Definition of Mission

Definition Last Updated 17-Dec-2015 12:51

A mission is a behaviour intended to achieve a specified goal which does not terminate on achievement of that goal, since it is recognised that the benefits delivered by achieving the goal may be lost or diminished should the activity cease.

Note that as a behaviour, a mission is an attribute of a performer for whom the performance may be an outcome or goal.


Mission is expressed as relationships of the forms:

[Mission] is an [activity] for achieving goal

[Performer] has [mission] as [goal] (or [objective])

[Goal] requires [mission] because [rationale]


Mission is a defined term of Enterprise Architecture. Mission is a defined term of Business Analysis.


Article Last Updated 17-Dec-2015 12:51

Missions, as defined here, are continuous activities. Whilst the common usage of mission includes activity intended to achieve a specific goal, following which the activity will cease, this usage derives from the etymology of mission: its Latin root is mittere, to send, according to which people are sent on missions.

Mission is defined here simply to recognise such continuous activities. Although mission is an activity and goal is an outcome of intrinsic value, one might say that mission is to goal as project is to programme, i.e. implies activity that will continue until and unless the outcome is no longer sought.

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