Making sure your goals are SMART
SMART stands for:






Achievable (or Agreed)


Resourced (or Realistic or Relevant)


Time-based (or Timely)

The alternative versions have similar outcomes, but in Building Success
2 we will focus on the version that we believe is the most useful
and effective. Let’s look at each word in detail.
A goal should be clear and unambiguous. Clear means that anyone
will know what it means. Unambiguous means that it couldn’t be understood
to mean different outcomes. Look at the goals over the
page. Do you think they are ’Specific’?

Setting SMART goals

1. Get better at what we do
2. Improve quality
3. Reduce reject rates
Goal 1 really doesn’t tell you anything - what does ‘get better’ mean;
what does ‘what we do’ refer to? Goal 2 is better, but ‘quality’ has lots
of different aspects, so it still needs clarifying. Goal 3 is specific - rejects
are products that fail to meet defined quality standards, so reducing
this clearly means something and can’t be confused with something
Measurable goals means that it’s possible to tell if they have been
achieved. Although ‘reduce reject rates’ is Specific, it’s only measurable
in the sense that the tiniest reduction means it has been
achieved. ‘Reduce reject rates from 4.2% to 2.5%’ is measurable. Measurable
goals are either:

goals that have a straightforward ‘yes/no’ outcome, which

can’t be misunderstood (‘Remove all the desks and chairs from
the office, ready for redecorating’ - they are all gone or they

goals that have a particular quantity attached to the outcomes

(‘Make 50 sales calls a day’)
There is no point in having goals that can’t be achieved. Nor is there a
lot of point in setting goals that are so easy to achieve that they are
not worth achieving. The best goals are achievable but stretch you -
make you try just that little bit harder.
There is no point setting goals for yourself or your team that don’t
have the backing of the organisation. That means that you have the
necessary tools and equipment, time, money and backing of your line
manager. Make sure you work out what you need to achieve your
goals and then check that these are all available.
Putting time limits on your goals is critical, otherwise you can be working
towards them for the next 50 years and still not admit you haven’t
achieved them! The time limits should be sensible but not too tight to
make the goals hard to achieve, nor too loose that they give you all
the time in the world. Also, you should remember that the longer the
time you have, the later you will start working towards them.