Most likely, you have run into the phrase “SMART Goals” somewhere (Smart Objectives, based on an acronym with the word “smart”). If you search on Google you will have more than 260 million results. The topic is of great interest to many people, considering the volume of relevant content that exists.
But what exactly are these SMART goals? Where does the acronym and, should you be applying it to you and your business?
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What makes a goal SMART?
The concept of SMART goals came to light in an article published by George T. Doran in November 1981, in the Management Review. Since its introduction, many business administration experts have formulated the acronym for SMART in several ways.
This is what Doran originally proposed:
S is for Specific: the goal must be detailed. Identify the precise aspect of performance that should be improved with the objective.
M is for Measurable: There must be a metric or some type of unit of measure for the objective. This way you will know exactly when you have achieved that specific goal.
A is for Assignable: You can assign that goal to someone on your team (or a group of people) who will be responsible for achieving it. (Sometimes people use the A for “Feasible”, which means that there must be specific actions you can do to achieve it. Other people the A is used for “Achievable”, which basically implies that it is realistic).
R is for Realistic: Although we all love excessive success, SMART goals are those that can be achieved realistically, considering financial or time constraints. (Note that when A is used for “Achievable”, R is used for “Relevant”, implying that the objective should help your company fulfill its purpose and mission).
T is for Time (Time-Related or Time-Bound): Your goal must come with a delivery date that has a specific timing. You hope to achieve that goal by a certain date.
Why are SMART goals so effective?
In general, the power of the goals lies in the way they create both an action plan to get where you want to go, and an assistance tool to measure progress towards that destination. A good analogy could be a road trip. If you go to a city you have never been to, your trip will be more efficient and effective if you have a detailed map to guide your path.
The same goes for the achievement of business goals. The more detailed, feasible and measurable, the easier it will be for you and your team to achieve that goal.
For example, let’s say you are building a mobile application. Think about what could happen if you set a vague objective, rather than a specific one. Most likely, it will be difficult for you to know if the development of your app is on time or if you are making progress to have it ready. Nor could you know if you achieved certain goals, even after having invested a great deal of time and effort to do it.
If your goal is not realistic, you will most likely experience a prolonged period of deep frustration, wondering why you have not achieved it. If you had set your eye on a more realistic goal, you would most likely have made remarkable and measurable progress from which you could build new projects for the company.
SMART goals help you focus on the objectives that will give the best results (and much more visible) to your company. Distracting yourself with industry trends is easy, without really considering the practical implications they have for your business. Setting of SMART goals opens the way through the fog and takes you to more feasible objectives that will help you achieve the vision you have for your company.
How to set SMART goals for your company?
These goals can be set for almost any area of your company, including the finance, marketing, and sales department, and even for managers and managers.
Are you ready to set SMART goals? Start considering the long-term dream you have for your business, and then go back and forth to achieve that vision. What would help you lead your team towards achieving that vision?
Brainstorm short-term goal ideas that help you achieve the biggest goals. Then, measure each potential goal through the SMART paradigm. Make sure you can describe the specific details of each objective and how it is relevant to the overall mission of the company. Determine how you will measure success and the metrics you will use.
Finally, set a delivery time and assign the target to the right person or team. Periodically monitor progress and ask for regular feedback to help your team stay online and achieve the goal.