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One of my favorite finds when it comes to project planning was the acronym SMART. It stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-sensitive. Recently I’ve learned of additions to the acronym to make it SMARTER, to include evaluate and reassess to the SMART goal planning process.
I use the SMART criteria specifically during my planning phase of any project, for writing out my project descriptions thoroughly. For example, before I used SMART criteria for my goals, I would write a goal as: Increase company’s third quarter revenue. Now, using the SMART goal format, the revised goal is written as: Empower sales managers to implement our sales/marketing plan to increase company’s third quarter revenue by 15% in the southeast region to determine annual bonuses, by dedicating one day of every week to the team.
By its face, it’s certainly much longer than the original, but more importantly, the detail with which the goal is defined, it allows me to view my Projects list with no question about the mission, vision and general action plan for how I’m going to complete this project. It answers the questions of why, what and how, so you can get to work, motivated and ready for action. I hope writing SMART goals becomes a useful tool (and regular productive habit) for you in getting more of your important, not-urgent projects accomplished.