How to Set Proper Goals for Your Project Management Team
Goal setting is more than just choosing an endpoint and a timeline. To help your project managers meet goals, it’s critical they understand the right way to set them. Undefined goals can be a recipe for disaster. But clear, actionable goals help your workers meet deadlines, avoid rework and keep everyone on task.
It All Starts With SMART Goals
The acronym SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. If every goal you set follows the SMART structure, you’ll be more likely to achieve your goals and move projects forward. Consider the following:
- Specific: If a goal can be interpreted in multiple ways, you can rest assured it probably will be. Instead, write specific goals. Goals that are too nebulous become murky and unachievable, so keep yours clear and specific.
- Measurable: How will you know when you’ve reached your goal? This is easy to determine when the goal is measurable. You can calculate percentage completion, and when a goal is met, everyone can gain encouragement by focusing on this success (making them motivated to set and tackle more goals!).
- Attainable: Only set goals your team can reach. Setting unattainable, elusive goals only serve as a point of dissatisfaction and failure among your workers—which is anything but encouraging. If a goal is too big, break it down into smaller steps that are easier to complete.
- Relevant: Of course, you want your staff working on projects that will benefit your company—otherwise, you’re wasting valuable resources. In addition, goals should be applicable to the department or individual working on them, which will help ensure you reach your endpoints. Consider re-assigning goals to those best qualified to complete them.
- Time-based. In addition to making goals measurable, it’s important to set deadlines for when you’ll achieve them. This can help everyone stay on track and will prevent more immediate tasks from displacing goals.
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