1) to inspire and motivate members of the organization to a higher performance level; (2) to guide resource allocation in a consistent manner; and (3) to create balance among conflict interests of various organizational stakeholders (Ellis & Miller, 2014). Other functions of a mission statement are to provide a sense of direction, promoting shared values amongst employees, and focusing an organization during crisis (Ellis & Miller, 2014). The mission statement helps you understand who you are, what you do, and why you do it.
A vision statement gives a clear image of the future state of the organization (Rogus, 1990). Every organization needs a vision to guide them from point to point in their organizational journey; remind them of the what they represent and what they want to become; and to inspire them by the purpose and results of work, as well as the priorities and goals it encompasses (Lucas, 1998). Vision statements free organizations of a “this is how it’s always been done,” mentality, and opens the doors to a fresh future (Lucas, 1998). Lucas (1998), states, “every company needs a vision if it wants to go somewhere and be able to know when it has arrived” (Lucas, 1998). A vision statement helps you understand “where” you are going. It will help you empower your purpose, shows you the desired results, and will motivate you to work towards that goal.
It is important for program leaders to collaborate with stakeholders to arrive at a program mission, vision and purpose, to provide a guiding force in all program decisions. When developing evaluations, organizations should work from their mission, vision, and purpose statements to identify the “why,” “how,” and “where,” of the organization to guide the evaluation process.
Ellis, J., & Miller, P. (2014). Providing Higher Education in Post-Modern Times: What do University Mission Statements Tell Us About What They Believe and Do? Research in Comparative and International Education, 9(1), 83-91
Kern, H.P. (2018). Integrating Purpose with a Mission Statement: When Structures and Applied, Quality and Performance Improvement Values are Created. Healthcare Executive, 33(6), 70-71
Lucas, J. (1998). Anatomy of a Vision Statement. Management Review. 87(2), 22
Rogus, J. (1990). Developing a Vision Statement – Some Considerations for Principals. NASSP Bulletin. 74(523), 6-12