How to set goals with the SMART method

Simone Kohl

2 mins read

Specific, measurable, achievable realistic, timebound – that’s what SMART means. But why are SMART goals so important? Often goals are set that are not goals at all. It is better to define the goals according to the SMART formula, so you can be sure that the goals meet the targets. This is especially important in project management, but also in cost management and resource management.

how can I define the goals correctly according to the SMART method?

Sspecific
Vague formulations are rather bad for the achievement of the goal. Therefore, it is better to use concrete and precise statements. Preferably in a simple short sentence that has a lot of expressiveness. Should include: What exactly do I want to achieve? And what characteristic should the goal have.

Mmeasurable
The goal should be made measurable, it helps to define criteria with which you can check whether the goal has been achieved. This can be, for example, certain values. Examples are given below.

Aachievable
The goals should be formulated in a motivating way. “None”, “Not” are therefore best avoided. The goal should be accepted by all team members, because then everyone is even more motivated to achieve the goal.

R realistic
The desired goal should also be realistic. The tasks within the project should be achievable in time and with the available resources. The more realistic a goal is, the sooner it can be achieved.

T time-bound
What should be completed by when? It is also important to have a time frame in which the goal is to be achieved. In this way, it is also possible to determine whether the goal has been achieved. Here a concrete date is a good way.

These goals do not always all have to be met. It only serves as an aid to describe the goals as precisely as possible.

smart goals – 3 examples in project management

  • “This year, a 5% increase in sales of product XY should be achieved and this should be done by 12/31 of this year”
  • “The budget in the amount of 20,000€ is not to be exceeded”
  • “In order to find a new job in 4 months, I will look for new jobs twice a week”

Also to communicate these goals you might need 4 tips to improve team communication.

final thoughts

The Smart Goals also help in project management to create clear goals from which a strategy can be developed. Through the criteria, a project can be described precisely and thus create a basis for achieving the goals.


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Simone Kohl
Simone Kohl

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