Once you have planned your project, turn your attention to developing several goals that will enable you to be successful. Goals should be SMART - specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic and time-based.
A goal might be to hold a weekly project meeting with the key members of your team or to organise and run a continuous test programme throughout the project.
The acronym SMART has a number of slightly different variations, which can be used to provide a more comprehensive definition for goal setting:
S - specific, significant, stretching
M - measurable, meaningful, motivational
A - attainable, agreed upon, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
R - relevant, realistic, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
T - time-bound, time-based, timely, tangible, trackable
This provides a broader definition that will help you to be successful in both your business and personal life.
When you next run a project take a moment to consider whether your goals are SMART goals.
To quote renowned American philanthropist Elbert Hubbard:
"Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage, but simply because they have never organised their energies around a goal."
SMART Goals Specific
- Well defined.
- Clear to anyone that has a basic knowledge of the project.
- Know if the goal is obtainable and how far away completion is.
- Know when it has been achieved.
- Agreement with all the stakeholders what the goals should be.
- Within the availability of resources, knowledge and time.
- Enough time to achieve the goal.
- Not too much time, which can affect project performance.