SMART Goals and SMART Objectives

Goals and objectives are key elements on the path to any achievement. A company may want to increase sales by 25%. A team may strive for increased performance. A non-profit organization may desire to raise enough capital to fund a specific project. Are these goals or objectives and what’s the difference? Whether you are working on taking your business to the next level or implementing a new process or procedure, goals and objectives are critical pieces of the plan

Goals are where you want to go and objectives are how you are going to get there. Think about your company strategy as a map. Your goal is the city and the objectives are the streets along the way. You can also think of it as the big picture and the details. How do you develop a strategy that articulates your business goals and outlines the objectives that will get you there?

There are many ways to get there, but keeping in mind the frequently used acronym SMART can benefit development of both goals and objectives.

S – Specific – Both your goals and objectives need to be specific. If you don’t have a specific target, you won’t know if you’ve reached it. It’s important that the end point is specific, but each step along the path needs to be specific as well. Who, what, where, and why are typical questions to ask.

M – Measurable – As your plan moves forward, quantifiable benchmarks along the way measure your progress. Having a quantifiable end goal identifies the final achievement. How much or how many are typical questions?

A – Achievable / Attainable – Is it reasonable to expect that you can reach the goals and objectives along the way? If the team doesn’t feel they can really accomplish the goal or the steps along the way, maintaining motivation is going to be hard.

R – Relevant / Realistic – Is this path going to lead you where you want to go? Does it fit within the overall scope of your business? Lofty goals are great, but when they are too lofty, the team can feel defeated even before the project starts.

T – Timely / Time-bound – Is now the right time to implement this goal and when will you know you are finished? Fitting each goal into the overall business plan keeps forward momentum.

As you plan for the next stage of your business, consider the elements of SMART goals and objectives. Ninestone can partner with you as you develop a strategic plan, work through an implementation project, or address compliance and regulatory monitoring.

Ninestone Team

June, 2016