SMART Goals Smart Answer

Project managers and human resource executives use SMART goals as a way of creating understanding in work objectives. The acronym’s initials are often defined with assorted terms.  Project Smart, an English project management web site, displays a chart to describe the varied terms associated with SMART goals.  

The following are goal setting definitions from Project Smart.

  • S – specific, significant, stretching
  • M – measurable, meaningful, motivational
  • A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
  • R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
  • T – time-based, timely, tangible, trackable

However, the following interpretations are SMART goals I prefer.


  • Well defined and clear to anyone with a basic knowledge of the project.


  • Know if goals are obtainable, how far away is completion and when it has been achieved.

Agreed Upon

  • Agreement with all stakeholders what goals have been decided.


  • Fall within the availability of resources, knowledge and time.

Time Based

  • Enough time to achieve the goals.

When establishing objectives I use specificity.  Let’s be clear about what we wish to accomplish.  Next,  know how to determine when we reach the target.  I want those involved in the work process to agree to specific goals and how they will be achieved.

SMART goal parameters give us a design we can specify, understand how to accomplish, agree is real and has a beginning and an end.  The process establishes at a minimum what we require to reach the same conclusion.

SMART goals offer a method to focus efforts in a project.  After work is completed all should be able to realize expectations set out at the start of the assignment.  When goals are specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic and time based the conclusion  should be exactly as everyone anticipated.

Next week Broadcast Newsroom Computing looks over what’s on the knowledge shelf at the Project Management Institute.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC


One Response to “SMART Goals Smart Answer”

  1. James,

    I have published an elaborate series on the SMART requirements, you can find it here. Hope you’ll find it useful.

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