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Saturday, December 20, 2014

SMART criteria - have your company been applying it as goal's deployment within the different managers' levels?

SMART is a mnemonic acronym, giving criteria to guide in the setting of objectives, for example in project management, employee-performance management and personal development. The letters S and M usually mean specific and measurable. The other letters have meant different things to different authors, as described below. Additional letters have been added by some authors.

SMART criteria are commonly attributed to Peter Drucker's management by objectives concept.
The first-known use of the term occurs in the November 1981 issue of Management Review by George T. Doran.
The principal advantage of SMART objectives is that they are easier to understand, to do, and then be reassured that they have been done.


History

The November 1981 issue of Management Review contained a paper by George T. Doran called There's a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management's goals and objectives. It discussed the importance of objectives and the difficulty of setting them.

Ideally speaking, each corporate, department, and section objective should be:
Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
Assignable – specify who will do it.
Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

Notice that these criteria don’t say that all objectives must be quantified on all levels of management. In certain situations it is not realistic to attempt quantification, particularly in staff middle-management positions. Practising managers and corporations can lose the benefit of a more abstract objective in order to gain quantification. It is the combination of the objective and its action plan that is really important. Therefore serious management should focus on these twins and not just the objective.
—George T. Doran, There's a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management's goals and objectives

Other definitions

Each letter in SMART refers to a different criterion for judging objectives. Different sources use the letters to refer to different things. Typically accepted criteria are as follows.
LetterMost commonAlternative
S Significant, stretching, simple, sustainable
M Measurable..Motivational, manageable, meaningful
A Achievable. Appropriate, agreed,assignable, attainable, actionable, action-oriented, adjustable, ambitious, aligned with corporate goals, aspirational, acceptable, aggressive
R Relevant. Result-based, results-oriented, resourced, resonant, realistic, reasonable
T Time-bound. Time-oriented, time-framed, timed, time-based, time-specific, timetabled, time limited, time/cost limited, trackable, tangible, timely, time-sensitive, timeframe.

Choosing certain combinations of these labels can cause duplication, such as selecting 'attainable' and 'realistic', or can cause significant overlapping as in combining 'appropriate' and 'relevant' for example. The term 'agreed' is often used in management situations where buy-in from stakeholders is desirable (e.g. appraisal situations). The first column of terms provides an adequate starting structure.

Have you been seeing application of SMARTargets in your organization? In affirmative case, such procedure has been leading people to understand to where they must go and results that must be achieved, consistently?

Usually, one can see conflicting target, for instance, targets between Procurement and Quality department (one must strive for reducing price of components and another struggle for structured supplier that would delivery good quality, that most of time means expensive ones.

How to balance such differences through SMART targets application?

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