Building a SMART Goals Template
As mentioned in our previous History of SMART Goals, we outlined Doran’s theories on goal setting. Before we get to talking about creating a SMART goals template, it’s worth revisiting what Doran espoused. His formulation seems simple now, but it was novel at the time. Goals should be five things:
When reflecting on those criteria, it never hurts to have a SMART goals template to use with your team to identify the proper areas of the goal. We’ve developed a spreadsheet you can fill out with all the critical components of your SMART goals. If you are an AchieveIt user, you can have us load it into AchieveIt for you (more on that at the end of this post). Otherwise click here or scroll down to the end of this post and download your own template to get started translating SMART goals into executional results.
Let’s walk through an example together for a Business Operations plan:
Make sure to split out your various assignments into reasonable deliverables with categories that help you identify the areas you will focus on throughout the plan. Avoid vague wording such as “Conduct meeting” or “Send documents.” Those assignments would be tough to immediately take action in a meaningful way.
Here’s the most wonderful part of the entire SMART goals template exercise; RESULTS! You and your team can outline what good looks like and where should that finish line be placed. For most of our clients, defining the brass ring and the end target can have amazing effects on the team. It gives you all a rally cry, a target and especially a moment that you can identify to celebrate as an organization. Whether it be a revenue target, a percentage target or numeric target, having these results visible to your team can add tremendous momentum to your organization.
Clarity and coordination around your plan is never more important than when you identify the right resources that can help you achieve your goals. It’s most important to identify a key accountable person who is responsible for the assignments. So it’s essential to track carefully in your SMART goals template.
When developing your assignments, it helps to provide context on why the assignment has been created, what the intentions for the deliverables could be, and why they are relevant to the individual, the team and/or the organization. Adding descriptions to your assignments can give the team members more information to better fulfill their goals.
With your relevant goals and assignment in mind, it’s also important to outline appropriate timelines for execution. A common mistake is to put every start date and due date at the beginning and end of a quarter or year. Instead, try to be more thoughtful on the time period that will transpire during execution. Sometimes a month is more appropriate versus a whole quarter. Choosing appropriate timelines will greatly assist team members in assigning priorities.
Tracking progress towards achieving SMART goals:
Great! You have now developed all the critical components for your SMART goals through a simple SMART goals template. The next steps is to consider a methodology for tracking progress. You could continue to track the goals in the completed template, marking items Achieved or Not Achieved throughout the timelines. However, there are other technology solutions that could support your SMART goals. For example, taking the same Business Operations plan, let’s see how it translate into a cloud-based Results Management System, such as AchieveIt.
Rather than a static spreadsheet, which requires constant versioning, with AchieveIt, you can interact with the execution of your plans through dashboards and update to progress notes. Cloud-based Results Management solutions can help you and your team keep your SMART goals in the forefront of your mind.
If you would like to see your SMART goals loaded into our software, then send it over to us at email@example.com and we will show you the plan!
How have you typically tracked and formed your SMART goals?