Being SMART is just not enough! Achieving SMART Objectives Via Results Management

Remember that guy in high school who was just in class to prove how smart he was?  He’d raise his hand a millisecond after the teacher asked a question.  He’d casually flash the “100” on his test so everyone could see.  He’d talk in a condescending voice to everyone. He was the kid with a smart objectives agenda. No one was as smart as he was.

Fast forward 20 years.  Maybe that guy is a titan of industry somewhere.  However, sometimes that guy is sitting in his parents’ basement playing video games.  How could that happen?  Well, sometimes being smart is just not enough.  That guy actually needed to leverage his intellect to do something.  He needed to execute on his brilliant plans.

In the world of business, you sometimes wind up with the same phenomenon.  Sometimes organizations are fantastic at thinking up ideas, but they can’t seem to gain any traction.  However, when I talk about organizations being smart, I mean that they are using SMART.  That is, they are setting goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.  Check out our prior post on the history of SMART goals .

Some organizations think that just setting goals in a specific way is all that it takes to be successful.  Those can be SMART goals, OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), etc.  Setting good goals is important.  However, having a mechanism to drive those goals to completion through the organization is critical.  Goals are like the engine of a car.  The engine can be powerful, high revving, well-maintained.  However, the car can’t go anywhere without a transmission to get that power to the wheels.  Literally, where the rubber hits the road.

In my opinion, the theory of organizational achievement is incomplete without the notion of Results Management.  Although the concept of Results Management may be new to some, it is inclusive of the various goal setting methodologies.  However, it goes further.  It is not just the engine of the car, it is the transmission and wheels as well.  It drives goals through teams and individuals to product results.  Ultimately, that is what the goals are for anyway.  Organization leaders want the results.  Goals are just a means to an end.

The diagram below illustrates the relationship between goal setting and results management
Achieving SMART Objectives achieving smart objectives Being SMART isn't enough! <br/>Achieving SMART Objectives With Results smart objectives blog image

SMART goals provide a nice, structured way to make sure that goals can be acted upon.  OKRs provide a little more context around cascading goals up and down an organizations, making them visible to others, and grading the results.  However, neither of these methodologies provide a mechanism to act on them.  In an organization of even 50 employees up to Fortune 500, effective, consistent realization of goals requires a system… a Results Management System (RMS).

Achieving SMART Objectives: Accountability White Paper achieving smart objectives Being SMART isn't enough! <br/>Achieving SMART Objectives With Results CTA Accountability is difficult

Such a system would have two main characteristics.  It would provide VISIBILITY and COORDINATION.  The RMS would provide visibility into the plan to all stakeholders.  It would also provide visibility into progress against each element of the plan.  Real-time visibility into what is happening.  It would also help coordinate teams to work together to get things done.  They could share information, documents, and comments.  They could stay updated on each other’s progress.

At AchieveIt, we have been focused on the discipline of what has come to be known as Results Management for years.  We understood that the domain is special and subtle enough that it deserves a purpose-built software platform to implement it properly.

What are the major features and functions that you think a Results Management System (RMS) needs to have? Let me know your thoughts.

Achieving SMART Objectives: Goal Setting White Paper achieving smart objectives Being SMART isn't enough! <br/>Achieving SMART Objectives With Results CTA goals come in many forms

Meagan M. Flores
Meagan M. Flores
Meagan M. Flores is the Vice President of Marketing for AchieveIt. A genuine 'problem-solver', when Meagan isn't nose-down in the Sunday Times crossword puzzle, you can find her leveraging her expertise spanning early stage startups to mature growth enterprises to comment trends and best practices related to strategy development and execution, leadership and revenue marketing.