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SMART Goals

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Once you have planned your project, turn your attention to developing several goals that will enable you to be successful. Goals should be SMART – specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic and time-based.

A goal might be to hold a weekly project meeting with the key members of your team or to organise and run a continuous test programme throughout the project.

The acronym SMART has a number of slightly different variations, which can be used to provide a more comprehensive definition for goal setting:

S – specific, significant, stretching

M – measurable, meaningful, motivational

A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented

R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented

T – time-based, timely, tangible, trackable

This provides a broader definition that will help you to be successful in both your business and personal life.

When you next run a project take a moment to consider whether your goals are SMART goals.

To quote renowned American philanthropist Elbert Hubbard:

“Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage, but simply because they have never organized their energies around a goal.”

SMART Goals

Specific

  • Well defined
  • Clear to anyone that has a basic knowledge of the project

Measurable

  • Know if the goal is obtainable and how far away completion is
  • Know when it has been achieved

Agreed Upon

  • Agreement with all the stakeholders what the goals should be

Realistic

  • Within the availability of resources, knowledge and time

Time Based

  • Enough time to achieve the goal
  • Not too much time, which can affect project performance