Setting Specific, Measurable, Relevant and Time-Bound Goals

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By Dzhingarov

Use of the SMART goal-setting methodology can aid your project and ensure its success. It provides clarity and structure for goal setting and project management processes.

The “M” in SMART stands for Measurable, helping you determine how you will know if your goal has been achieved. For instance, Jane and her team want to increase the number of users of their mobile app.


Jane is determined to increase online sales at her company. Though their team had previously failed at reaching ambitious goals, Jane is using SMART goals as a roadmap to success and set specific, measurable and attainable objectives that she knows can be reached successfully.

SMART stands for “Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic and Timely,” meaning that any objective must have some means of being measured by both individuals or teams – be it an absolute number, percentage increase, or any other metrics easily quantifiable.

Measurable objectives provide individuals with a way to track and compare their performance and progress against set benchmarks, making them ideal for use with OKRs – often used to manage projects and business strategy. From personal best running times or learning a new language construction, to keeping employees motivated and engaged – having tangible goals helps people work toward them with more zeal. The more attainable their goal is, the greater its chance of being accomplished successfully.


Measurable objectives can be assessed and tracked with ease, typically including numbers or percentage changes in certain aspects of business or life. Measurable objectives are essential to reaching success; vague goals often lead to confusion and inertia – for instance “grow the business” may not provide sufficient clarity and focus – so the measurable component should be clearly defined, such as increasing revenue, profits, market share, orders or stock price or another data point.

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Adobe Workfront Goals’ strategic planning tools ensure SMART objectives are created and managed effectively, providing clarity and focus as well as an action plan.

Setting realistic goals may be challenging at first, but it is a skill that can be learned over time. Individuals who dedicate the necessary effort and time to setting measurable goals are much more likely to meet them than those who don’t; furthermore, setting such targets can motivate individuals to keep improving themselves further.


Unachievable goals may lead to decreased motivation or even failure; one popular strategy for setting realistic and attainable goals is the SMART framework, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable Relevant Time-Bound goals.

SMART goals provide you with a solid way forward with your project by offering a roadmap. However, it is important to remember that not all aspects of the formula must be adhered to when setting one of these goals.

Let’s say Jane wants to increase the productivity of her company. With the SMART goal approach, she can set a specific goal that is measurable (produce 10% more work), attainable with efficient time management strategies and appropriate delegating, relevant (align productivity with overall company goals), and time-bound (within three months).


SMART objectives can help you set clear, measurable, and attainable goals that align with your overall business goals. To make sure they’re relevant, begin setting them by reviewing your company’s mission and vision statements or other corporate communications as well as reading quarterly business reports or any memos about priorities for setting the right ones.

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Goal setting should be relevant to your business, while still remaining attainable and realistic. Setting too easy goals won’t motivate anyone on your team, while setting too difficult ones could demoralize or strain resources.

SMART goals can help you manage resources more effectively by making sure everyone understands what needs to be accomplished and when. They provide a benchmark for measuring progress and identifying strengths and weaknesses as well as setting deadlines that serve as effective motivators, which also prevent projects from dragging on too long due to scope creep.


Add a deadline to your goal for greater meaning and to stay on track. If you miss your mark, don’t give up; rather take time to assess why your goal wasn’t accomplished and modify accordingly.

An effective goal-setting plan can keep both you and your team on the right track. Reaching an SMART goal doesn’t need to be impossible – in fact, working towards it with others is more rewarding!

Jane works at a mid-sized tech company where her team has been charged with expanding use of its app. Jane must ensure this occurs by setting benchmarks and monitoring progress.

Jane must ensure her goal is SMART by setting a deadline and daily amount she needs to raise in order to reach it. This ensures she won’t become overwhelmed or distracted with other responsibilities; while also helping motivate both herself and her team members by creating stretch goals which go outside their comfort zones – without becoming unrealistic or unattainable.