You can’t get there, if you don’t know where it is you are going. It all begins with a vision of how you want things to be. Establishing clear objectives begins with a vision, then continues with goals and then objectives to meeting each of the goals.
Some refer to objectives as benchmarks, others call them targets, but regardless of how you refer to them, establishing objectives for a team, are steps that need to happen to meet each goal. The objectives identified should meet the following criteria. The acronym SMART can help you remember how to write goals, and objectives, to meet each goal.
Objectives should be SMART
Specific. Objectives need to precisely define the necessary steps to meet the goal. If the objective is vague, lacking in clarity, the goal will not be accomplished. Therefore all objectives should be specific. ” We need to create a work plan”, is a goal but it isn’t specific, as it doesn’t identify the type of plan, that needs to be created, or the purpose of the plan. The more specific the objective is in accomplishing the goal, the better better able the team will be to accomplish the goal.
Measurable. All objectives need to be evaluated to determine progress. How will you know when you accomplish the objective? What criteria needs to happen? Make the objective measurable.
Attainable. You need to create objectives that you can achieve. Establishing an objective that cannot be attained, is establishing an incorrect objective, as you won’t be able to reach it, no matter how specific, or measurable it is.
Realistic. The objective must be realistic. It must be identified as something the team can accomplish. If you establish writing a computer program as a goal, and nobody on the team has computer programming skills, this is not a realistic goal for this team to achieve.
Timing. What is the time frame allotted for meeting each step toward achieving the objective? Identify a date to accomplish each step of the goal.
When you follow the SMART formula for establishing objectives, you will be able to evaluate progress towards the goal. Missing any one of these steps is leaving out a crucial aspect of goal setting, and will hinder the achievement of this goal. When you want to achieve smart goals, follow the SMART formula.