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What is a S.M.A.R.T. goal statement or objective statement?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 8761 Views // 2 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis


SMART goals or SMART objectives are often used when creating a project charter and defining the high-level scope of a project.  The acronym SMART can be used to validate that your goal statements are well-formed statements that the entire team can execute.  SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.

S – Specific: Specific goals are needed in order to ensure that the goal is fully understood and fulfilled.  To ensure that your goals are specific, ask yourself if they answer the “W’s”.

  • Who is involved
  • What needs to be accomplished
  • When will the goal be accomplished
  • Where...identify a location
  • Why does the goal need to happen...what is the need being met

M – Measurable: Document specific criteria that can be used to measure the completion of the goal.  Measurement of a goal results in an increase focus resulting in less wasted time, a greater chance of success, and a higher likelihood of meeting your deadlines and staying on budget.

A – Attainable: Ensure that you have the tools, methods, and means available to you to attain the goal.  While writing the goal you may find that some of these items are not readily available to you.  This is an indicator that there may be some preparation that you will need to do ahead of time to make the goal attainable.

R – Realistic: The goal should not be so high that it cannot be achieved under any circumstances.  Be sure that your goals are realistic. Unrealistic goals result in discouraged teams and failed projects.

T – Time Bound: A goal should always be tied to a completion date.  This ties back to the need to have a measurable goal and to ensure that you are meeting the goal within the timeframe required.  If there is no timeframe, then there is no sense of urgency to accomplish the goal.



nupur posted on Wednesday, September 2, 2009 4:53 AM
Very specific & particular statement
Ben posted on Friday, October 2, 2009 5:12 AM
The Principles of answering the "W's" with stakeholders will give the business analyst a very clear vision and objective of the project, program or portfolio they are working on.
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