What Are Smart Goals and How To Write Them (With Examples)

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Smart Goals

What Are Smart Goals?

Smart Goals Definition:

SMART goals help individuals with the task goal setting. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. By setting SMART goals, you can focus your efforts in one direction and boost your chances of achieving your target. 

Goals are essential in every aspect of our life, be it business or anything else. They give us a sense of direction, clear focus, and motivation to do things on time. 

Goal setting helps you target something and strive to achieve it in the given period. 

Are you constantly working hard but getting to your end goal? 

Maybe there’s not much improvement in your skills in the past 5-10 years.

Or perhaps you are overwhelmed with what to do next. 

You are not alone. Most of us spend our lives changing jobs and doing courses yet not reaching where we want to go. 

The solution here is to set not just any unattainable goals. Instead, set SMART goals. 

The SMART goals framework is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. 

Each criterion brings transparency and clarity and helps shape goals with more success chances.

What Is Smart Goal Setting?

SMART goal setting refers to how the project managers define the team’s goals that may lead to better performance and outcomes. 

Writing SMART goals requires working closely through all the five criteria and designing a measurable goal that enlists:

  • What do you need to need to accomplish?
  • How much time is required?
  • How to determine whether you have succeeded or not?

This approach brings a lot of clarity and eliminates any guesswork, making it much easier to track the progress and recognize missed opportunities.

How To Write Smart Goals?

While defining a SMART Goal, it is important to make sure that you analyze all the five criteria in the acronym. 

These are the essential parts that form the core of your milestones of the project roadmap, strategy, and development plan. Your analysis of these criteria will decide whether your project will be successful or not.

You can use product roadmap software like Chisel to track your progress. 


Your goal must be clear and specific. You can ensure this by defining your goal as answers to the five Ws: what, why, who, where, and which. 

Pondering on these things would help you set a feasible goal that could outline what you aim for.


Your SMART Goal must also have measurable criteria to keep an accurate track of your progress. Teams could do this by setting clear deadlines and goals. 

You can define the metrics that would be easy for you to track based on the nature of your product, for example, the number of features or something else.

Pro tip: Build unique products with excellent features using product management software like Chisel


An important thing to keep in mind to have the best chances of success is always to set your attainable goals, i.e., the goals must not be too intimidating for the team as it may hamper their morale. 

However, this should not compel you to set lower bars either. Ideally, the goals should challenge the team’s abilities but at the same time must remain realistic.


A project manager needs to look toward the company’s overall strategy and then design the project goals to remain relevant to other business plans.


Last, the goals must be strictly time-bound. 

Project managers may choose to establish smaller milestones inside the project end deadline to better control everything.

What Are the Benefits of Smart Goal Setting?

benefits of smart goals

Any successful project requires an accurate layout of plans and realistic goals. 

Otherwise, the project may quickly derail and implode. 

SMART goal setting allows project managers to do their best with their time and resources. The framework provides clarity, relevance, and focus, which drives teams towards achieving goals that might be tricky and challenging.

In conclusion, the benefits of SMART goal setting are closely related to positive outcomes in project management because you can only achieve your goals when you have a distinct idea of when and how to reach them.

Why Are Smart Goals Important in the Workplace?

Tracking someone’s performance at the workplace is only possible by setting attainable and specific goals.

Without any goal or expectation, you can’t witness the growth or failure of someone.

Smart goals are essential in the workplace because they help in performance evaluation. 

Team collaboration can increase with smart goals. You can encourage your team members to set smart goals and discuss them with their colleagues. 

Recognition and rewards make anyone do better. Therefore employees must reward the team when they hit the smart goals. 

Other pros of smart goal setting in the workplace are:

  • Improvement in strategic planning skills
  • It helps teams see the bigger picture
  • Success rates soar high
  • Motivates teams to work
  • You mostly have control over your future 

What Are Smart Goals Examples for Project Managers?

One of the primary responsibilities of project managers is to ensure that project goals meet the project objectives. By setting smart goals, project managers can bring team members together and improve productivity and the overall project. 

Let’s look at two examples of project managers’ smart goals examples. 

Smart goals example no.1: To acquire a new client

With the help of smart goals, the project managers must be able to get a new client on board within the next six months. To do so, they need to do the following:

  • Contact regional offices
  • Request for sales presentations around the management solutions
  • Finally, pursue conversations further

S: Gaining a new enterprise-level client on board is the specific smart goal of the project manager

M: The measurable goal is to gain one new client

A: Getting one new client on board within six months is an attainable goal

R: The relevancy of the goal is that the new client must add a good deal to the business

T: Yes, the goal must be timely, and in this case, it’s six months. 

Smart goals example no. 2: Delivering the project on time and within budget

The project manager’s goal, in this case, is to deliver the current project on time, and it must also fit within a specific budget. 

The project manager will have to review the project calendar every Friday afternoon. Once they do that, teams can discuss the progress accordingly in next week’s Monday meeting. And the team can make necessary changes and adjustments to the project.

S: To deliver the project on time and within budget is the specific smart goals

M: The measurable step in smart goals is to conduct weekly meetings

A: The goal we discussed is attainable ( time and budget are manageable)

R: The goal is relevant to the business because it will help the company grow eventually. And regular meetings will help everyone on the team be on the same page. 

T: The end goal is the project deadline, and weekly meetings will serve as a good tracking point


What do teams use to create smart goals?

In Google Analytics, you can create SMART goals using machine learning algorithms at the view level. With the help of machine learning, smart goals determine signals that might get you conversions from the website session. Every session gets a score, and the best sessions get smart goals translation.

Who created smart goals?

In 1981, George T. Doran gave smart goals in the published paper, “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives.” In this paper, Doran clarified how to write and understand the acronym of SMART goals.

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