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Appendix 4: Definition of Planning Terms


An organization’s consistent identity that transcends all changes related to its relevant environment. Core ideology consists of two notions: core mission—the organization’s reason for being, and core beliefs and values—essential and enduring principles that drive the organization.


The fundamental purpose for which the institution exists.


Essential and enduring tenets that guide behavior and decision-making and shape institutional culture.


What the institution seeks to be or become within a future time horizon–consists of a big goal statement and vivid descriptions.


Future-oriented statements that serve as projections about the future environment that the institution is likely to be operating in as it moves toward achievement of its vision.


Outcome-oriented statements, worded in the future tense, that describe what will be achieved for stakeholders, and the progress that will be made toward the long-range vision.


Measurable, attainable milestones that describe progress toward key issues affecting the ability to achieve the goal, and what would constitute success in observable or measurable terms. Indicates a direction—increase, expand, decrease, reduce, consolidate, abandon, improve, distribute, or enhance.


Numeric or data-oriented milestones to achieve by a specific point in time on the way to accomplishing the goal. Describes the measure or change that will be used to assess progress and set future benchmarks and targets.


Specific actions taken by the institution to commit its resources to accomplishing the goal. Brings focus to operational allocation of resources. Indicates an activity—redesign, refine, identify, revise, develop, implement, create, or establish.