Setting SMART objectives ensure that your goals hit 5 key criteria, to ensure progress.
Contributed by

Ellie Hill

Published March 26, 2024

What Is SMART Goals ?

Smart Goals are a goal-setting framework coined by George T. Doran In 1981. George published a paper called, “There’s a SMART Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives.” In the document, he introduced SMART goals as a framework to help improve the chances of succeeding in accomplishing a goal.

A SMART goal should be:

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Attainable
  4. Realistic
  5. Time-related

SMART goals are more of a guideline than a framework. They are ‘what’ focused, rather than ‘how’ focused.

Why Do SMART Goals ?

Setting SMART objectives ensures that your goals hit the key criteria to keep them moving forward and make progress.

  1. Specific - Ensures that everyone understands what the goal is
  2. Measurable - Everyone understands how progress towards this will be measured
  3. Attainable - This goal relates to me and my specific circumstances
  4. Realistic - This goal isn’t out of reach and can be achieved
  5. Time-related - There’s a dedicated time frame so this goal isn’t open-ended

How to do SMART Goals ?

To set SMART goals, you need to ensure that any goal you draft hits the 5 criteria of a SMART goal. An example of the construction of a SMART goal is:

V1 Goal: Better typing

Make it Specific: Increase typing speed.

Now make it Measurable: Increase typing speed to 100 wpm

How do we make this Attainable: Increase my typing speed to 100 wpm

Hmm.. now actually Realistic: Increase my typing speed from 50 to 75 wpm

And how long will we give this (time-based): Increase my typing speed from 50 to 75 wpm in 3 months

Links we love

Check out these great links which can help you dive a little deeper into running the SMART Goals practice with your team, customers or stakeholders.

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