In business management, mandate analysis is a technique used to examine the remit (or mandate) of an organisation or department. Mandate analysis divides possible activities into three principal groups - that which must be done, that which must not be done, and that which could be done. As an example, let's consider an imaginary marketing department, in a company that makes soft drinks. A mandate analysis might look like this:

We must:
  • Advertise the product (because if we don't, the directors will sack us all and hire an agency instead)
  • Comply with the law
  • Be innovative (because if we're not, we may as well not bother)
We must not:
  • Make our competitors look good
  • Defame anyone
  • Disgust the public
  • Waste our budget
We could:
  • Move entirely to new media such as the internet
  • Arrange a tie-in campaign with a snack company
  • Devise a new mascot
  • Voluntarily out-source some of our activities
  • Re-brand the product (if the directors will let us)
  • Experiment with guerilla marketing strategies

As can be seen, a mandate analysis has the twin functions of establishing parameters for all the work of the organisation under consideration and encouraging thinking about possible directions for that work to take. It would be typical for such an analysis to be done by the group whose work it assesses, although that's not compulsory. I'm not a business person, so if I've got something wrong here, I apologise.

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