SMART (or… specific, measurable, agreed, attainable and achievable, realistic and resourced, time-bound) objectives will help you prioritise work, monitor progress and celebrate people’s achievements. Keeping things SMART helps people focus on what’s important and what needs to be done.
It makes achieving objectives real and put the possibility within everyone’s grasp. And let’s face it – we all love that feeling of achievement. Making sure that everyone’s objectives align with the organisation’s business plan is the key. Follow the following steps for setting SMART objectives:
Look at the vision you’ve set for your organisation and consider which of these key areas are priorities:
You may find you have a long list, so prioritise. Which 1 objective is the most important?
The next step is to take your priorities and make a SMART objective from each. Make each priority into a concise statement and run it through the SMART test.
For each objective ask yourself whether it is:
An objective will only be useful if it passes the SMART test. If it doesn’t pass, change it until it does.
Examples of SMART objectives would include ‘to achieve a 15% net profit by 31 March’, ‘to generate 20% revenue from online sales before 31 December’ or ‘to recruit three new people to the marketing team by the beginning of January’.
After you’ve produced your objectives, give them the common-sense check and make sure they fit together to form a unified strategy.
Once you’ve decided on your SMART objectives, put them in a format that makes it easy to review, update and use to brief.
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