What are SMART Objectives?

Defining performance targets can be quite beneficial since it establishes the expectations for how well a person will work. It is significantly more beneficial to have written down and verifiable objectives. It is even better if the objectives are SMART, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Many businesses use a formal method known as Management by Objectives (MBO) to create goals and objectives.

Basically, these parameters help to ensure that our objectives are attainable within a certain time frame. The SMART approach eradicates generalities and guesswork, sets a transparent timeline, and makes it feasible for us to track progress and also identify the missed indicators.

Setting objectives is considered a critical component of the performance management process because it defines and manages expectations by establishing an understanding on the part of the role holder about what needs to be accomplished. An employee's performance may also be judged against this benchmark.

The SMART Objectives


A specific objective provides answers to questions such as −

  • What objectives must be met?

  • Who is accountable for it?

  • What steps must be made to accomplish this?

By working out through these questions, one can get to the essence of their objective. Keep in mind that the more specific your objective, the better you will grasp the methods required to accomplish it.


This objective is basically to show success or impact over time in numbers, percentages or any other standard unit to show how much you have achieved toward your goal. Quantifying the goals, by making it measurable, makes it easier for you to track progress and know how far you have reached toward the target line. Here, one has to keep in mind that the goals are to be made achievable for measurement and not so unrealistically rigid.


As mentioned previously, the SMART Goals should be measurably attainable — not placed on pedestals from which you will ultimately fall. Before you begin working toward a goal, determine whether it is something you can accomplish today or whether extra preparations are required.

This objective provides a reality check to the individual about the goal; however, it is not always so easy to achieve. One has to consider the capabilities too in achieving targets.


Objectives has to align with the corresponding goal. One has to consider if and how successful completion of an objective will be relevant in achieving the main goal.

Each of your goals should be consistent with your values and longer-term objectives. Consider why -

  • The objective is significant to you?

  • How accomplishing it will benefit you?

  • How it will help you achieve your long-term goals?

  • Is it worthwhile to even measure the objective?

If a goal does not help the achievement of your bigger objectives, it is better to reconsider or reconstruct it.


Any kind of target would always have a set of time period or timeline for completion. Without it no target would be achieved. Hence, to accurately assess success, you and your team must agree on when a target has to be met. If you do not accomplish your goal within that time range, pause to evaluate why and modify the process or rectify the errors.

Your timescale may have been unreasonable, you may have encountered unforeseen setbacks, or your objective may have been unattainable. An end date can help motivate you and assist you in prioritizing.

Why Use SMART Objectives?

Almost all organizations frequently struggle to craft objectives that accurately measure progress toward the goals of the organization that are significant and easily communicable to various team members and stakeholders.

SMART objectives help in this regard as follows −

  • To provide a structured methodology in order to design and develop a work plan.

  • To systematically monitor progress towards a target.

  • To set a platform for measuring performance and also identify scope for improvement.

  • To concisely communicate with stakeholders and employees.

  • To concretely describe how to meet the required goals.


SMART goals help you achieve your objectives by making them precise, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound (or SMART). This strategy assists you in pushing yourself farther, providing you with a feeling of direction, and organizing and achieving your objectives.

Having a plan of action is recommended if we want to go ahead in our careers or reach personal development goals. Establishing a SMART objective will assist you in moving ahead in an orderly way and offer the framework you need.