If you’re struggling to meet your targets, it might not be you or your team that’s the problem, but the targets themselves and how you view them. It’s all very well having a goal, but is it the right kind of goal? And have you got a plan to reach that goal?
Some people argue that SMART targets are out of date, but I think there will always be something to say for a target that meets these criteria, even if you only use it as a starting point.
S – Specific. The target must have focus; if it is vague then it’s harder to address where exactly you’re going.
M – Measurable. Your goal must have a completion point. Even a long-term goal really ought to be reachable, so you know when you have got there, and can assess your progress along the way. If you cannot tell if you’re heading in the right direction, it will be demotivating and fairly pointless!
A – Agreed. Goals and targets which you set with colleagues or for a team should be something everyone has consensus on. Not only does that validate the target as being worthwhile and right for the company, but it means everyone in the team shares a perspective and will reduce the risk of future disagreements.
R – Relevant. Consider whether the target is worth your time – is it the right move for your business at the moment? Does it fit in with the larger business plan? Make sure it fits in with the other things you are doing and is the right choice before investing in the planning and execution of reaching your goal.
T – Time-bound. It’s always a good motivator to give yourself a deadline if there isn’t one associated with the target already. By creating an end point you will have a better idea of when the various stages must be completed and this will keep the progress of the project turning over.