Biggest failure of SMART Goals

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

May 19


When it comes to SMART Goals, businesses and individuals can show great professionalism putting the goals together. They meet the SMART goal criteria.

Then, once the goals are completed, we stuff them into our hard drive repository never to be seen again. Until performance review time. At which point, we panic.

The biggest failure to the SMART goal approach to creating goals is not changing the goals as business conditions change.

When should SMART goals change?

The easiest answer to this is when business conditions change. The problem is that neither employees or managers review the validity of the SMART goals often enough after they are first created. Yet SMART goals need modification just like every other business situation as the work progresses.

Here are some times to modify SMART goals:

  • When the assumptions behind the goals are not being met.
  • When resources associated with the SMART goal change
  • When your manager changes
  • When your manager’s manager changes
  • When your manager gives you extensive work not related to your goals

SMART goal setting is a great methodology to help move business forward. Just don’t stuff those goals in a drawer and worry about them later. If your goals is supposed to be your most important work, make sure they really are your most important work right now.

What other times should SMART goals change?

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  • […] a good chance of meeting them. Then the world changed. If you are in a company like most others, your goals didn’t change even though all the assumptions behind the goals did. Then your performance review came and you […]

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