S.M.A.R.T. Goals

S M.A.R.T. is a framework for goal setting. Follow the framework to ensure the best chance of success for achieving goals.

Specific. A specific goal is more likely to be reached because people know precisely what the objective is. To be specific consider:
  • What is to be accomplished? Often a team approach to goal setting is helpful in a recovery process. The recovery leader makes sure all goals are aligned with a big-picture vision.
  • Why is this goal important? A recovery plan or long-term financial plan should provide guidance on the reasons for the goal and expected benefits. 
  • Who is involved? This could include staff and elected officials as well as others outside of government whose support is needed.
  • What are the resource requirements and constraints?

Measurable. Establish standards of evidence for gauging progress toward the goal and whether intended benefits are being realized. When progress is scrupulously measured, you stay on track, reach targets, and, consequently, gain the satisfaction of achievement.  Making a goal measurable depends on having a clear standard of evidence that the goal has been accomplished.

Attainable. Goals should have a certain amount of “stretch” in them – achieving the goal should require going beyond current patterns of performance and ways of thinking. Stretch goals are important in a recovery because minor, incremental improvements may not be sufficient to reverse decline. At the same, however, goals must also be realistic. If the goal seems unobtainable, people may not even try.

Results-oriented. The goal should be focused on results that make a real difference to financial position. For example, a goal should focus on real, cashable savings from implementing a new technology, not on implementing the technology itself.

Time-limited. The goal should have a clear timeframe for achievement.

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