For implementing an idea, goal setting is the foremost step. Whenever people think of an idea in their mind, whether it relates personally or professionally, the vision is to achieve a certain goal through that idea.
Project management is just the same thing, the idea behind having a project management system by assigning project managers for that is to complete the initiated project with utmost effectiveness and efficiency.
The process of setting up goals formed by ideas is known as SMART goals, and in today’s era, which is full of competition, organizations, whether big or small, fight for survival in this world. SMART goals provide an insight for achieving the goals set by the companies.
What do SMART Goals mean to Project Managers?
SMART showcases a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely, respectively.
Timely can also be called time-bound by others, although it means the same. Whereas relevant also has two alternative names used by organizations accordingly, which are Realistic or Result-oriented.
This term was first coined on November 18 by George T. Doran. The reason because of which it was widely accepted and used was that it was easy to understand and implement by the project managers. The objectives set by using SMART goals make the work easy by the managers as well as others to understand.
Now coming to what all the individual letters of SMART goals indicate-
The first letter of the element which sets the base of SMART goals is specific. Specific states that the goal which has been set by the organization is simple and transparent without having any ambiguity in it. The goals should be so clear for each in the organization at the individual level that everybody knows what and when to do it.
The ambiguity of goal is one of the major factors which creates a hurdle for the project managers in completing their project. And if the organization does not do its projects on time, then it creates a lack of effectiveness in the path of the organization, and it very much impacts its image, which might ultimately have an impact on every employee in the organization at their level.
You must have a clear-cut idea about where the project is heading for the project manager, then only he/she can make any decision accordingly. And that’s what Measurable goals help you to do. It provides guidance to recognize the success level that the project is at and helps the project managers stay on track by identifying any delays in the project and the left overwork so that the work can speed up.
The project managers can do the measurement numerically because the quantitative analysis is the great analysis, it provides a clear picture and helps to identify the actual state of the project on the progress chart,
By being able to monitor the work done, it is easy for the project manager to analyze the remaining task and its period. It also helps boost the team’s confidence and increase their morale through motivation.
Talking about another aspect of SMART goals is the word “A,” which states achievability. As the name itself suggests, achievability refers to the possibility for an organization to achieve that goal. Everybody has some goal in their mind, but is it possible to achieve it is the question. An organization can make plenty of huge goals because it is imaginary and free of cost, but achieving those goals require resources and workforce, and that is not free; therefore organization should know what is achievable and what is not achievable.
The best way to set an achievable goal will be to involve the employees or the project members before setting the tasks for them because they are the ones who are going to make it possible. And one more thing the organization should keep in mind can be that the project members should decide what work should be done by whom or at least give them the preference to decide their work. It is because they’ll select the work for themselves according to their skills and capabilities.
SMART goals for project managers also make sure that the goals are relevant to the company. It means that an organization sets its vision and mission beforehand along with its objectives; therefore, through the help of SMART goals, the project managers ensure that the goals stay relevant and consistent with the organization’s mission and the whole objectives. For that, the project managers follow the technique of tracking down the goals set so that the results come as per expectations.
The last approach to keep in mind while establishing SMART goals for project managers is to look for a time-bound method. A Time-bound goal states that the goals set should have a reasonable amount of time to achieve it; otherwise, if the project managers could not achieve the goals because of the fault in setting time duration, then the company’s reputation will be at stake. An organization is known for its efficiency and effectiveness; therefore, proper and realizing time frames should be set by the project manager for achieving that goal.
By keeping deadlines, the team members will always have a feeling of urgency towards the work, which will guarantee the result delivery at the desired period. For this, the project manager or who so ever is accountable should keep track of the working hours of the employees and also the resources needed for the project, then only it will help to have a track of the event and also will ensure the effectiveness of the company.
Examples of SMART Goals
I will be a part of a business development project within six months after completing my graduation in marketing.
Specific: The goal is to become a part of the business development project is set well with clarity.
Measurable: Success can be measured by filling various applications, giving interviews, and the project offers obtained.
Achievable: The job defined as a goal will be backed by the graduate degree to make it achievable.
Relevant: It is relevant because of the specialization that you choose to achieve the relevant goal.
Time-based: The goal is specified with the appropriate time frame, which is within six months following the graduation.
BENEFITS OF SMART GOALS
Helps to formulate plans: With the help of SMART goals, you can plan, which is the foremost step of organizational management. After planning only the various other steps like organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling can be done. The SMART goals show the result and for that plans are made.
A motivational tool: The goals can also help motivate the employees, even provide them confidence and improve their morale. For example, the employees are provided with certain promotion or recognition, whether it be monitory or non-monitory, to complete the task on time, which will motivate them to work harder the next time.
Delivers faster results: The SMART goals can generate quicker results from the employees. If the goals are clear, then there remains no ambiguity in achieving that goal, which ultimately enhances performance. And also, it helps to cope up with the time wastage on unproductive things that comes aligned with the task.
Focus and Direction: SMART goals provide focus and direction to achieve the goal. It will help in making regular day to day decisions precisely. For example, if the goal is to generate leads for the company, it will help to have focus on the customers’ wants and the customers who are likely to purchase that product, also known as prospects.
Stress reduction: Another benefit of goal setting is the reduction in stress. Since SMART goals help to keep track of the events of the project, it will help in knowing the position because of which project manager make decisions, if there will be need of any.