SMART methodology: define your goals!
In the business environment, a goal is much more than a simple objective, but a fundamental tool to guarantee the solid growth of an organization. This is because a good goal stimulates those involved around the same goal that is attainable within their possibilities, while defining and measuring the practical results of this goal. But how do you know what a good goal is?
A good guideline for this definition is the use of the SMART methodology.
Purpose and Meaning
The main function of the SMART methodology is to ensure that the goals used are within the scope of achievement, in addition to being relevant as an objective. This method makes the defined goal present positive results, without deviating from the reality of the company.
For this, this goal must meet the five request of the SMART acronym: it must be specific (Specific), measurable (Measurable), attainable (Attainable), relevant (Relevant) and temporal (Time based). Below, we explain each of these points in more detail.
A goal needs to be specific, as its achievement depends on the complete understanding of all involved. The specificity of a goal guarantees that the people involved will know what direction to take, and will move together around that same goal.
To successfully specify a target requires accurate data from the operation. With that in hand, answer these questions:
- What do I want to achieve with this goal?
- Who will be responsible?
- Where will the action take place?
- How will the goal be achieved?
- Why is this goal important?
The more specific the answers to these questions are, the more accurate the objective is, and the clearer it will be for the people involved in the operation.
- Measurable (Measurable)
The goal must also be measurable, that is: it can be translated into numbers. The fact that a target is measurable ensures that it can be tracked accurately, providing reliable growth stock data.
To ensure that a goal is measurable, it must have a well-defined expected result. This result must be able to be represented in numbers, percentages, and graphs. Defining this result leads us to the next point of the SMART methodology.
A goal that cannot be achieved loses its fundamental function, which is to motivate and measure the secure growth of an organization. The fact that a goal is unattainable discourages those involved and can cause very low adherence.
However, it is important to keep in mind that an attainable goal must also mean a challenging goal. With a precise analysis of the operation, it is possible to define realistic objectives for the team, within its possibilities, but which also represent an indispensable increase, with the efficient use of evaluate resources.
A relevant target means a target that will have visible effects on the company’s growth indicators. Relevance also has a direct effect on the motivation of the people involved, as it can demonstrate that their actions will have real results in the organization.
Furthermore, goal relevance is directly related to the previous point: an attainable goal needs to have numerical relevance. A goal that can be achieved without any effort is a useless goal in an organization.
- Temporal (Time based)
A goal can only be considered such if it has a certain time to be achieved. It is also important that this time for achieving the goal is attainable and relevant for the organization.
For a precise definition of this “time”, it is necessary to have data on the efficiency of the company’s processes, which must be applied in the calculation of the term. It is also necessary to consider delays and travel time and logistics, when applicable.
Target set, now what?
After defining the correct goals, it is necessary to define an action plan to achieve this goal. This can be done in many ways, and one of them is using the 5W2H methodology, which we already talked about here on our blog.
One of the most indispensable things in the pursuit of the goal is to be able to analyze the data accurately, so that the reasons for the failure, if it happens, are also observed. Accurate control of this data will help to continuously improve processes, in addition to allowing for an increasingly accurate and relevant definition of goals for the organization.