by Erin Cheever, Project Manager, Boomer Consulting, Inc.
This blog post was originally published in the September 2012 Boomer Bulletin
Goal setting is involved in everything we do. From
personal goals to professional goals to dreaded weight loss goals, we are a
goal setting culture. We set simple goals, attainable goals and goals that we
may never achieve. The truth is many of us don’t know how to set a goal. We
don’t know how to set a goal that will lead us down a path to success. We often
set goals and are surprised when they are not met. Goals often just disappoint
in the end.
As I have become more comfortable in my Project
Management role, I have been reading different articles, blogs and other
research that can help me be a better project manager. I have been focusing a
lot on goal setting at the beginning of a project and how to create ones that
can change the way I view and carryout my projects. Essentially I have been exploring how to set
goals that can allow me to become better at my job. S.M.A.R.T Goal Setting has
taught me to develop goals that are tailored for the best possible outcome.
Although there are many variations of S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting, the individual
letters all stand for the same thing: Specific,
Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
goals at the beginning of your project is your lifeline. From short- term to
long-term project goals, they will allow you to start on the path to success
throughout your entire project. The challenging part of goal setting is often
deciding what those goals should be. How will you know you can achieve them?
How will you know they will be in line with the outcome of your project?
Whether you are a seasoned project manager or the lead of your first project, following
S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting rules can ensure your project stays on track and ultimately
ends on track.
goals should always answer the who, what, when, why and how. They are clear,
concise and defined points. They outline exactly what you are going to do and
how you are going to do it.
Choose goals that you can measure. Goals where you cannot see change, good or bad, or
progress are not measurable.
Your goals should be not impossible. Setting attainable goals allows you to know that
even if you have to extend yourself or push harder than you ever have to get
there, you can and you will.
Focus on the practicality of realistic goals. Set the bar high, but not too high you will never
Give yourself timely goals by making sure each of them has a due date or an end
point. No such goals were ever achieved
by a never ending possibility.
Where are your project goals at today? Take your
current goals and apply the checklist of S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting to see where
you stand. Turn your newly focused goals into outcomes that end defined and
complete and above all successful.