Reaching a Milestone

The two reports shown above constitute what is traditionally referred to as the team's Mission Statement. Sometimes the mission statement also includes a business plan, a pro forma budget, a staffing list, or a preliminary project schedule, depending on the type of program being undertaken and the demands of the charging authority.

The mission statement is the team's response to the initial charge. It restates the charge in the team's own words and says "here is what we are going to do and here (generally) is how we are going to do it." The mission statement goes back to the authority who issued the charge for approval. Once the mission statement is accepted it becomes both the team's mandate and their basic plan.

Jim Phelps carries the IMF mission statement back to The Secretary for approval (we are stretching the parameters of the TV show a bit here...). Moving down the worksheet from the two reports, enter a decision by The Secretary titled "Accept IMF's Mission Statement?". Draw arrows from both reports to the decision.

This important step helps eliminate the all-too-often heard complaint that "top management ordered me to do this, and now they won't support me." Usually what is really happening is that either the team is not doing what top management charged them to do, or the program is much longer or much costlier than top management is willing to support. By going through the intermediate step of having the charging authority review and accept the team's Mission Statement, much confusion, wasted time and money, and even jeopardized careers can be avoided.

Enter a report, owned by Jim Phelps, titled "IMF Mission Statement" after the decision.

Now drag an arrow from the decision to the report. TeamFlow gives you the ability to draw arrows from two exit points of a decision. Whenever you drag an arrow out of a decision, TeamFlow will display the small window shown below to allow you to specify which exit point you want to use. You may also use this window to apply one-character labels to the two exit points. The default labels are shown - 'Y' for the bottom exit, 'N' for the left-side exit.

The bottom decision exit point is the default origin of "forward" arrows - that is, arrows that point to a process element lower on the worksheet. Whenever you drag a forward arrow from a decision, this window will appear with the bottom exit point selected as shown above. Click the OK button to draw the arrow.

What happens if The Secretary does not accept the Mission Statement? Presumably Jim and his team would rework the plan to meet The Secretary's objections. We can show this logic path by drawing an arrow from the "No" exit of the decision back up to the meeting. An arrow that points to a process element higher on the worksheet is called a feedback arrow.

Enter a feedback arrow the same way you have entered forward arrows - drag from the tail of the arrow (the decision) to the head of the arrow (the segment of the meeting in Jim Phelps' column).

This time the arrow routing window appears with the side exit already selected. The side exit is the default origin for feedback arrows. Since this is where we want this arrow to originate, just click the OK button to draw the arrow.

Notice that the vertical portion of the feedback arrow is drawn as a dashed line. This is to emphasize the importance of feedback arrows and to allow them to stand out on a crowded worksheet.

This logic fragment clearly shows the consequences of the decision and its effect on the logic flow of the process.

Finally, enter a milestone titled "Ready to begin Mission" at the bottom of Jim Phelps' column and draw an arrow from the "IMF Mission Statement" report to it.

If you do not remember how to add process elements or process flow arrows, this would be a good time to go back and review those steps in the tutorial.

This would be a good time to Save your model to disk. Simply click the Save toolbar button (the third button from the left - it looks like a tiny floppy disk) or select Save from the File menu.


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Last Update: October 24, 2005