Have you ever set S.M.A.R.T goals?

SMART goals

In order to answer this question, we will first start by defining the S.M.A.R.T method.

What’s the S.M.A.R.T methodology?

S.M.A.R.T which means intelligent in French is a method that is used in several areas such as project management and human resources management. It allows teams to define objectives and to achieve them by putting all the chances on their side.

S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that first appeared in November 1981 in an article written by Mr. George T. Doran, under the title: « There is a S.M.A.R.T way to write management’s goals and objectives ». The article highlights the importance for a business, a department or a service to define stakes and objectives, and describes how defining them can sometimes be complicated. He explains that it is necessary that stakes and objectives should meet the 5 criteria of the S.M.A.R.T method. In his article, Mr. George T. Doran explains that this method has also limits and may be complicated to apply it to all objectives and stakes, especially when those are not quantifiable. Finally, he reminds us that the essential is to adopt a S.M.A.R.T mindset ant to try to apply this method whenever it is possible.

What do the letters S, M, A, R et T of the acronym S.M.A.R.T mean?

S for Specific:


The objectives should be clear, simple, precise and easy, so all concerned people can understand them.

M for Measurable:


It is important to put in place quantitative and qualitative measures to facilitate the monitoring and follow-up of the target (objectives that should be achieved).

A for Attainable:


The defined objectives should be achievable. To keep teams motivated, it is necessary that defined objectives take into consideration the real capacities and skills of each one as well as the means that are made available to them.

R for Realistic:


The objectives should be realistic, they should take into account the limits of each person and the existing constraints.

Setting a realistic objective is a key to achieving it.

T for Temporal:


Each objective has to be time-bound and must have a deadline.

Setting a deadline per objective helps teams to stay focused and put all their efforts to reach the expected result.

Example of S.M.A.R.T objectives:

As we have already mentioned, the S.M.A.R.T method is applicable in many areas that concern personal or professional life.

Below, there are some examples of objectives defined thanks the S.M.A.R.T method.

Project managementDeploy a new version (version 3) of a software specialized in taking and managing online appointments.Implement 2 new features (an automatic callback and a chatbot) in the 3rd version of the software.
  • Functional specifications should be co constructed by users (feedback, satisfaction surveys…).
  • Teams available and competent to work on these new features.
  • For this new version, the estimate has been realized and it fits into the allocated budget.
  • Scoping is done and the functional specifications are ready and validated.
  • Teams have sufficient bandwidth to meet the needs.
  • Teams are competent to meet the needs expressed for this new version.
  • Estimate has been validated.
  • Environments are available (development, validation, pre-production and production).
Deadline : By July 31,2021.
Sales of chocolateGenerate additional revenue from online selling chocolate.Generate 20% more revenue through online sales.Currently, the company has generated 10% of additional revenue, through online sales, while it has just started their e-commerce activity.We are on an Easter period. The company will invest more in online advertising and has just started door-to-door delivery.The achievement of the objective is expected in the next 2 weeks.

Conclusion :

This article shows you how the S.M.A.R.T method can help you define your objectives. Are you ready to apply it in your next personal and / or professional goals.

Article written by Sara MOUDRIK HORN

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