VWMS Smart Objectives Tool


Specific This factor demands that an objective be specific in nature as opposed to a general one. Creating specific objectives requires clear language that rejects the use of jargon or clichés. By being specific you are providing clear guidance as to what must be achieved.
Questions to consider:

  • What: What do I want to accomplish?
  • Where: Identify a location.
  • Which: Identify requirements and constraints
  • Who: Who is involved?
  • Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
Measureable By insisting that an objective be measureable we are also insisting that performance towards the attainment of the objective be possible. If we cannot measure the performance towards the objective then we will never be able to determine if it has been accomplished
Questions to consider:

  • How many?
  • How much?
  • What defines the end state?
Attainable Objectives that cannot be achieved serve no purpose other than to waste resources and demoralize staff. It should be noted, however, that objectives that are set too low also serve no purpose.
Question answered:

  • How: How can the goal be accomplished?
Relevant Relevance goes to the fact that there is no point in achieving an objective that is of no importance. For example an objective for a “A Product Manager’s goal to “Pull 15 rabbits out of a hat by 3:00 p.m.” may be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Time-Bound, but it is definitely not relevant. Relevance is derived from an alignment with the overall corporate direction.
Question answered:

  • Why does this matter?
  • Does the objective align with overall corporate goals?
Time Bound This component highlights the importance of establishing objectives with a completion date. Objectives with no end date work against cannot be measured for their performance. Timing for objectives must be considered as there is no point in achieving an objective whose purpose has long ago expired.
Question answered:

  • When can the goal be accomplished?