~ 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.
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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.
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