SMARTER Objectives

SMART has become a useful acronym for setting objectives.

Each letter in SMART refers to a different criterion for judging objectives. One usage is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.

Specific: Identify the expected result. Be precise on the desired outcome. Ensure the concerned persons 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: Establish a realistic and attainable objective given the target and date. Make resources available to deliver the result with reasonable effort.

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

Timely: Establish a timeframe for reaching the objective. Gain a commitment to the due date. 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.

Some sources have made the acronym into SMARTER to add Environment and Risk:

Environment: Identify areas that may be affected by process changes made to achieve the objective. Manage changes to minimize overall impact and achieve intended results.

Risk: Determine the risks related to achieving, or not achieving, the objective. Consider actions to address the risks and take advantage of opportunities.