MOST Analysis

MOST Analysis is a strategic framework aligning an organization’s mission, objectives, strategies, and tactics. It ensures activities are purpose-driven and goal-aligned. The mission guides objectives, which inform strategies executed through tactics. This approach offers a clear roadmap for effective strategic planning and execution.

MOST AnalysisDescriptionAnalysisImplicationsApplicationsExamples
1. MissionMission defines the core purpose, values, and identity of an organization, answering the question, “Why do we exist?”– Define the organization’s mission, encompassing its purpose and values. – Clarify the guiding principles that drive decision-making.– Provides a sense of direction, purpose, and identity. – Guides decision-making and aligns actions with organizational values.– Developing a clear mission statement for a startup or established organization. – Revisiting the mission when undergoing strategic changes or growth.Amazon’s mission: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy.”
2. ObjectivesObjectives are specific, measurable goals derived from the mission that the organization aims to achieve within a defined timeframe.– Establish clear, specific, and measurable objectives aligned with the mission. – Set a timeline for achieving these objectives.– Provides clarity and focus by quantifying what the organization aims to achieve. – Enables measurement of progress and success.– Defining objectives for revenue growth, market expansion, or customer acquisition. – Setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) objectives for project management.Example Objective: “Increase annual revenue by 15% within the next fiscal year.”
3. StrategiesStrategies are high-level plans outlining how the organization intends to achieve its objectives, involving key decisions about resource allocation and approach.– Develop strategies that outline the broad approaches and methods to achieve the defined objectives. – Allocate resources effectively to support the chosen strategies.– Provides a roadmap for achieving objectives by defining the overarching approach. – Informs resource allocation and decision-making.– Creating a market entry strategy for a new product or geographic region. – Developing marketing strategies to increase brand awareness and market share.Strategy Example: “Expand market presence through a combination of online and offline marketing channels.”
4. TacticsTactics encompass specific actions, initiatives, and detailed steps for implementing chosen strategies and accomplishing defined objectives.– Identify and plan specific tactics, activities, and projects that support the execution of chosen strategies. – Define timelines and responsibilities for tactics.– Translate high-level strategies into practical actions and initiatives. – Enable step-by-step execution and progress tracking.– Implementing a content marketing campaign to support a brand awareness strategy. – Executing a product launch plan to achieve sales objectives. – Organizing training programs to enhance employee skills as part of a talent development strategy.Tactical Action Example: “Launch a social media advertising campaign targeting a specific audience segment.”

Introduction to MOST Analysis

MOST Analysis is a versatile framework used by organizations to navigate the complex landscape of strategic planning and management. It breaks down the strategic planning process into four interconnected components: Mission, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics. By systematically addressing each of these components, organizations can ensure that their actions and initiatives are aligned with their overarching mission and objectives.

Key principles of MOST Analysis include:

  1. Mission-Centric: MOST Analysis begins with a clear understanding of an organization’s mission, which serves as the foundation for all subsequent planning and decision-making.
  2. Hierarchical Structure: It follows a hierarchical structure, with objectives nested under the mission, strategies under the objectives, and tactics under the strategies. This hierarchy helps maintain alignment and clarity.
  3. Actionable Planning: MOST Analysis emphasizes the development of practical tactics that can be implemented to execute strategies and achieve objectives.
  4. Continuous Improvement: Organizations can revisit and adjust their MOST Analysis as circumstances change, ensuring that they remain adaptable and responsive to evolving challenges and opportunities.

Key Concepts in MOST Analysis

To effectively use MOST Analysis, it’s essential to understand key concepts and terminology associated with the framework:

1. Mission:

The mission defines the organization’s core purpose, values, and the broad scope of its activities. It answers the question, “Why does the organization exist?” A well-crafted mission statement provides a sense of direction and identity.

2. Objectives:

Objectives are specific, measurable, and time-bound goals that an organization aims to achieve. They are aligned with the mission and represent the desired outcomes or results. Objectives provide a clear focus for the organization.

3. Strategies:

Strategies are high-level plans or approaches designed to achieve the objectives. They outline the overall approach or direction the organization will take to reach its goals. Strategies are typically broader and longer-term in scope.

4. Tactics:

Tactics are the specific actions, initiatives, or projects that an organization undertakes to implement its strategies and achieve its objectives. They are practical, actionable steps that guide day-to-day activities.

5. Alignment:

Alignment refers to the process of ensuring that each component of MOST Analysis (mission, objectives, strategies, and tactics) is consistent with and supports the components above it in the hierarchy.

Methods for Conducting MOST Analysis

MOST Analysis involves several steps and methods to guide strategic planning and execution:

1. Mission Definition:

Begin by defining or clarifying the organization’s mission. This step involves capturing the essence of why the organization exists and what it hopes to achieve. A mission statement should be concise and inspirational.

2. Objective Setting:

Identify and define specific objectives that are aligned with the mission. Objectives should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) to provide clarity and focus.

3. Strategy Development:

Develop strategies that outline the overarching approaches or plans to achieve the objectives. Strategies should address the “how” of reaching the goals and should be consistent with the mission.

4. Tactical Planning:

Translate strategies into practical tactics. Identify the specific actions, projects, or initiatives that need to be undertaken to execute the chosen strategies and achieve the objectives.

5. Alignment Review:

Conduct a review to ensure alignment at all levels of MOST Analysis. Verify that each objective supports the mission, each strategy aligns with the objectives, and each tactic contributes to the strategies.

6. Implementation and Execution:

Execute the tactics according to the tactical plan. This involves assigning responsibilities, setting timelines, and monitoring progress. Effective execution is essential for achieving the objectives.

7. Monitoring and Measurement:

Regularly monitor and measure progress toward the objectives. Key performance indicators (KPIs) can help assess whether the organization is on track to achieve its goals.

8. Adjustment and Adaptation:

As circumstances change or new information becomes available, be prepared to adjust and adapt the objectives, strategies, and tactics to remain aligned with the mission and responsive to evolving challenges.

Real-World Applications of MOST Analysis

MOST Analysis is widely applied in various organizational contexts and industries to enhance strategic planning and execution:

1. Business Strategy:

Businesses use MOST Analysis to define their mission, set specific business objectives, develop strategies for growth or market penetration, and outline practical tactics for marketing, sales, and operations.

2. Nonprofit Organizations:

Nonprofits employ MOST Analysis to clarify their mission, establish measurable objectives for social or community impact, devise strategies for fundraising and advocacy, and plan initiatives to achieve their goals.

3. Government and Public Policy:

Government agencies use MOST Analysis to align their missions with specific policy objectives, develop strategies to address societal challenges, and implement programs and initiatives to effect change.

4. Healthcare:

Healthcare organizations apply MOST Analysis to define their missions of providing patient care, establish objectives for quality improvement, devise strategies for patient safety, and implement clinical protocols and practices.

5. Education:

Educational institutions use MOST Analysis to articulate their educational missions, set academic and institutional objectives, develop strategies for curriculum development, and implement teaching and learning initiatives.

6. Project Management:

Project managers utilize MOST Analysis to define project missions, establish project objectives and deliverables, develop project strategies, and outline project plans and tasks for successful execution.

The Significance of MOST Analysis

MOST Analysis offers several significant advantages for organizations and decision-makers:

  1. Strategic Clarity: MOST Analysis ensures that an organization’s mission, objectives, strategies, and tactics are clearly defined and aligned, providing a shared understanding of the path forward.
  2. Focus on Outcomes: By setting specific objectives, MOST Analysis emphasizes results and outcomes, making it easier to measure progress and success.
  3. Alignment of Efforts: It helps align the efforts of individuals and teams with the overarching mission and objectives, reducing the risk of disjointed or conflicting actions.
  4. Decision-Making Support: MOST Analysis provides a structured framework for making informed decisions and prioritizing initiatives based on their alignment with strategic goals.
  5. Adaptability: Organizations can adapt to changing circumstances by revisiting and adjusting their objectives, strategies, and tactics while maintaining alignment with their mission.
  6. Improved Communication: MOST Analysis facilitates communication and collaboration by ensuring that all stakeholders understand the organization’s strategic direction and their roles in achieving it.


MOST Analysis is a valuable framework for organizations seeking to align their activities with their mission, achieve specific objectives, and execute effective strategies. By breaking down the strategic planning process into mission, objectives, strategies, and tactics, organizations can create a clear and actionable roadmap for success. Whether applied in business, nonprofit work, government, healthcare, education, or project management, MOST Analysis enables organizations to make well-informed decisions, focus on measurable outcomes, and adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining alignment with their core mission. As a result, MOST Analysis continues to play a significant role in guiding organizations toward their goals and objectives.

Key Highlights of MOST Analysis:

  • Mission-Centric Approach: MOST Analysis centers around the mission as the driving force, guiding all subsequent strategic decisions and actions.
  • Structured Alignment: The framework establishes a clear hierarchy between mission, objectives, strategies, and tactics, ensuring coherence and alignment throughout the planning process.
  • Quantifiable Objectives: Objectives are specific and measurable, providing a tangible way to track progress and success.
  • Effective Resource Utilization: By linking tactics to strategies and strategies to objectives, resources can be allocated efficiently to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Adaptability: MOST Analysis allows organizations to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining a consistent focus on the mission.
  • Clear Communication: The framework facilitates transparent communication of goals, strategies, and tactics to stakeholders, fostering understanding and buy-in.
  • Strategic Decision-Making: Strategies are carefully selected to fulfill objectives and, by extension, the mission, resulting in well-informed decisions.
  • Holistic Planning: The four components work in harmony, creating a comprehensive planning process that addresses both the big picture and detailed execution.
  • Performance Evaluation: With measurable objectives, organizations can assess their performance objectively and make necessary adjustments.
  • Goal Achievement: MOST Analysis enhances the likelihood of achieving desired outcomes by providing a systematic and purpose-driven approach to strategic planning.

Connected Agile & Lean Frameworks


AIOps is the application of artificial intelligence to IT operations. It has become particularly useful for modern IT management in hybridized, distributed, and dynamic environments. AIOps has become a key operational component of modern digital-based organizations, built around software and algorithms.


AgileSHIFT is a framework that prepares individuals for transformational change by creating a culture of agility.

Agile Methodology

Agile started as a lightweight development method compared to heavyweight software development, which is the core paradigm of the previous decades of software development. By 2001 the Manifesto for Agile Software Development was born as a set of principles that defined the new paradigm for software development as a continuous iteration. This would also influence the way of doing business.

Agile Program Management

Agile Program Management is a means of managing, planning, and coordinating interrelated work in such a way that value delivery is emphasized for all key stakeholders. Agile Program Management (AgilePgM) is a disciplined yet flexible agile approach to managing transformational change within an organization.

Agile Project Management

Agile project management (APM) is a strategy that breaks large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. In the APM methodology, each project is completed in small sections – often referred to as iterations. Each iteration is completed according to its project life cycle, beginning with the initial design and progressing to testing and then quality assurance.

Agile Modeling

Agile Modeling (AM) is a methodology for modeling and documenting software-based systems. Agile Modeling is critical to the rapid and continuous delivery of software. It is a collection of values, principles, and practices that guide effective, lightweight software modeling.

Agile Business Analysis

Agile Business Analysis (AgileBA) is certification in the form of guidance and training for business analysts seeking to work in agile environments. To support this shift, AgileBA also helps the business analyst relate Agile projects to a wider organizational mission or strategy. To ensure that analysts have the necessary skills and expertise, AgileBA certification was developed.

Agile Leadership

Agile leadership is the embodiment of agile manifesto principles by a manager or management team. Agile leadership impacts two important levels of a business. The structural level defines the roles, responsibilities, and key performance indicators. The behavioral level describes the actions leaders exhibit to others based on agile principles. 

Andon System

The andon system alerts managerial, maintenance, or other staff of a production process problem. The alert itself can be activated manually with a button or pull cord, but it can also be activated automatically by production equipment. Most Andon boards utilize three colored lights similar to a traffic signal: green (no errors), yellow or amber (problem identified, or quality check needed), and red (production stopped due to unidentified issue).

Bimodal Portfolio Management

Bimodal Portfolio Management (BimodalPfM) helps an organization manage both agile and traditional portfolios concurrently. Bimodal Portfolio Management – sometimes referred to as bimodal development – was coined by research and advisory company Gartner. The firm argued that many agile organizations still needed to run some aspects of their operations using traditional delivery models.

Business Innovation Matrix

Business innovation is about creating new opportunities for an organization to reinvent its core offerings, revenue streams, and enhance the value proposition for existing or new customers, thus renewing its whole business model. Business innovation springs by understanding the structure of the market, thus adapting or anticipating those changes.

Business Model Innovation

Business model innovation is about increasing the success of an organization with existing products and technologies by crafting a compelling value proposition able to propel a new business model to scale up customers and create a lasting competitive advantage. And it all starts by mastering the key customers.

Constructive Disruption

A consumer brand company like Procter & Gamble (P&G) defines “Constructive Disruption” as: a willingness to change, adapt, and create new trends and technologies that will shape our industry for the future. According to P&G, it moves around four pillars: lean innovation, brand building, supply chain, and digitalization & data analytics.

Continuous Innovation

That is a process that requires a continuous feedback loop to develop a valuable product and build a viable business model. Continuous innovation is a mindset where products and services are designed and delivered to tune them around the customers’ problem and not the technical solution of its founders.

Design Sprint

A design sprint is a proven five-day process where critical business questions are answered through speedy design and prototyping, focusing on the end-user. A design sprint starts with a weekly challenge that should finish with a prototype, test at the end, and therefore a lesson learned to be iterated.

Design Thinking

Tim Brown, Executive Chair of IDEO, defined design thinking as “a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.” Therefore, desirability, feasibility, and viability are balanced to solve critical problems.


DevOps refers to a series of practices performed to perform automated software development processes. It is a conjugation of the term “development” and “operations” to emphasize how functions integrate across IT teams. DevOps strategies promote seamless building, testing, and deployment of products. It aims to bridge a gap between development and operations teams to streamline the development altogether.

Dual Track Agile

Product discovery is a critical part of agile methodologies, as its aim is to ensure that products customers love are built. Product discovery involves learning through a raft of methods, including design thinking, lean start-up, and A/B testing to name a few. Dual Track Agile is an agile methodology containing two separate tracks: the “discovery” track and the “delivery” track.

eXtreme Programming

eXtreme Programming was developed in the late 1990s by Ken Beck, Ron Jeffries, and Ward Cunningham. During this time, the trio was working on the Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation System (C3) to help manage the company payroll system. eXtreme Programming (XP) is a software development methodology. It is designed to improve software quality and the ability of software to adapt to changing customer needs.

Feature-Driven Development

Feature-Driven Development is a pragmatic software process that is client and architecture-centric. Feature-Driven Development (FDD) is an agile software development model that organizes workflow according to which features need to be developed next.

Gemba Walk

A Gemba Walk is a fundamental component of lean management. It describes the personal observation of work to learn more about it. Gemba is a Japanese word that loosely translates as “the real place”, or in business, “the place where value is created”. The Gemba Walk as a concept was created by Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System of lean manufacturing. Ohno wanted to encourage management executives to leave their offices and see where the real work happened. This, he hoped, would build relationships between employees with vastly different skillsets and build trust.

GIST Planning

GIST Planning is a relatively easy and lightweight agile approach to product planning that favors autonomous working. GIST Planning is a lean and agile methodology that was created by former Google product manager Itamar Gilad. GIST Planning seeks to address this situation by creating lightweight plans that are responsive and adaptable to change. GIST Planning also improves team velocity, autonomy, and alignment by reducing the pervasive influence of management. It consists of four blocks: goals, ideas, step-projects, and tasks.

ICE Scoring

The ICE Scoring Model is an agile methodology that prioritizes features using data according to three components: impact, confidence, and ease of implementation. The ICE Scoring Model was initially created by author and growth expert Sean Ellis to help companies expand. Today, the model is broadly used to prioritize projects, features, initiatives, and rollouts. It is ideally suited for early-stage product development where there is a continuous flow of ideas and momentum must be maintained.

Innovation Funnel

An innovation funnel is a tool or process ensuring only the best ideas are executed. In a metaphorical sense, the funnel screens innovative ideas for viability so that only the best products, processes, or business models are launched to the market. An innovation funnel provides a framework for the screening and testing of innovative ideas for viability.

Innovation Matrix

According to how well defined is the problem and how well defined the domain, we have four main types of innovations: basic research (problem and domain or not well defined); breakthrough innovation (domain is not well defined, the problem is well defined); sustaining innovation (both problem and domain are well defined); and disruptive innovation (domain is well defined, the problem is not well defined).

Innovation Theory

The innovation loop is a methodology/framework derived from the Bell Labs, which produced innovation at scale throughout the 20th century. They learned how to leverage a hybrid innovation management model based on science, invention, engineering, and manufacturing at scale. By leveraging individual genius, creativity, and small/large groups.

Lean vs. Agile

The Agile methodology has been primarily thought of for software development (and other business disciplines have also adopted it). Lean thinking is a process improvement technique where teams prioritize the value streams to improve it continuously. Both methodologies look at the customer as the key driver to improvement and waste reduction. Both methodologies look at improvement as something continuous.

Lean Startup

A startup company is a high-tech business that tries to build a scalable business model in tech-driven industries. A startup company usually follows a lean methodology, where continuous innovation, driven by built-in viral loops is the rule. Thus, driving growth and building network effects as a consequence of this strategy.

Minimum Viable Product

As pointed out by Eric Ries, a minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort through a cycle of build, measure, learn; that is the foundation of the lean startup methodology.

Leaner MVP

A leaner MVP is the evolution of the MPV approach. Where the market risk is validated before anything else


Kanban is a lean manufacturing framework first developed by Toyota in the late 1940s. The Kanban framework is a means of visualizing work as it moves through identifying potential bottlenecks. It does that through a process called just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing to optimize engineering processes, speed up manufacturing products, and improve the go-to-market strategy.


Jidoka was first used in 1896 by Sakichi Toyoda, who invented a textile loom that would stop automatically when it encountered a defective thread. Jidoka is a Japanese term used in lean manufacturing. The term describes a scenario where machines cease operating without human intervention when a problem or defect is discovered.

PDCA Cycle

The PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle was first proposed by American physicist and engineer Walter A. Shewhart in the 1920s. The PDCA cycle is a continuous process and product improvement method and an essential component of the lean manufacturing philosophy.

Rational Unified Process

Rational unified process (RUP) is an agile software development methodology that breaks the project life cycle down into four distinct phases.

Rapid Application Development

RAD was first introduced by author and consultant James Martin in 1991. Martin recognized and then took advantage of the endless malleability of software in designing development models. Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a methodology focusing on delivering rapidly through continuous feedback and frequent iterations.

Retrospective Analysis

Retrospective analyses are held after a project to determine what worked well and what did not. They are also conducted at the end of an iteration in Agile project management. Agile practitioners call these meetings retrospectives or retros. They are an effective way to check the pulse of a project team, reflect on the work performed to date, and reach a consensus on how to tackle the next sprint cycle. These are the five stages of a retrospective analysis for effective Agile project management: set the stage, gather the data, generate insights, decide on the next steps, and close the retrospective.

Scaled Agile

Scaled Agile Lean Development (ScALeD) helps businesses discover a balanced approach to agile transition and scaling questions. The ScALed approach helps businesses successfully respond to change. Inspired by a combination of lean and agile values, ScALed is practitioner-based and can be completed through various agile frameworks and practices.


The SMED (single minute exchange of die) method is a lean production framework to reduce waste and increase production efficiency. The SMED method is a framework for reducing the time associated with completing an equipment changeover.

Spotify Model

The Spotify Model is an autonomous approach to scaling agile, focusing on culture communication, accountability, and quality. The Spotify model was first recognized in 2012 after Henrik Kniberg, and Anders Ivarsson released a white paper detailing how streaming company Spotify approached agility. Therefore, the Spotify model represents an evolution of agile.

Test-Driven Development

As the name suggests, TDD is a test-driven technique for delivering high-quality software rapidly and sustainably. It is an iterative approach based on the idea that a failing test should be written before any code for a feature or function is written. Test-Driven Development (TDD) is an approach to software development that relies on very short development cycles.


Timeboxing is a simple yet powerful time-management technique for improving productivity. Timeboxing describes the process of proactively scheduling a block of time to spend on a task in the future. It was first described by author James Martin in a book about agile software development.


Scrum is a methodology co-created by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland for effective team collaboration on complex products. Scrum was primarily thought for software development projects to deliver new software capability every 2-4 weeks. It is a sub-group of agile also used in project management to improve startups’ productivity.


Scrumban is a project management framework that is a hybrid of two popular agile methodologies: Scrum and Kanban. Scrumban is a popular approach to helping businesses focus on the right strategic tasks while simultaneously strengthening their processes.

Scrum Anti-Patterns

Scrum anti-patterns describe any attractive, easy-to-implement solution that ultimately makes a problem worse. Therefore, these are the practice not to follow to prevent issues from emerging. Some classic examples of scrum anti-patterns comprise absent product owners, pre-assigned tickets (making individuals work in isolation), and discounting retrospectives (where review meetings are not useful to really make improvements).

Scrum At Scale

Scrum at Scale (Scrum@Scale) is a framework that Scrum teams use to address complex problems and deliver high-value products. Scrum at Scale was created through a joint venture between the Scrum Alliance and Scrum Inc. The joint venture was overseen by Jeff Sutherland, a co-creator of Scrum and one of the principal authors of the Agile Manifesto.

Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating errors or defects in a product, service, or process. Six Sigma was developed by Motorola as a management approach based on quality fundamentals in the early 1980s. A decade later, it was popularized by General Electric who estimated that the methodology saved them $12 billion in the first five years of operation.

Stretch Objectives

Stretch objectives describe any task an agile team plans to complete without expressly committing to do so. Teams incorporate stretch objectives during a Sprint or Program Increment (PI) as part of Scaled Agile. They are used when the agile team is unsure of its capacity to attain an objective. Therefore, stretch objectives are instead outcomes that, while extremely desirable, are not the difference between the success or failure of each sprint.

Toyota Production System

The Toyota Production System (TPS) is an early form of lean manufacturing created by auto-manufacturer Toyota. Created by the Toyota Motor Corporation in the 1940s and 50s, the Toyota Production System seeks to manufacture vehicles ordered by customers most quickly and efficiently possible.

Total Quality Management

The Total Quality Management (TQM) framework is a technique based on the premise that employees continuously work on their ability to provide value to customers. Importantly, the word “total” means that all employees are involved in the process – regardless of whether they work in development, production, or fulfillment.


The waterfall model was first described by Herbert D. Benington in 1956 during a presentation about the software used in radar imaging during the Cold War. Since there were no knowledge-based, creative software development strategies at the time, the waterfall method became standard practice. The waterfall model is a linear and sequential project management framework. 

Read Also: Continuous InnovationAgile MethodologyLean StartupBusiness Model InnovationProject Management.

Read Next: Agile Methodology, Lean Methodology, Agile Project Management, Scrum, Kanban, Six Sigma.

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