SMART goals: a detailed overview
SMART technology (SMART) is an approach to setting working goals. The system for setting smart goals allows at the stage of goal-setting to summarize all available information, set acceptable terms of work, determine the sufficiency of resources, provide all participants in the process with clear, precise, specific tasks.
SMART is an acronym for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time bound. Each letter of the abbreviation SMART denotes a criterion for the effectiveness of the goals set. Let’s consider each smart goal criterion in more detail.
The SMART goal should be specific, which increases the likelihood of achieving it. The concept “Specific” means that when setting a goal, the result that you want to achieve is precisely defined. Answering the following questions will help you formulate a specific goal:
What result do I want to achieve by achieving the goal and why?
Who is involved in achieving the goal?
Are there any restrictions or additional conditions that are necessary to achieve the goal?
The rule always applies: one goal — one result. If, when setting a goal, it turned out that as a result it is required to achieve several results, then the goal should be divided into several goals.
The SMART goal should be measurable. At the goal setting stage, it is necessary to establish specific criteria for measuring the process of achieving the goal. Answering the following questions will help in setting a measurable goal:
When will it be considered that the goal has been achieved?
What indicator will indicate that the goal has been achieved?
What value should this indicator have in order for the goal to be considered achieved?
Achievable or Attainable: Achievable
SMART goals should be achievable, since the realistic performance of the task affects the motivation of the performer. If the goal is not achievable, the probability of its fulfillment will tend to 0. The achievability of the goal is determined on the basis of our own experience, taking into account all available resources and limitations.
Limitations can be: time resources, investments, labor resources, knowledge and experience of the executor, access to information and resources, the ability to make decisions and the availability of management levers for the executor of the goal.
To determine the significance of a goal, it is important to understand what contribution the solution of a specific task will make to the achievement of the company’s global strategic objectives. In setting a meaningful goal, the following question will help: What benefits will the company bring from solving the task? If, when fulfilling the goal as a whole, the company does not receive benefits, such a goal is considered useless and means a waste of the company’s resources.
Sometimes Relevant is replaced with Realictic.
Time bound: Time bound
The SMART goal should be limited in time, which means that there should be a final deadline, exceeding which indicates that the goal has not been met. Setting time frames and boundaries for achieving a goal allows you to make the management process controllable. At the same time, the time frame should be determined taking into account the possibility of achieving the goal within the established time frame.
Examples of SMART goals
Here are some examples of setting SMART goals in a company:
Task Direction Example of a SMART Goal Author’s Comments
Increase in sales Increase sales of brand A in Russia by 25% by the end of the year. The specificity of the goal is determined by indicating the% growth, sales region and brand name. The goal is limited in time to a one-year period, and can be measured using the company’s sales statistics. The achievability of the goal can only be determined by the specialists of the company. But suppose the brand gets the investment it needs to grow its sales. The goal is significant, as it is directly related to business performance.
Product promotion Achieve the level of knowledge of product A among a young audience at the level of 51% in 3 years after the product is launched on the market. The goal is specific, since the target audience and brand name are indicated. The goal is limited in time and can be measured using a survey. Achievability can only be determined by the company’s specialists, but suppose the company allocates the necessary level of investment to achieve the target. The goal is significant, since product knowledge has a direct correlation with product sales.
Increase in distribution Enter the company’s brand in the amount of 3 SKUs in the TOP-10 key retail chains by July 2014. The specificity of the goal is confirmed by specifying the number of positions and the list of networks. The goal has a clear deadline and can be explicitly measured by checking the company’s shipments to the network data. Only a salesperson can assess the feasibility of a goal, but suppose the company provides the sales department with the necessary budget and promotional materials for the listing. The goal is significant, since distribution to key chains has a direct impact on sales growth.