As a project manager or leader, it is essential to assist your colleagues in achieving greater results and working more efficiently. To motivate and keep a team on track, a well-defined set of goals is essential. And goal-setting becomes an important aspect of project management.
A solid project management plan will outline the project’s high-level objectives, and each level of project execution will typically include its own more specific objectives. But, in real life, writing effective goals is difficult. Extremely difficult!
The key to overcoming this sensation is defining the SMART concept, a set of parameters that would help you gain focus and grasp what you want to achieve, as well as clarify your thoughts, organize your efforts, and allocate your resources and manpower properly.
In this article, we are going to talk about the SMART concept in project management and how you can use SMART as the guidelines for your project as well.
What is the SMART Goal and Objective? #
George T. Doran created the SMART concept in 1981 to help companies set realistic goals. SMART improves individual and team productivity. They can focus, clarify, manage time and resources efficiently, and achieve more.
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound. The SMART concept is a metric for establishing objectives and project goals. By understanding and implementing these principles, you will develop a plan that is geared to produce outcomes. Let’s get in deep with each acronym!
Specific means that the goals and objectives of the project should target particular improvement areas or fulfill particular needs and demands.
When defining a goal for yourself, it should be very clear and specific, otherwise, it will be difficult to concentrate your efforts. You can ask yourself questions that are crucial for establishing these objectives, for example:
- What is the thing you want to achieve?
- Why do you want to do this project? and why this project is significant/ important?
- Who will be participating in this project?
- Where is the project located?
- Which resources are involved in this project?
Measurable means that the goals and objectives of the project must be measurable, or at least permit the assessment of progress. It is essential to recognize that your goals must be measurable in order to be tracked as you are trying to establish them. Establish project milestones or specified tasks to complete, then track and evaluate your progress.
Achievable means that the goals and objectives of the project should be achievable, taking into account existing resources and current constraints. Your goals must be realistic in order for them to be feasible. Remember, your project could be difficult, but still need to be achievable.
Consider any possibilities you may have neglected in the past, and consider the resource you would need to achieve your objective. Consider what you’ll need and how long it will take in order to gain these new skills, since they may translate to the development of new abilities.
Relevant means that the objectives or goals are supposed to be aligned with the corporate objectives in order to be deemed worthwhile.
You must ensure that your goal is important to you and that it matches with other goals, whether they be different and bigger corporate objectives or personal objectives along the route.
Time-bound in the SMART concept means that the objective must have a deadline or clear endpoint. The time-bound concept requires working with a certain time constraint in mind. To properly concentrate on achieving your objective, you need a firm timeframe. Imagine it as a project with no endpoint; you would not know when or where to begin. Setting precise timeframes is essential for achieving goals.
When managing projects, if you find yourself drifting from one task to the next, or rushing to get a million things done while actually accomplishing very little, you should take a moment and recollect how the SMART criteria can help you regain focus and help you think of your project in an actionable manner.
Example of SMART in Project Management #
It’s notoriously difficult to come up with goals that are clear, concise, and motivating. You can use the SMART goals framework to give context to the objective process and motivate your teams by using it.
Here are some examples of SMART goals and some examples of goals that are not SMART;
- Make 100 percent more sales.
- Improve the negotiation skills of the sales team with employee training.
- Pay off debts by the end of the year.
- To get $8,000,000 sales in 2022; with 2.5 million in Q1, 2.5 million in Q2, and 3 million in Q3.
- Hold employee training for 70% of staff in the sales department to improve negotiation skills in Feb 2022.
- Pay off debts of $20,000 in 10 months.
Working SMART with FoxPlan Project Management Software #
People and corporations have found the SMART technique for goal setting to be beneficial. But more important than setting these goals is ensuring that employees and team members have the ambition and drive to achieve them. The success of an organization is highly dependent on how successfully its members work together.
In addition to establishing project goals and SMART targets, project managers must monitor the progress of the project to ensure that it remains on track to meet its objectives. Teams employ a range of strategies, tools, and project management software to track their objectives, measure their progress, and ensure that everyone is accountable.
Now that you understand the significance of SMART objectives, you will need an execution platform like FoxPlan; a place where you can identify, list, measure, and monitor the progress of each action to ensure that your goal is achieved.
FoxPlan could end up being the greatest solution for you since it enables you to monitor your progress in real-time and enables you to regain control of your goals in an approach that is collaborative, intelligent, and straightforward.