According to Wikipedia, the SMART mnemonic was developed by George T. Doran in 1981. I was first exposed to it in a day-long seminar in project management back in the ‘90s. The SMART mnemonic is a way to clearly communicate what you are trying to accomplish, and to clearly measure if the goals you are setting for yourself or your team can be accomplished.
As I learned it, SMART objectives are:
- Specific – You are very clear about what is to be accomplished.
- Measurable – You can easily see if you’ve accomplished your objective or not.
- Achievable – The objective is realistic given your resources (e.g., time, money, people).
- Relevant – The objective makes sense for you to do.
- Time limited – There is a specific timeline or deadline for when the objective should be accomplished.
- Specific – All of the contact data for board members should be up-to-date.
- Measurable – A list of board members can be run and board members can be contacted to confirm accuracy of data.
- Achievable – The board list is only 24 members, so one or two staff people can take on this project.
- Relevant – Our board list is one of the most important in the database!
- Time limited – We can complete this task two weeks from today.
- Specific – The current process takes more than seven minutes to complete and requires the user to go through seven screens. We’d like to get that down to three minutes and three screens.
- Measurable – When we’re done it will take less than four minutes to complete and be three screens.
- Achievable – With the help of our AMS vendor we can do this.
- Relevant – The process is too cumbersome and is causing lots of complaints.
- Time limited – We can complete this task within a month.
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