Why a S.M.A.R.T. Strategy Really Is Smart
Measurement brings focus. You get results from what you focus on. Everyone knows this, but most organizations are busy tending to the urgent problems of the day and not focusing on key long-term issues. Unless your staff can focus on a common vision and have a specific quantifiable way to measure it, the organization can’t go anywhere. A strategic plan helps direct energy and guide staff toward a shared goal in an ever-changing world.
A Measurable goal can answer the following questions. Once again ask yourself if yours meet the grade:
- How long with this take?
- What are the top three metrics we need to track?
- What constitutes a total winner?
- How many?
- How will I know when it’s time to question our strategy?
- Are all of the indicators quantifiable?
Example: Add 100 new corporate customers for leadership training each quarter.
Key #3: Achievable
The third key focuses on making strategic plan goals that are Achievable within the organization’s capacity and capabilities. Setting goals that the current staff does not have the resources or expertise to achieve is simply setting them up to fail. Determining what constitutes an achievable goal has the added benefit of introspection that comes while determining what is and is not reasonable to expect. Often gaps in strategy and organization are surfaced which can produce the positive outcomes of improved resources and human skills management.
This process also assures that the organization’s core strategy will be developed including the abilities, skills and attitudes necessary to set realistic goals that might have been left unnoticed in the past. To test your goals to see if they are Achievable you can ask the following questions:
- Do we have the time to achieve this goal?
- Do we have the talent to achieve this goal?
- Do we have the financial resources to achieve this goal?
Example: Open new ABC Program and break even during the first year.
Tom Marin is the Founder and President of MarketCues, Inc., a national consulting firm. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations and middle-market firms. Tom’s focus is to help CEOs drive their strategy shifts and strategic growth programs. Follow MarketCues on Twitter. Tom also welcomes emails new LinkedIn connections or calls to (919) 908-6145.