Skip to Main Content »

 
 

SMART

SMART

Availability: In stock

$7.80

Quick Overview

Objectives are often formulated poorly and without obligations such as wishes, plans or good intentions. Successful management requires the setting of as many SMART goals as possible. It is a process whereby managers and staff work together and reach agreement on specific and defined objectives within a certain project. This process makes sure both managers and staff agree to and are committed to the project results. With 7 cartoons! 


Related models: Time Management MatrixProjectmanager RadiusForce Field AnalysisSteering ParametersDevils TriangleSMARTBARTStakeholder Salience Model



$7.80

SMART Cartoon

More Views

  • SMART Cartoon
  • SMART All
  • SMART Specific
  • SMART Measurable
  • SMART Acceptable
  • SMART Realistic
  • SMART Time-bound
  • SMART page01
  • SMART page02
  • SMART page03
  • SMART page04
  • SMART page05

Details

SMART

Background

SMART/ SMARTER is a mnemonic used to set and verify goals simply and unequivocally, for instance in terms of project management, performance management and personal development.

Opinions about the origin are different. Usually Peter Ferdinand Drucker (19 November 1909- 11 November 2005) is referred to. He was an author, management consultant and calls himself a "social ecologist".

The term 'Management By Objectives" was popularised for the first time by Peter Drucker in his book The Practice of Management (1954), using a system similar to the SMART objectives. Ever since is has been used for many purposes from strategic planning to loss of weight programmes.

Another source is the use of the term in the November 1981 edition of Management Review by George T. Doran. The term also emerged in the 1990s among technicians, also at Philips, to force managers to give specific instructions.

Related models: Time Management MatrixProjectmanager RadiusForce Field AnalysisSteering ParametersDevils TriangleSMARTBARTStakeholder Salience Model

 

 

The model

Objectives are often formulated poorly and without obligations such as wishes, plans or good intentions. Successful management requires the setting of as many SMART goals as possible. It is a process whereby managers and staff work together and reach agreement on specific and defined objectives within a certain project. This process makes sure both managers and staff agree to and are committed to the project results.


SMART stands for:

-      Specific; Objective must be unequivocal 

-      Measurable; Under which (measurable/observable) conditions or form was the goal reached

-      Acceptable; Is it acceptable enough for the target group and/or management

-      Realistic; The objective must be feasible; and

-      Time-bound; When (in time) must the goal be reached.

 

In addition to Acceptable Ambitious, Accepted or Demonstrable are also used (Who will be realising the goal?) Achievable too is used at times, but it rather refers to the feasibility aspect. An additional criterion often used is Relevant (is the objective valuable to the organisation or parties involved?), which again is related to acceptability. Also, SMARTER is used every now and then, to which an evaluation is added.

SMART provides a direction, indicating what it is that we want to achieve and may help steer the behaviour of managers and staff. It also indicates which results are to be delivered when. The so-called topical questions Who, What, Where, Why, When, Where to, Which and How.

 

Specific

The first term refers to the necessity of a specific goal; which means that goals are clear and unambiguous, free from vagueness and clichés. To specify goals, they must explain exactly what is expected from a team, why it is important, who is involved, where activities will take place and which features matter.

Describe the goal clearly and concretely. It should describe an observable initiative, behaviour or result to which a number, sum, percentage or other quantitative fact is related.

A specific goal will usually provide the answer to the "W" questions:

-      What: What we do want to achieve?

-      Who: Who is involved?

-      Where: Where will we proceed? Decide on location

-      When: When will it happen?

-      Which: Which parts of the objective are essential?

-      Why: Specific reasons, goal or advantages of reaching the goal

-      Which: Identify requirements and restrictions.

Parties involved must see a clear relationship between the objective and the activities they must perform. The more precise the objective, the easier it becomes to interpret matters.

 

Measurable

The second term stresses the necessity of concrete criteria for measuring progress towards reaching the goal. The underlying thought is that if a goal cannot be measured, it will be impossible to find out whether a team is making progress towards successful completion. It is believed that measuring progress allows a team to remain on course and reach targets.

A measurable goal will usually provide the answer to questions such as these:

-      How much?

-      How do I know when it is happening?

How much will we be doing? How can we measure? A system, method and procedure are required to determine the degree to which the target is reached at a certain moment. What is left when it is done? A SMART objective is the standard: it measures the quality of the efforts delivered. If possible you should conduct a zero measurement, to determine the starting situation.

 

Acceptable

The third term emphasises the significance of goals that are realistic and feasible. A target must not be extreme but rather (just) feasible. In other words, targets are not out of reach, nor are they below the standard performance level. Theory states that a feasible target encourages people to identify previously overlooked possibilities to thus come closer to realising the target.

A feasible target will usually answer the question:

-      How: How can the target be reached?

One significant question is whether whatever we are doing is actually supported? Does it meet the organisation’s mission, vision and objectives? Managers and staff must be willing to perform, or else the target will not be reached or the change will not take root.

You may increase support by actively involving staff in formulating the objective. It is important to allow staff an actual say in the matter. Short-term goals in particular must be determined at the lowest possible level of the organisation.

Sometimes the ‘A’ in SMART is also taken to mean “Apparent”. This means that it should be clear who will be doing what to reach the goal.

The ‘A’ may also refer to “Activating”, “Action-focused” or “Ambitious”: the objective should tempt one to take action and release energy. The objective must be formulated in a positive sense. A plan of action must be ready. But make sure a SMART target outlines a certain result, not an effort.

 

Realistic

The fourth term emphasises the importance of setting realistic and relevant goals. A relevant goal should represent a goal people are willing and able to work on. This does not mean that the target cannot be high. A target is probably only useful if people believe it can be executed.

A relevant goal will usually provide the answer to the question: Does this seems like worth the effort?

Challenging objectives can be split up into smaller feasible sub-objectives, also referred to as the salami technique. The interim results provide new energy time and again.

A realistic objective must give account to the practical situation. People will never be able to work on one single target. Other activities, ad hoc events and distractions will always exist.

An objective can be unrealistic, if imposed at a very low level within the organisation. Can parties involved indeed influence the requested results? Is the target feasible? Is there a performable plan with acceptable efforts? Is there sufficient know-how, capacity, tools and authorities? This is important because an unfeasible target will not motivate people.

 

Time-bound

The fifth term emphasises the significance of adding a schedule to the targets, to provide a target date. Commitment to a deadline will help the team tune their efforts towards completing the target on or prior to the due date. Timeliness should to prevent targets from being superseded by the daily crises that always emerge at an organisation. A timely target is meant to determine a sense of urgency.

A SMART objective has a smart commencing date and a final date. Short-term goals in particular must be SMART. With long-term goals this is not always possible.

 

A timely goal will for instance provide the answer to the questions:

-      When will we launch activities?

-      When will target be reached and/or when will we be done?

-      What can I do six months from now?

-      What can I do six weeks from now?

-      What can I do today?

 

SMART(ER) synonyms

 

SMARTER

English terms

Specific

Specific, Significant, Stretching, Simple

Measurable

Measurable, Meaningful, Motivational, Manageable

Acceptable

Attainable, Appropriate, Achievable, Agreed, Assignable, Actionable, Ambitious, Aligned, Aspirational

Realistic

Relevant, Realistic, Resourced, Resonant

Time-bound

Time-bound, Time-oriented, Time framed, Timed, Time-based, Timeboxed, Timely, Time-Specific, Timetabled, Time limited, Trackable, Tangible

Evaluate

Evaluate, Ethical, Excitable, Enjoyable, Engaging, Ecological

Re-evaluate

Re-evaluate, Rewarded, Reassess, Revisit, Recordable, Rewarding, Reaching

 

How to use it

You may add SMART objectives to:

-      Instructions which you give staff

-      Project plans

-      Business plans

-      Marketing plans: a SMART follow-up after a SWOT analysis.

 

Being SMART is also a good thing when setting personal targets, in terms of study, career, time management and such. For instance, think about the targets in your Personal Development Plan (PDP).

Martin Luther Ling’s world-famous speech “I have a dream” was not SMART (it was not measurable, it was not time-bound). But it was definitely a brilliant speech, very inspiring and activating.

Whoever wishes to explore the unknown cannot afford to be specific. Measurable results lead to calculating behaviour. Acceptable targets are not confrontational. Realistic targets are not ambitious. Time-bound targets have a limited shelf life.

SMART is a useful checklist for every-day objectives during studies and at work. But it also imposes restrictions that exclude valuable objectives.

Make sure SMART is not a target in itself.

 

Related models: 

-   Time Management Matrix

-   Projectmanager Radius

-   Force Field Analysis

-   Steering Parameters

-   Devils Triangle

-   SMART

-   BART

-   Stakeholder Salience Model

 

 

 

Sources:

-       Drucker, Peter F., "The Practice of Management", 1954. ISBN 0060110953

-       Odiorne, George S., "Management by Objectives; a System of Managerial Leadership", New York: Pitman Pub., 1965.

-       Deming, W. Edwards, "Out of the Crisis", The MIT Press, 1994, ISBN 0262541165

-       Deming’s 14 Points and Quality Project Leadership J. Alex Sherrer, March 3, 2010

-       Drucker, Peter, "Management Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices", Harper & Row, 1973

-       Doran, G. T. (1981). There's a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management's goals and objectives. Management Review, Volume 70, Issue 11(AMA FORUM), pp. 35-36.

-       Paul J. Meyer. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals, "Attitude Is Everything."

-       http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART-principe

-       http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topische_vragen

-       http://www.carrieretijger.nl/functioneren/management/leidinggeven/doelen-stellen/smart

 

The product:

- Cartoon, full colour, 8000-6000 pixels

- Description, full colour, pdf