Project Management Smart Goals for Business: Templates and Examples
What are SMART goals?
SMART (S.M.A.R.T.) is an acronym formed by the first letters of words:
S = Specific,
M = Measurable,
A = Achievable/Attainable,
R = Relevant/ Realistic/ Results Focused,
T = Timely/ Trackable.
The acronym which is used today in the best project management books was created in November 1981 in the USA by George T. Doran, who published a paper with a title “The S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives”.
How to get the best business result?
It depends on how you plan your objectives. The first step towards your success is a well-formed goal.
What is a goal? Something that people want to achieve. Goals give us something to focus on. They push us forward and provide a constant reminder of what we want and need to achieve.
In this article, we explore each acronym letter, try to create SMART goals templates for different spheres and areas and speak about SMART goals examples:
SMART Goals: The World’s No 1 Goal Setting Concept
The SMART technique contains a simple framework for managing objectives. The concept prompts people into the act of defining their targets as they set them. SMART goals for business can be used by everyone and everywhere without any training and tools.
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a purpose, not to people or things.”
People use this technique not only in business but also to solve their specific problems. SMART concept can be used for any goals. Whether you want to save 1000 dollars by December 2016, write 2-3 articles per day for a new site, weight 60 kg and fit into M size by January 2017, increase sales by September 2017, open a company’s branch by the end of 2016, etc.
How to make purposes SMARTer?
Make your smart goals in business specific. Do not forget to write it down
- Try to be specific about what you want to do.
- Define what you expect someone to do.
- Skip general words and use action verbs.
- Be careful with details. For example, your experienced colleague needs less details than a newcomer does.
It’s better to include the answers to the popular ‘W’ questions: who, what, when, where, which and why.
Incorrect Goal: Create some articles to publish on GanttPRO blog.
Right Goal: Prepare 5 educational articles that will be published on GanttPRO blog with the 3 day interval.
Define the measures
- Identify what metrics you will use to determine whether you meet your goal.
- Highlight specific terms that will provide a way to measure progress.
Incorrect Goal: Create some articles to publish on GanttPRO blog
Right Goal: Prepare 5 educational articles for GanttPRO that will gain up to 1000 readers per day.
Ensure the goal is achievable/ attainable
- Think about how to reach the goal and if you have specific tools or skills to do it.
- Make sure that accomplishing the goal is within your capabilities.
- Check the factors beyond the control that need to be considered.
Make sure your goal is relevant/ realistic/ results focused
- Make sure that your goal is practical and results-oriented.
- Check if the goal is relevant to your skills, responsibilities and qualifications.
Set timing/ make the goal trackable
- Specify the term when the goal needs to be completed. Set deadlines using days, months, quarters, etc.
Incorrect Goal: Create some articles to publish on GanttPRO blog.
Right Goal: Prepare 5 educational articles that will be published on GanttPRO blog by December 1, 2016.
How to write a smart project goal?
An example of a goal: I want to complete a software development.
SMART conception: Improving the customer safety is the main purpose for my company this year. That’s why we are going to develop new software. By the end of the 1st quarter of 2017, it should be a general release of the program we develop. We will create the program in-house and prepare the marketing campaign by the end of Q4 2016.
Milestones: Software, the end of Q1, 2017.
Deadline: March 2017.
SMART or MARTS
This 5 step process is not a rigid rule. You can use the 5 steps in any order. MATRS or TRASM, it does not matter. But it seems like the most important part of this process is to define measures.
You can use a simple template storyboard to create and specify your own goals. Use pictures or tables to reinforce your messages. The best way to set your goals is to print out the completed storyboard and pin it to your desktop.
No matter if you identify goals for your business or private life, just write them down and follow.
A simple SMART goal example for statements writing
SMART Objective for ___________________
By __/__/__, _____________________________will have _____________________ [when and where] _________________________________________________________[who/what, including a measure, numbers]__________________________________________________________________ [how, why].
Examples of SMART goals for managers
- Identify and propose 5 metrics to define success for our new marketing campaign by January 1, 2017
- Report of our new marketing campaign updates by the 10th of every month. On an ongoing basis.
- Provide feedback on what is working well and what could be improved each month. Create a spreadsheet with this facts. On an ongoing basis.
- On February 10, 2017, conduct a seminar on content marketing trends. At the end of the seminar, give a quiz. 60% of the participants will be able to apply these trends.
- By December 15, 2016, prepare a launch checklist. List each activity and task, establish all due dates.
With the help of SMART objectives, managers can ensure long-term and short-term focus. For project managers, the main goal is the project’s objectives they are responsible for.
- I will increase the department revenue to 25000 dollars in the next 2 months.
- I will help the boss to recruit 5 new marketing specialists in January. We will advertise the new positions and arrange interviews in November.
- I will attend the annual marketing exhibition in New York, February 5. I will schedule my weekly program for the exhibition and track all interactive marketing sessions.
- I will spend 20 minutes of every working day reading 5-7 professional posts on LinkedIn and Facebook. On an ongoing basis.
- I will provide the department financial report by the 10th of every month with no errors. On an ongoing basis.
Employees use SMART techniques to identify performance goals. SMART goals concept is the most effective way to build a path to achieving those goals. Here are some examples of smart goals for employees.
SMART goal settings examples for teachers
- By March 2017, 4th-grade students will meet and exceed the final review test at 85% or higher.
- During the school year, 100% of my students will improve their skills in analyzing local legal documents.
- For the current school year, 95% of my students will have measurable progress in 4 areas of scientific investigation: hypothesis, investigative plan, data collection and data analysis.
- By Spring 2017, all my students will move up at least one level on our workbook program.
- 100% of 5th-grade students of the college will increase their scores on the tests writing between November 2016 and March 2017.
Teachers use SMART goals to provide high performance and encourage students to be responsible for their results. The goals can manage students’ behavior and prevent fails.
4 tips for students to improve the goals writing skills
- Set specific SMART goals at the start of every school year. Ask yourself about the results you want to achieve over the course of the current school year.
- Set individual goals to become better in general. Try to improve your kindness, confidence, responsibility, enthusiasm, patience, etc.
- Discuss your goals with your peers and inspire them to set SMART goals.
- Check your progress at the end of each marking period. Ask for teacher’s feedback. Adopt your results to the next goals.
It’s not easy to write SMART goals examples for students. It takes time and experience. Student’s goals should not be too ambitious to be out of reach, but also not so simple.
The goals have to be realistic, that’s why they need timeframes and measurable steps to track the progress and make adjustments. SMART goals concept would be helpful for every student to have the better school year and the better results in the future.
5 sample SMART goals for students
- In the next marking period (Q4 2016) I will make notes and review them a day before the math tests.
- I will ask my teacher the questions about what is not clear. On an ongoing basis.
- My goal is to get at least “C” on all my math tests by the end of the year.
- I will do my homework every day and ask the teacher or friends about everything I am not sure about. On an ongoing basis.
- By February 15, 2017, I will read 5 extra books about managing projects.
The list of some helpful verbs for everyone who wants to write SMART objectives
Are you sure you use the right words and verbs to write your objectives? Try to add the following to make your statements SMARTer: (in ABC order)
Activate, adjust, analyze, apply, arrange, assess, breakdown, build, calculate, categorize, change, check, classify, clean, combine, compare, complete, connect, contrast, convert, count, create, describe, design, determine, develop, display, distinguish, estimate, evaluate, examine, explain, fill, form, formulate, group, identify, illustrate, indicate, install, list, locate, manage, measure, modify, name, order, organize, perform, plan, prepare, produce, proof, quote, repeat, reply, reproduce, respond, select, serve, solve, specify, test, transcribe, transfer trouble, use, validate, verify, write, etc.
Be sure, well thought out goals will help you to achieve the best results. If you have any objective, you really want to get, start to think SMART. And remember what Bruce Lee once said:
“A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at.”
If you are a project manager and looking for a new career path, you can always find relevant places to search for new job opportunities.
Did the article answer the questions about SMART aims writing? Please share your comments and give us your examples.