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How to Keep Your Project On Track with SMART Goals

Updated: Jan 15, 2023

Project managers know that having a plan is not enough. An effective Project Manager needs to be able to anticipate problems and have a strategy in place to keep the project on track. One of the most effective strategies for staying on course is setting SMART goals.

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Let’s break down how you can apply the SMART methodology to your project management.



Specific Goals

When it comes to goal setting, it’s important that your goals are specific so that everyone knows what needs to be accomplished. This includes defining the problem or objective clearly as well as who is responsible for completing each task. When everyone has a clear understanding of what needs to be done, it’s easier for team members to stay on task without confusion or delays from lack of clarity.


Measurable Goals

It’s also important that your goals are measurable so that you can track progress throughout the project lifecycle. This requires breaking down larger objectives into smaller tasks with quantifiable results so that you can measure success at each step along the way. Having this type of data will let you make any necessary mid-course corrections or adjustments in order to ensure success in meeting your goals and objectives by the end of the project timeline.


Attainable Goals

Creating achievable goals is an essential part of successful project management because if a goal isn't attainable, then there is no point in setting one in the first place! Be sure that when you set goals they are realistic and achievable within your current resources and timeline constraints—otherwise, it may lead to frustration and ultimately failure which defeats the purpose entirely!

Relevant Goals It’s also important that your goals are relevant—meaning they should address issues related directly to your current project. While it may be tempting to set lofty ambitions for future projects, it’s important that current efforts remain focused on immediate objectives—especially since projects can often become complicated very quickly! Setting relevant goals helps keep teams focused and motivated on reaching their current milestones..


Time Bound Goals

Last but not least, setting time bound goals ensures deadlines are met—which helps keep teams accountable and motivated throughout the process. When timelines are established up front, teams know what they need to do by when which keeps them focused while helping maintain morale through incremental successes along the way! Plus, having deadlines helps ensure that all team members have a sense of urgency when completing their tasks as opposed to waiting until “later” or “next week".


By taking an intentional approach with goal setting using the SMART system outlined above, Project Managers can help drive successful outcomes for their organizations by creating achievable objectives with quantifiable results within reasonable timelines - keeping everyone aligned and accountable every step of the way! Utilizing these tools provides real-time data points which enable more accurate forecasting while allowing teams remain nimble enough adjust quickly if needed - setting up projects (and those responsible) for ultimate success!


Looking forward to catching you online 👋


Happy Project Managing ya beauts ✨


Stay kind and awesome,

Meg 👩🏼‍💻

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