Chances are, you’ve come across the phrase “SMART goals” before while reading business content online. Search Google for “business with smart goals” and you will recover 260 million results. The topic is of great interest to tons of people. Judging by the sheer volume of relevant content on the topic. How to Set Smart Goals and Achieve Them (2021)
But what exactly are SMART goals to start with? What does that acronym stand for, and will it establish them for you and your business?
What Makes a Goal Smart?
The concept of SMART goals first appeared in a writing by George T. Doran in the November 1981 issue of Management Review. Since that introduction, many business management experts have formulated the acronym “SMART” in various ways.
Here’s how Doran originally framed it:
S stands for Specific: the objective is detailed. Identify the precise aspect of goal-enhanced performance.
M stands for Measurable: there is a metric or some silent unit of measure for the goal. This way, you will know exactly when you reached that specific goal.
A stands for Assignable – you’ll assign that goal to someone on your team (or a group of people) who will then be responsible for meeting it. (Note that sometimes people call A “Actionable”. This suggests that there are practical actions that they would like to achieve the goal. Some often call it “Achievable”, which is essentially a synonym for “Realistic”).
R stands for Realistic – While we all love unbridled success. SMART goals are people who are often achieved realistically, given time or financial constraints. (Note that in formulations where “A” stands for “Achievable”, R is generally attributed to “Relevant”. Which means that the objective will help your company meet its main objective and mission)
T stands for Time-Related (or Time-Bound) – Your goal comes with a deadline that features a specific time frame related to it. For that focus on the date, you hope to be successful in your goal.
Why Are Smart Goals So Effective?
The power of goals generally lies in the way they create both an action plan. For where we would like to be and an assessment tool to measure progress toward those destinations. an honest analogy, maybe a road trip. If you are heading to a city you’ve never traveled to before. Your trip will be more efficient and effective if you have a detailed roadmap to guide your journey.
The same goes for achieving business goals and objectives. The more detailed, actionable, and measurable they are, the more easily you and your team will find a way to achieve those goals.
For example, let’s say you are creating an application for mobile devices. Consider what would happen if you set a vague goal, rather than a selected one. You will likely find it difficult to understand if your app development was the goal or if you are making solid progress towards launch. Furthermore, you may necessarily know if you have met certain goals in the least. Even after spending a lot of time and energy trying to achieve them.
If your goal is unrealistic, you are likely to experience a prolonged period of deep frustration and wonder why you are not “there” yet. If you had set your sights on a more realistic business goal, you probably would have made remarkable and measurable progress on which to build for future company projects.
SMART goals help you focus on the goals that will deliver the most visible and concrete results for your business. Oftentimes, it’s easy to get sidetracked by industry trends and buzzwords, without really considering the sensible implications they have for your business. SMART goal setting cuts through the fog of confusion and delves into achievable results that will help you achieve your vision for your business.
How Do You Set Smart Objectives for Your Company?
SMART goals are often set for just about any area of your business operations, including your finance department, your marketing and sales teams, and even company managers and C-suite executives.
Can you set SMART goals? Start by considering your dream big vision for your business, then work backward to reverse engineer that big picture. What would help you lead your team to realize that vision?
Consider a number of short-term objectives that can assist you in achieving your greater target. Then apply the SMART paradigm to each future target. Confirm that you can explain each of your goals in great detail and that each one is important to your company’s overall goal. Decide on how you’ll assess results and which measures you’ll employ.
Finally, set a deadline and assign the goal to the acceptable person or team. Monitor progress regularly and invite regular briefings to help your team stay on track and reach the goal.
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