Are You Setting SMART Quality Objectives?

George Doran published an article in the November, 1981 issue of Management Review titled, “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management Goals and Objectives.” SMART has become a useful acronym for setting objectives that are Specific, Measurable,Achievable, Relevant, and Timed.

Specific: Identify the expected result. Be precise on the desired outcome. All the concerned persons should know what is required.

Measurable: Quantify the result and ensure you have a reliable system for measuring it. You should know when you have achieved the objective.

Achievable: The objective should be realistic given the target and date. Resources must be available to deliver the result with reasonable effort.

Relevant: Links to business success should be clear so people are motivated to meet the objective. Ensure people can influence the outcome.

Timed: Establish a timeframe for reaching the objective. Monitor progress against interim targets on the way to achieving the stated objective.

SMART is a good way to set specific, measurable quality objectives. People will recognize their importance and be committed to achieving them.