~ By Duncan Haughey
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 several slightly different variations, which can be used to provide a more comprehensive definition of 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 broader definition 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 philosopher and writer 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.Elbert Hubbard
Download our free SMARTER Goals template
I’ve just read people questioning the usage of the phrase time-bound. While broadly in agreement with their sentiments it is important to understand that one of the primary definitions of a project is that it should have a start and end date. There should be a clear time frame whereby a project is undertaken otherwise it becomes business as usual, so the theory of being time constrained or time bound is right. I would suggest the phraseology is a little wrong otherwise the sentiment is correct in my opinion.
Help avoid the great 'Rinse and Repeat Trap' by following these 10 steps to setting successful goals. You may have to work for it, however!
Here are some strategies and six simple steps for making sure your goals will be concise, clear, and produce the results for which you are looking.
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.
How do you write a SMART goal? This video looks at the dos and don'ts of writing SMART goals.
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