When setting objectives for an improvement project or other work it is easy
to write something that is difficult to follow and may result in the wrong work
being done. SMART is a simple acronym that helps guide the creation of an
effective and useful statement of objectives.
- Specific: The objectives are focused and apply to a clearly
- Measureable: It is possible to easily measure the
achievement of the objectives and thus show progress and success.
- Achievable: It is not impossible to meet the objectives nor
would it take enormous resource or other unreasonable effort.
- Relevant: The objectives make sense in the context of the
problem and are appropriate.
- Timely: There is a target time given by which the objectives
should be completed.
Note: sometimes note: sometimes 'A' is used to stand for 'Appropriate' and
'R' is used to denote 'Realistic'. These effectively exchange 'Achievable' and
'Relevant' and so has the same overall meaning. 'Timely' is sometimes described
- By 21-June, increase the up-time of the main server to above 95%.
- Sell 10% more toothpaste in the next 6 months than was sold in the same
period last year.
- Reduce 'squeak' noises from suspension on the Juniper trains by 50% by the
end of the quarter.
- Increase profitability.
- Fix all IT problems forever.
- Double toothpaste sales within the week.