What are SMART Goals?

Cite this article as:"What are SMART Goals?," in The Business Professor, updated April 3, 2020, last accessed October 23, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/what-are-smart-goals/.

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What are SMART Goals and Objectives?

SMART is a method used in various industries as an organizational framework. Applying the individual elements of this framework is an effective method of developing goals and objectives. SMART is an acronym representing:

  • Specific – Goals should be specific in what is sought to be accomplished and who is responsible for the goal.
  • Measurable – Managers must be able to accurately determine progress toward completion and accomplishment of the goal.
  • Achievable – Making goals achievable is an important aspect of motivating employees toward completion.
  • Relevant – The individual goals and objectives must be relevant to the achievement of higher-level goals and objectives.
  • Time-based – You must provide a timeline for the completion of goals as a method of organization and source of motivation.

Here are some additional tips for effective goals include:

  • Fewer goals allow for a focus on what’s important.
  • Goals should measurably be linked to factors for company success.
  • Goals should link past goals with present and future goals.
  • Goals should be stakeholder focused – including owners, employees, the community, buyers, and suppliers.
  • Goals should generate from or have buy-in from the top.
  • Multiple objectives should be assessed collectively.
  • Goals must be flexible and capable of change with the environment.
  • Objectives must be realistic and based upon research and factual information.

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