SMART GoalsCreating quality goals is one of most important tasks you and your manager collaborate on during the annual Performance review cycle. To be highly-effective, goals must adhere to the SMART goal philosophy and be monitored and discussed throughout the year. The following criteria are elements to be included in your goal-setting process:
Specific-Goals should be straightforward and specific in their description. Specificity has greater impact and increases the likelihood of the goals being accomplished.
- A goal is specific when it provides a description of what is to be accomplished. A specific goal is a focused goal. It will state exactly what the organization intends to accomplish. It needs to be easily understood by those involved in its achievement. Questions to consider: Who is to be involved? What is to be accomplished? Where is it to be done? When is it to be done?
Measurable-Establishing concrete, objective criteria for measuring the goals create benchmarks for achievements. Setting these measurements will help keep the goals on track.
A goal is measurable if it is quantifiable. Measurement is accomplished by first obtaining or establishing base-line data. It will also have a target toward which progress can be measured, as well as benchmarks to measure program along the way. Questions to consider: How much? How many? How will you know when it is accomplished?
Actionable-There should be a realistic chance that the goal can be accomplished. This does not mean or imply that goals should be easy. On the contrary, a goal should be challenging. It should be set by or in concert with the person responsible for its achievement. Relevant-Tying the goals to your success in a specific area, as well as weighting the importance of the goals, will build your commitment to prioritizing and achieving them.
Goals should be appropriate to and consistent with the mission and vision of the organization. Each goal adopted by the organization should be one that moves the organization toward the achievement of its vision. Relevant goals will not conflict with other organizational goals.
Timely-Specifying a time frame for achievement gives you a target to work towards. Without a completion date, the goals become vague and commitment may waiver.
Goals must be bound by time. That is, it must have a starting and ending point. It should also have some intermediate points at which progress can be assessed. Limiting the time in which a goal must be accomplished helps to focus effort toward its achievement.