How to set SMART Goals and Succeed in your Projects
Created back in 1981 by George T. Doran, a consultant and former Director of Corporate Planning for Washington Water Power Company, the published article “There is a SMART Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives” introduces five key tools to guide goals and ensure they are reachable.
When embarking on a task, it is useful to establish a goal to aid in envisioning and realizing success. The application of the SMART goal approach permits you to take precise measures to assess your progress toward your objective. This article will instruct you on how to set feasible and quantifiable goals using the SMART goal methodology.
SMART is the acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. The concept aims to achieve goals in a clear, motivating, and effective way. Here are some tips on how to set SMART goals and succeed in your projects.
To be Specific means to focus your goals and efforts on a simple, specific, and significant area for achievement. To be specific, use these five “W” questions:
- What do you want to accomplish?
- Why is this goal important for you?
- Who is involved?
- When do you want to do this?
- Which resources or limits are involved?
# Have measurable goals:
Having Measurable goals is key to tracking your progress and staying focused in a meaningful and motivating way. Reaching milestones helps you to keep deadlines, measure progress and keep motivated.
A good practice to maintain Measurable goals needs to answer these questions:
- How much?
- How many?
- How will I know when it is accomplished?
# Have achievable goals:
Goals must be exciting and challenging but still remain attainable, so make sure to be realistic. Based on existing experiences and qualifications, an Achievable goal should answer these two questions:
- Do you have the skills required to achieve your goal? If not, what can you do to achieve it?
- How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints, such as financial factors and schedules?
# Be relevant:
Relevant goals must be reasonable, significant, and drive the team forward, ensuring that they also align with overall objectives.
To check if your goals are Relevant, ask yourself:
- Is this worthwhile?
- Is this the right time?
- Is this aligned with our efforts/needs?
- Am I the right person to reach this goal?
# Set time-bound goals:
Time-Bound – is a criterion used to help complete a goal within a specified period. Set realistic deadlines so you and your team can meet them.
Your time-bound goal should answer these questions:
- When can the result be achieved?
- What can I do six months from now?
- What can I do six weeks from now?
- What can I do today?
Why and When Should I use SMART Goals?
SMART goals may assist you in establishing a clear and simple framework for setting and managing goals. The principal advantage of SMART goals is that they are easier to know and understand when they have been done. However, project managers frequently use them; they can be used by anyone, anywhere, at any time, and for any project.
SMART goals help avoid the risks of creating unattainable goals and decrease the doubts that may appear during a project. Here are 5 Tips for you to set up effective and realistic quarterly goals.
With your SMART goals set, it is important to follow the plans to achieve them. Many online tools can assist you, such as online spreadsheets and charts that help clarify and share ideas, keep track of your projects and allow the team to work together, but there is no set standard. The advice is to plan, track, manage, automate, and report on your goals realistically and effectively use your time and resources.
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