Goals for a project must be clear and concise. This tutorial will focus on:
Each project objective should be stated as one sentence that describes the focus and outcome of a project.
One method project managers use to write these goals is to rely on the acronym SMART So what does SMART stand for?
Read the example and determine whether or not it is SMART.
Within six months, the salesmen in the field should be able to enter their orders on tablet computers without the assistance of technical support.
Is it specific? Yes, we know who the goal impacts. And we know what those people need to do.
Is it measurable? Yes, it's obvious when it's complete. And we can track progress toward the goal.
Do you think this goal is action-oriented? Well, yes. It focuses on the tasks performed by the users (enter order on tablet without tech support).
Is it realistic? You may have already realized that we need to know the budget, schedule, and resources to know for sure. But this task does appear achievable, so we'll consider it realistic.
How about time-phased? It needs to be complete within six months. Yes, it is time-phased.
Yes, this example is a SMART goal.
Read this goal and try to determine if it fits the SMART criteria:
The design for our new line of headphones should allow users the ability to adjust the volume on their microphone with one simple control.
Does it meet all the criteria?
Well, it is specific, measurable, action-oriented, and realistic. But you don't know when this product is needed.
The goal assumes that everyone knows when the new line will be released, but what if they don't know? Maybe the engineers will plan on using electronics that aren't available until the new line should be shipped, which can cause a big problem.
What would it look like if it needed to be revised to a SMART goal? Like this:
In this lesson, you learned what the acronym SMART means and how to identify SMART goals. And you learned the role SMART goals play in a project.
Source: This work is adapted from Sophia author Jeff Carroll.