SMART objectives


Setting objectives for yourself and for others is a critical organizational function.  This will be painfully clear to anyone who’s ever sat in a team meeting where some “critical corporate goal” was described but no specific actions were assigned and everyone left the meeting wondering, “Ummm, so what am I supposed to do now?”

The SMART framework helps make objectives crystal clear so that anyone who is on the assigning or the receiving end of a SMART objective really understands exactly what actions are going to take place, by when, and how to measure success.

SMART is an acronym for:

  • Specific: is the objective described in concrete, actionable detail?
  • Measurable: what quantitative measurements will tell us when the objective has been achieved?
  • Attainable: is the objective really achievable within budget and schedule constraints?
  • Results-oriented: what tangible work output does the objective produce?  (i.e., not just conversations and ideas)
  • Time-driven: what is the due date for the objective?

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