SMART Business Goals
Adapting to Change and Achieving Objectives

SMART Business Goals  =  Dynamic Strategy and Tactics for Success

Use of SMART business goals begins with your business planning.  From your overall business plan objectives, you will have specific strategies  - strategy describes "what" will be accomplished and each strategy will have one or more tactic to achieve that strategy - the tactic explains "how" and "when" the strategy will be accomplished.  Remember, Tactics follow Strategies.  In other words, the tactics are the quantified details of how the strategy will be achieved.  

The S.M.A.R.T. approach to establishing your strategy and tactics provides an easily repeatable guide to ensure that all goals and objectives are Specific - Measurable - Attainable - Realistic - Timely.


For your business planning to be "dynamic" your tactics must anticipate and incorporate business change and its effect on the targeted strategy.  A SMART Business Goal or tactic may be very specific and include the activities of one or more individuals and may be organized as a project.  In some cases, a tactic may be complex and involve two or more projects and possible external dependencies on business partners and suppliers.  

For effective and "dynamic" tactical planning, all SMART business goals - must be quantified, measurable, and kept as specific as possible.

If a tactic is too complex, it will be more difficult to adapt to and incorporate change.  In that case, consider dividing the tactic into two or three tactics, simplifying the work and completion metrics.

Achieving SMART Business Goals - Measuring Success

Measuring progress toward achieving SMART Goals should occur regularly during the pursuit and execution of your business plan, as well as when you have achieved one or more specific tactics.  

Similar to measuring the progress of projects, your measurements will be based on your organization's financial metrics (usually provided by the company's Financial Team) and operational metrics (provided by the Operational Team affected by the execution of the specific tactics).

Regularly measuring your team's execution of specific tactics is critical to being able to quickly adapt to changes and to make adjustments in the execution process, if necessary. 

On your projects, progress measurements (like EV calculations during the project) will provide a snapshot of desired metrics, such as % completion, budget expended vs. work completed, resource utilization, and others as required by the management team.

Variances from expectations should be viewed with the final milestone in mind and adjustments in the execution steps should be implemented to better focus on the achievement of immediate tactics, as well as achieving the overall strategy or SMART goal.

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