Correctly establishing the objectives to be pursued is the first step towards professional and personal success: here’s how to do it with the SMART method.
The path to success can be long, winding and fraught with obstacles. When starting a project, you must have not only the technical skills and resources necessary to overcome them and to seize opportunities but also essential soft skills and the ability to identify the objectives to be achieved clearly.
Setting goals can not only improve your performance in the workplace, but it can be beneficial in every aspect of your life. It can determine, for example, how an intimate interpersonal relationship is managed, the time and attention to devote to a hobby or how one’s money is invested.
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Goals: Because It Is Important To Set Them Precisely
Goal setting is the first step to take every time you start a project or develop a new strategy. Identifying them precisely allows you to select all the tools necessary to achieve them, provide the right budget, optimize resources and involve the required professional figures.
Setting a goal, whether business or personal, means establishing a point of arrival and allows you to understand what priorities should be considered. Show the way to go and increase your motivation.
Goal setting is important but not easy. It is necessary to have a great knowledge of the company’s reality and external environment and awareness of one’s abilities and possibilities. We need to be clear and stay anchored to reality. You can follow the SMART method to ensure you don’t fall into error.
SMART Goals: What They Are And How To Achieve Them
The SMART method is an excellent guide for determining strategic objectives. It must be used in the planning phase, when it is a simple project that can be carried out in a short time, and when you have to deal with something more complex, requiring attention and resources.
SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based. These are all the characteristics that an objective must possess to allow a company, an organization or a freelancer to achieve success and increase profits.
Goals must be specific, specific. Don’t make the mistake of being generic, but use extreme precision. A goal must be formulated, determining figures, numbers, and percentages to be achieved. Only in this way will you fully understand the results achieved and the success or failure of your actions.
Increasing sales, for example, is an overall goal. To be specific, it is necessary to indicate the percentage of increase you want to obtain, the precise number of products or services that customers must purchase, or the profit you want to obtain.
To make a specific goal, you can rely on the 5 W journalistic model and indicate who is involved, what you are trying to achieve and when, where (if locations and places are relevant), what obstacles, limits or standards to overcome and why.
A goal must always be measurable. From the design stage, all the useful metrics must be identified to understand the results obtained or the progress made in a given period.
The measurement can occur at all activities’ ends in a short-term project. In the long-term ones, it is good to establish intermediate phases dedicated to monitoring and data collection. This will allow for improvements or adjustments if the expected results are not achieved.
The moments dedicated to monitoring and evaluating one’s actions are important: they allow you to increase your skills and understand which strategies are successful and can be applied to future projects
The established goals must be achievable, achievable. It is necessary to fix the results to be achieved based on the resources that one possesses. Not only the financial ones must be considered, but also the necessary skills, the time available about those needed to complete the actions and the tools that will have to be used.
The relevance of the objectives is closely linked to the company’s business. Achieving a goal must be cost-effective / opportunity-friendly. They must make significant improvements to the business and be integrated with other projects in the organization.
The investments made to achieve a goal must not exceed the revenues that are achieved by achieving it. All expenses necessary to obtain the resources that are needed must be considered.
A goal must be realistic and time-based, based on clear and well-defined timelines. To ensure that an objective is SMART, it is necessary to establish precise and non-postponable deadlines to reach the final or intermediate goals. All the professionals involved, the project manager and the work team must be able to manage the time available to them effectively.