SMART Objectives

Well-worded objectives should be Specific (S), Measurable (M), Attainable/Attainable (A), Realistic (R) and Time-based (T).

Having “SMART¨ objectives is a specific technique that you may want to follow. It is mandatory that objectives be written in a way that they are “SMART”.

  • Specific.

Make sure that the objective is built around one common idea. If the objective contains two or more basic ideas, split the ideas into separate objectives

  • Measurable.

The measure may be stated within the objective itself, icut it does not have to be. However, there needs to be a clear sense that metrics could be established to validate whether the objective was
achieved.

For instance, for an objective that stated that you would like to provide a solution with "a maximum level of quality and a minimumnumber of errors," you might have difficulty defining exactly what constitutes "minimum" and "maximum."

However, if the objective was to provide a solution that "met client expectations for quality and contained 50% fewer errors than the prior solution," you will most likely be able to measure your success.

The first part of the objective could be resolved through a client satisfaction survey. The second part could be accomplished by tracking the errors and comparing them to the baseline of the older solution.

  • Attainable/Achievable.

You do not want to commit to objectives that you dont feel are achievable. If you think the objective is not achievable, rewrite it so that it can be attained. The business clients should approve the modification.

The objective must also be within the control of the project manager and the project team. For instance, there may be additional work performed by the client that is related to your project. However, since this client work is not within the control of the project team it should not be listed as a project objective.

  • Realistic.

This is similar to the previous discussion on attainable/achievable. Here, you look beyond the theore achievable, but that there is only a small chance. In that case, the objective may not be realistic.

  • Time-based.

If possible, the objective should contain a time component, or else a time-component must be implied. For instance, an objective may state that you will "train the users in the new technology by no later than the end of the year."

Even if the time-based nature is not explicitly added to the objective, the objective must have a clear end-date.

For example, an objective that stated "performance will improve on a yearly basis for the foreseeable future" would not be well-written since it is not time-bound. Since the project, by definition, must have an end-date, all objectives mushave implicit, or explicit, end dates as


  • Specific. Make sure that the objective is built around one common idea. If the objective contains two or more basic ideas, split the ideas into separate objectives

  • Measurable. The measure may be stated within the objective itself, but it does not have to be. However, there needs to be a clear sense that metrics could be established to validate whether the objective was achieved.

    For instance, for an objective that stated that you would like to provide a solution with "a maximum level of quality and a minimumnumber of errors," you might have difficulty defining exactly what constitutes "minimum" and "maximum."

    However, if the objective was to provide a solution that "met client expectations for quality and contained 50% fewer errors than the prior solution," you will most be able to measure your success.

    The first part of the objective could be resolved through a client satisfaction survey. The second part couldaccomplished by tracking the errors and comparing them to the baseline of the older solution.

 

  • Attainable/Achievable. You do not want to commit to objectives that yare achievable. If you think the objective is not achievable, rewrite it so thattained. The business
    clients should approve the modification. The objetive most also be within the control of the project manager and the project team.

    For instance, there may be additional work performed by the client that is related to your project. Howevsince this client work is not within the control of the project team it should not be listed as a project objective.

  • Realistic. This is similar to the previous discussion on attainable/achievable. Here, you look beyond the theoretical and to the practical. You might say that an objetivo is achievable, but that there is only a small chance. In that case, the objective may not be realistic.

  • Time-based. If possible, the objective should contain a time component, or else a time that you will "train the users in the new technology by no later than the end of the year." Even if the time-based nature is not explicitly added to the objective, the objective must have a clear end-date.


    For example, an objective that stated "performance will improve on a yearly basis for the foreseeable future" would not be well-written since it is not time-bound. Since the project, by definition, must have an end-date, all objectives mushave implicit, or explicit, end dates as well.

Software change management



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