Setting SMART Goals

Rafat Abushaban

- Personal Development #  O 89.2K views   اقرأ بالعربية

Summary: SMART is a mechanism to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time bound.

Setting and attaining goals is one of the most essential skills of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. The clearer the goals are, the easier it is to achieve them.

In management, there are several ways to formulate goals in a clear and concise way, perhaps the most famous of which is the "SMART Goals" mechanism that facilitates achieving goals by helping to better define goals so that they can be tracked and achieved more easily

In order to do this, the SMART mechanism follows five main determinants that contribute to clarifying and detailing the goal clearly, which are  identified by the initials of the word SMART as follows:

Five SMART Indicators for Setting Goals

  • Specific

    A specific goal is a one that is simplified and easy to understand without detailed explanation, which is clearly defined as a main milestone.

  • Measurable

    It is essential according to the SMART method for the goal to be measurable, which means that there is an expression or an indicator in the goal itself through which the extent of achieving the goal can be measured.

  • Attainable

    This means that the goal is agreed upon and is achievable using a set of steps or a mechanism to reach it, and not an imaginary or impossible goal to achieve.

  • Relevant

    The goal is related to the general vision of the project or the company, so that achieving it contributes to reaching the ideal state that we seek to reach.

  • Timely or Time bound

    One of the most important advantages of the SMART mechanism is that it links the goal and its achievement with time, so it does not remain suspended in a vacuum, but rather a timetable is set to reach it so that the time factor is measured when calculating the goal's achievement.

SMART methodology breakdown

An Example on a SMART Goal

Let's say that general goal might be: I want to start a business.

We note that this general goal is useless because it is possible that I start a commercial activity today, or start it after 9 years (In both cases I would have achieved the goal). Also it is possible that I will start a losing and unprofitable business, but nevertheless I will also have satisfied the goal because it is not "SMART"

Let's apply the "SMART" mechanism to the overall objective, and see what happens:

  • Specific:

    First, we define the aforementioned business activity, for example: I will start a blog online , with this the goal is specific but it has not become "smart" yet. Continue reading.

  • Measureable:

    Second, we think about how would we measure this goal? There are several ways to measure the success of the blog on the Internet, by increasing the monthly income of the entrepreneur through this new blog by 30 %. Later on, we can periodically measure the extent of achieving the goal until we reach the mentioned percentage in profit.

  • Attainable:

    Third, we explain how to reach this goal in a simple and clear way. We just have to know which path to take. For example: I will set up my blog first. Then I will work on promoting it and building relationships with customers through social media ads, referrals and blogging on other sites.

    It is noted that we have detailed the activities required to achieve the goal and this is what we do not want. To formulate a goal we pay attention to the most important activities required. Accordingly, we change the example to the following: I will set up my blog and will promote my business and build relationships with customers through social media ads and referrals .

  • Relevant:

    Later, we clarify the relevance of this goal to the vision we want to achieve. According to our example, it is clear that what is required of the blog and the activities executed is profit, and therefore the link is as follows: The blog will allow me to add additional customers to my business and increase profits

  • Timely:

    We are finally linking the goal and achieving it to a clear time frame that can be measured, like saying: my blog will be up and running in two months .

By collecting all of the above, we reach the following goal:

In 2 months, I will be setting up and launching an online blog. I will promote my business and build relationships with customers through social media ads and referrals with the goal of adding additional customers and increasing profits by 30%.

This is what we might call a "SMART" goal. Note that the target achieves all "smart" elements according to the corresponding color of each part, thus making it easier for us to achieve it.

within two months (related to time) I will set up and launch an online business (specified) , promoting my business and building relationships with customers through social media ads and referrals (attainable) with the aim of Adding additional customers and increasing profits (relevant) by 30% (measurable).

Normally, a startup or business will have several "SMART" goals, each of which constitutes a certain aspect of the project.

Rafat Abushaban

Founder of Riable and consultant to several international organizations in entrepreneurship education and researcher in innovation systems and seed funding methods with 10+ years of practical experience in the MENA region, Europe, US and S.Korea
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