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, time-bound, 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 organised their energies around a goal."
- Well defined.
- Clear to anyone that has a basic knowledge of the project.
- Know if the goal is obtainable and how far away completion is.
- Know when it has been achieved.
- Agreement with all the stakeholders what the goals should be.
- Within the availability of resources, knowledge and time.
- Enough time to achieve the goal.
- Not too much time, which can affect project performance.
Download our free SMARTER Goals template
8 Strategies for Achieving SMART Goals
Setting goals is easy but achieving them isn't. That's why setting SMART goals - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely - is the first step in making your goal a reality.
How to Write a SMART Goal (Video)
The acronym SMART tells us to write achievable and effective goals, but how do you write a SMART goal? This short video tutorial looks at the dos and don'ts of writing SMART goals.
A Brief History of SMART Goals
In this history of SMART goals, I look at where the acronym came from, who developed it, what the critics say and why it has become popular.
Setting SMARTER Goals in 7 Easy Steps
The mnemonics SMART and SMARTER are useful when setting project goals and objectives. Here are 7 steps to help you set smarter goals for your projects.
Dealing With an Impossible Deadline:
- Renegotiate the deadline.
- Employ additional people.
- Reduce the scope of the project.
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