Purpose: Set the Team’s Mission

To be completed in the Team Charter

Organizations like to set the purpose for why they exist and what mark they want to leave on the world.

Establishing a purpose on your team and communicating that message is fundamental to setting up a SLAM team. A purpose allows your team to understand it's reason for existence and drives the decisions about the work. When problems arise and the world changes, teams can make quick decisions on how to react based on alignment to purpose.

A well-defined purpose addresses:

  1. Restrictive, inflexible annual plans
  2. Micro-managing
  3. Panic when conditions change
  4. Misconceptions and individual interpretations about the intent of a team’s work

There are a few layers of clarity that can help.

1) Purpose: the raison d’etre for the team. The purpose doesn’t dissolve when individual projects are complete. These often align to the business’ long-terms goals, and may sit at the department level. Ask: why does our team exist? e.g. Incubate industry-changing beverages

2) Mission: a time-bound initiative that involves a defined team or partners. We recommend limiting it to a maximum of a quarter. Ask: What work will our team focus on? e.g. Launch a summer promotion that gains 15% single serve market share

Once you’ve gained alignment on Purpose and Mission, you can make hypotheses about the sub-projects that the team will need to take on to achieve the Mission.

3) Sub-Projects: The pieces of work that the team will need to do. To think of these, it can be helpful to define the outputs a team will generate, or the desired outcomes of the work. Ask: What projects will be necessary to realize our mission? e.g. Customer Engagement, Communication Plan, Overall Sell-in, Retail Activation