Home HomeContents ContentsPrev PrevNext Next

HPMD Bullets

BULLET #8
OBJECTIVE SETTING

Setting strong objectives for our people is one of our most important responsibilities as managers. It's necessary to communicate clearly and objectively about what makes for excellent performance. This is true not only for individual performance goals, but also those of the department.

One yardstick for strong objectives is the so-called SMART system. The acronym means that objectives should be:

    Specific
    Measurable
    Achievable
    Results-oriented
    Timely
the "what" needs to be accomplished
a clear indicator of whether it's done or not
challenging, but nevertheless "doable" tasks
stated in terms of expected outcome
within a set time frame

Objectives which meet these criteria make performance reviews less subjective with fewer surprises.

To help the new manager write SMART objectives, We've found that a fill-in-the-blanks approach is helpful. Attached are some sample objectives. It's from a list of quarterly objectives for network operations departments. Note that the objectives have six components:

    Goal
    Action
    Amount
    Object
    Measure/Results
    Timeframe
the improvement goal that objective seeks to attain
the action verb
the improvement quantity
what's to be accomplished
the deliverable or result
by when or the frequency

Filling in the columns for each objective produces a compound sentence which meets the criteria of SMART objectives. The result is clear and focused targets for performance.

For a copy of the sample objectives form, please sign our Guestbook and request the "Objectives Template."
HPMD
© Copyright 1996, 2019, HP Management Decisions Ltd., All Rights Reserved.