Writing SMART Goals

Updated: Mar 4, 2019

Dear Workforce:

Which appraisal system is best suited to our use of SMART goals, in which the exercises vary from project to project?

—Trying to Get Smarter, human resource officer, construction, Kuwait

Dear Smarter:

The first step in your appraisal system should be to establish goals, and to make them “SMART.” The acronym stands for goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

In construction, the organizational structure is typically based upon projects. Therefore, a company’s performance management system usually follows the project framework. Because each project has its own goals—including revenue, budget and timelines—you will likely want to develop goals on a project-by-project basis. It is the job of management to align the overall project goals, the manager goals and the individual goals to bring the project home on time and on budget.

Your company should make the overall project-based goals clearly visible to the members of each project team. Within the project, individuals should then be assigned specific responsibility to do their part to achieve the overall project goals.

Writing SMART goals One special consideration in a project-based business is that the timing of performance feedback and goal setting typically follows the timeline of the projects. And because a project may wrap up at any time during the year, when people are reassigned from one project to the next, they usually must also update their goals.

Specific goals: Are concise.State a clearly observable result.Identify a specific reference point from which to track progress. Measurable goals: Quantify the expected result (includes number, percentage and frequency).Describe the criteria by which the result will be evaluated. Attainable goals are: Challenging, but within reach of the person doing the work.Have a realistic time frame. Do not present unrealistic barriers to achievement. Relevant goals are: Aligned across the company from individual goals through higher goals and strategies.Integrate the company’s values into the objectives. Time-bound goals: Identify the expected deadline for completion.Identify the frequency or duration of the project. For more information, view our SMART Goals Worksheet.

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