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Making SMART to SMARTER goals

Goal Setting with the SMARTER system

ER may be a famous American television series (one I have not watched) however in the context of goal setting JAMSO uses another ER intensely. Most people are familiar with setting SMART goals, introduced by Dr. George Doran, in 1981. But what about SMARTER goals? Let’s break this down with examples.

S is SPECIFIC  This needs to consider the required stakeholders, resources and task fully. A specific goal example is “Building number 4 will be finish built according to the contract specifications in document 1022 revision A and quality signed off as accepted by our customer XYZ Ltd. by 6pm 18th August 2019 CET.”, or “My body weight will be 76kg by 8am on 14th January 2017”. These are far more effective and specific than “Building 4 will be finished by middle August 2019” or “I will become healthier”.

M is MEASURABLE   As obvious as it sounds you need to be able to measure the goal so you know when you have hit it! Be accurate within any defined tolerance bands of measurement and where possible make the measure visible to involved stakeholders. Visible plot trending of progress is a great management and motivational tool to ensure performance is kept on track. If no obvious method of measurement is available consider using attribute variation examples to define band widths of measurement or re-specifying your goal.

A is ASSIGNABLE/ACHIEVABLE   A goal should be assignable to an individual, team or process and be achievable. Prior consideration to resources and priority is needed with discipline so all goals remain attainable. It is OK to have stretched goals however the expectation should remain achievable and stakeholders have the authority that matches their accountability for an assigned goal.

R is RELEVANT    Why set any goal if it is not relevant to a vision/mission or specific expectation? Use this to pin down where and why it is relevant for you and or your business. Too many goals may result in lower performance for a business due to workers trying to satisfy all goal parameters and not the priority goals needed. Standard Pareto 80/20 rules or effort/value charting can help clarify the relevance of specific goals.

T is TIME BOUND An objective needs to be time framed otherwise it becomes a lofty aim. Put a date on it and stick to it. Be very specific with the TIME and not just the date. In today’s global community 10am in New York is NOT 10am and New Zealand and so an important time deadline may be missed through such a misunderstanding.

E is ENJOYABLE/ETHICAL/EVALUATE    When setting the goal it is important to understand how to make the steps in the goal enjoyable, this increases the chances of success. I reference ethics as part of the goal due to examples in technology makes measurement ever more possible on every micro aspect of our lives, therefore fair respectful consideration should be made to balance any micro-management negative impacts of the stakeholders. The process of evaluation of your goal is important due to external potential changes that may occur i.e. radical economic or personal or business model changes. This may render the current goal to be evaluated and amended.

R is REWARDING/REASSESS  When human stakeholders or some live stock are involved, then rewards become highly motivating and important at increasing the chances of success of your goal. Be careful to reward proportional to the actions and in a way that meets the values of its participants and culture. Some negative press has been seen when the banking community were seen to be rewarding financial sums to staff at a time of public austerity. Reassess the relevance and sub performance of each step in a goal so correct future goal setting can be made more effective.

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