Saturday, October 8, 2011

SMART Curmudgeon

Okay, I've had it with the traditional definition of the SMART acronym for setting goals and objectives! I strongly object to R being Reachable or Realistic. How is that different from A (Attainable)?

Quick review of the traditional definition:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Reachable
  • Timely
A better rendition is:
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound
  • Stretch
I like Relevant for the R so that the goal is alignment with other goals, the mission or vision and of a sufficient priority that resources are assigned to its accomplishment.

I also like Stretch at the end so that Attainable isn't an excuse to "sand bag" the goal, making it easy to accomplish. It needs to be attainable but a stretch to force us to put some effort into it.

By the way, except for the Stretch part, Wikipedia agrees with me and seems to indicate that it's in keeping with Doran's original version published in the AMA Forum magazine (AMA for American Management Association).

So there, all you people who insist on Reachable or Realistic!

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