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:
|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:
|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."
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