Understanding and Benefiting from SMART Goals
It’s critical for business owners to effectively implement a SMART goal strategy in a company’s business plan. It is necessary to have a clear understanding of the SMART goal framework. The acronym “SMART” is most commonly defined as:
- S: Specific – The goal must focus on a specific task rather than the more general idea behind it. Try to answer the “Five W’s” (who, what, when, where, and why) while formulating the strategic goal.
- M: Measurable – The objective should focus on something that is quantifiable rather than obscure. Make sure that the degree to which the goal has been completed can be measured clearly. This benefits both the employee who has concrete evidence of his or her achievement, and the employer who can see definite progress being made.
- A: Achievable –To be effective and maintain employee morale, goals must be able to be completed in the time frame allowed or sphere of influence in which the employee operates.
- R: Relevant – SMART goals should pertain directly to the department, employee group, or individual to whom they are assigned. A company-wide directive is not necessarily applicable to a particular employee’s function and would therefore not provide relevant guidance to the individual.
- T: Time Bound – Providing a definite time frame for a goal or number of goals to be completed helps to set clear expectations about the urgency of the assignment and how it can fit into the employee’s, or your, workload.
Specificity is key to any successful endeavor and using SMART goals as part of your strategic planning can streamline your thought process and make running a business far less complicated. When expectations of performance are defined Specifically with Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time bound goals, the path to success is clear. By incorporating the SMART goal framework into your business strategy, you can spend less time formulating your goals and more time achieving them.