SMART Goal: Reaching Goals with Strategy. Find out what it is, how to do it, and the benefits of setting SMART goals.
Therefore, read our content to the end so as not to miss any details.
What we will see in this article
What are SMART Goals?
First of all, we need to start with the basic question. After all, what is a SMART Goal?
In short, it is a tool that helps companies and individuals define their respective goals. Thus, bringing more control and ensuring that it is possible to achieve.
Goals are an essential part of any project, aren’t they? So if a project is poorly planned, the result will probably not be the best possible.
The great goal of this method is to bring clarity in verifying that the goal is credible. That is, possible in the time frame you want and how you want it.
Notice that each letter of the SMART Goals corresponds to a step in the checklist. They are:
- S: Specific (Specially)
- M: Measurable
- A: Achievable
- R: Realistic (Relevant)
- T: Time-bound
Later in our content we will show you how to use this method and how to proceed through each of the above steps.
However, in the next topic we will show you the difference between the SMART goal and the SMART method.
What is the difference between smart goal and smart method?
To answer this question, we first need to understand the difference between goal and objective. Goal is usually a broad, comprehensive, long-term, abstract plan.
The goal is a step of the objective with a specific, concrete, short-term plan considering the objective.
For example, imagine that a company wants to be more productive in its industry, that is a goal. The company’s goal is to update software that can automate processes within the company.
With this in mind, the difference between the SMART goal and the SMART method is none, they are both the same thing.
However, the steps of the method should be the basis for creating the goals and objectives of a company or person. In this way you can create a clear goal and your steps to the goal will be even clearer.
What are the advantages of the smart goal?
By using the smart goal that we will teach here in our content, you will realize many direct and indirect advantages by the method. However, let’s mention the main advantages of the smart goal, they are:
- Increased productivity
- Ease of measuring results
- Ensuring focus on the goal
- Possibility to submit feedback
Unlike a difficult goal that the employee will not be able to fulfill. Causing unnecessary wear and tear.
Having clarity about what must be done on a daily basis and the larger goal is essential for both the leader of the team as for the team itself.
Creating a team that works individually, but knows exactly what its colleague needs to do. In other words, it creates a need for everyone to perform the tasks so that the project does not stop in the middle.
It is impossible to guarantee better results if the goal is ambiguous. With the smart method it is possible to understand the results and find the holes in the design. For example, an employee who has delayed his delivery several times.
Ensuring focus on the goal
Once you have a team working towards a goal, you can take what is not important out of the team’s “eyes”. In this way, creating a strong team focused on the goal and without distractions.
Ease of presenting feedback
The feedbacks are an essential part in a behavior change or proof of a positive outcome. Once the whole team has a clear goal and the leader can measure who is doing a good job or not, it will be easy to present feedbacks.
What are the 5 SMART attributes?
It is now time to explain what each of the five attributes of the smart method that we presented at the beginning of the content are. They are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic (Relevant), and Time-bound.
Specific goals and objectives can bring clarity of exactly what you want. However, the method brings some questions to consider a really specific goal or objective. These questions are:
- Why do you want to achieve this goal or objective?
- When do you want to achieve?
- Where this goal should be achieved
- Who is involved with this goal or objective?
- What do you want to achieve?
You are only specific if you answer these questions.
Once the objective or goal has been specified, it must be possible to measure it. After all, if you can’t verify an evolution or delay, it’s not smart. However, the method also has some questions for this, they are:
- What is my progress indicator?
- How do I know that I have reached my goal?
- How can I measure in numbers (Or percentage)
The objective or goal needs to be possible for everyone who will contribute to it. Otherwise it will generate dissatisfaction on the part of everyone involved. Therefore, there are two essential questions when defining your goal or objective, and they are:
- Have other people already accomplished this goal or target in my parameters that I am putting?
- Do I have the necessary resources or more resources than people who have succeeded in that goal or objective?
- Do I have the capacity to achieve this goal or objective?
In some cases other people have not achieved this goal, and you want to be the first. In this way, your goal needs to be realistic in accordance with the other requirements. Therefore, answer the following questions:
- What do I need to do to make this goal realistic according to my routine or the company’s routine?
- Are my team and I willing to commit to this goal and achieve it?
- Do we need to have more resources to achieve this goal?
- Does this goal or objective need an event beyond our control?
Finally, an objective or goal by the smart method needs to have a defined time. Especially when it is something urgent. In this way, you can better understand your goal or objective through the following questions:
- Does my goal have a realistic deadline?
- What happens if I don’t meet my goal on time?
- My team and I agree on the deadline?
- Is this timeframe safe or is there a risk?
How to apply the smart method in your company?
Now that you know what questions to ask, we will show you how to apply the smart method in your company in a very simple step-by-step way. So please read this topic to the end so as not to miss any information.
Set a goal based on team and leadership
First, you need to establish a goal based on the team that will lead the project and the leader of that team. After all, each team and leader has specific characteristics and it is possible to assume results from this knowledge.
Thus, it is necessary to understand that it is not interesting to set goals that the team has never met before. Answer all questions considering the team you are going to execute and if possible have them participate in the process.
Break down the objective into goals
Once you are clear about the goal, it is interesting to divide this big goal into smaller goals. Whether they are quarterly, monthly, or even weekly goals. Obviously, you need to use the smart method in splitting goals.
With the goals defined it is possible to find a clearer way to measure the whole process.
We recommend that you use software to automate processes. Make the choice according to the company’s needs.
Establish a follow-up
Now that you have defined a way to measure the goals, it is possible to establish a follow-up of the results. That way you will have control of what needs to change, who needs to change, and when you need to change.
This control is essential until the goal is reached, and you, the leader, need to have this clear vision in order to orchestrate the project as needed.
Once the objective has been broken down into goals, it is possible to understand the needs of the objective and make an analysis.
Give and receive feedback
The fourth and last step is to make and receive feedback on the results, whether positive or not. For example, if an employee is not delivering on time, they need to receive a feedback with that remark.
In this way, you can respectfully make the employee aware and make room to understand the reason for the delay.
It is important to understand that in some cases the delay was not entirely under the employee’s control. In this way, the leader can come to an agreement with the employee about his or her needs.
What is a personal smart goal?
As the name implies, the personal smart goal is when only one person has a goal and wants to secure the advantages of the smart method. In this way, she uses the method in her personal life or at work.
It is important to understand that the smart method aims to clear the mind of the person who is going to execute and achieve the goal, turning a complex goal into a simple one.
In this way, it is necessary that you obey everything that the smart method requires. Including the fact that it is a complex task, goals or objectives.
In other words, it is not necessary to use the smart method in your everyday tasks, such as cleaning your desk for example.
The smart method becomes much more productive when used for larger goals that would be difficult to organize. For example, winning a promotion in two years. This is a complex goal, difficult to measure, and one that the smart method can help with.
How to make a smart goal step by step?
We have already explained how to run the smart goal for companies, but now we will talk about how to do the same process for employees or people in their personal goals. The step-by-step is:
- Define a complex objective according to the method
- Divide the objective into goals according to the method
- Separate goals by daily tasks
- Measure the execution of daily tasks in an application or software
- Follow its evolution
Define a complex objective according to the method
An example would be clearer for everyone, wouldn’t it? Let’s say you wanted to learn an Italian language in 3 years. You need to answer all the questions according to the method and thus make your goals.
Divide the objective into goals according to the method
With this clear objective in hand, set goals according to the method. For example, learn to read in Italian in 6 months, then consume movies and series in Italian with 12 months of study, learn grammar in Italian in the next 12 months.
These goals need to be stages up to the final goal, all revised according to the method.
Break down the goals into daily tasks
If you have a goal, it needs to be part of your routine. Then divide these goals according to the method and divide them into daily tasks. Which will be possible to do on a daily basis.
It is essential that it is daily, because you can ensure consistency regardless of your motivation on the day. After all, it is something small every day that over months becomes something big and measurable
Measure the execution of daily tasks in an application or software
In order for you to have control over the measurement, you need to perform the daily tasks and write down when you accomplish them. The best method today is by software and applications, there are thousands that you can use according to your needs.
Follow its evolution
Finally, you should track your progress from the application or software. Always considering the time you have set to get to your goal, by checking your goals you can identify how far you have come and how far you are from your goal.
How to monitor the smart method after implementation?
The best way to monitor the smart method is to use the virtual environment to your advantage. So use software and applications according to your company’s needs.
However, you can always set up a simple spreadsheet to monitor. However, many applications and software can bring a very interesting result where everyone has access.
smart goal: examples of how to do it in practice
To finish our content we will show you some examples of how to do the smart goal in practice. Obviously, we are not going to show it in all the details because it would be extremely subjective.
In the meantime, let’s set some goals and fit each step into the method. The goals we will use as examples are:
- Hire 3 specialists for sales in one year
- Increase the productivity of sector “A” in 6 months
- Increase the number of potential customers in 3 months
- Hire 3 marketing professionals specialized in digital marketing for the sales area in one year
- Increase productivity by using new software on the company’s computers and conducting training with each professional within 6 months
- Develop outbound marketing strategy to increase the amount of potential customers in 3 months
- Hire 3 professionals with experience in digital marketing for the sales area in one year
- Reduce time for execution of daily tasks after implementation of the new software compared to the previous software
- Increase the amount of potential customers that visited our company’s website compared to the period before the strategy
- To hire the 3 professionals we need to open a vacancy using linkedin
- We need to gather the new software, do the installation and teach it to all employees considering an adaptation period
- Develop the strategy when the 3 contracted professionals
Realistic and Time-bound
- There are about 55 professionals according to linkedin that fit the requirements we defined
- The whole team agrees and is willing to learn the new software in the defined period
- The strategy will start when all 3 professionals are hired