SMART targets aren’t so bad after all

I’ve recently seen a couple of articles that have heaped opprobrium on SMART targets.

Apparently they are old fashioned and not at all fit for purpose for the 21st century.

Then the pieces go on to say how targets should, in fact, be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

Not in those words though.

A Rose by any other name…

I remember years ago having a chat with a potential client about project management methods.

He really wanted to use Six Sigma to run his project (I know).

My point was that there are lots of different names for management tools, but the important point is not that we are using the cool and trendy names, it’s that we are actually DOING the thing that it says on the tin.

I didn’t get the gig.

So we can run our project using AGILE or PRINCE but at the end of the day we still have to find a way to communicate with one another about the project whether you call it a scrum or a Colin or a banana.

So are SMART targets bad?

I don’t think so.

The fact of the matter is that SMART is still around because the concept is fundamentally good.

In concept a smart target is simply understanding exactly what you are going to do, when you are going to do it and making sure you’re not running off into the long grass.

If you don’t want to use SMART then why not think up a cool and trendy name like TRAMS.

If you are so desperate to look like one of the cool kids on the bus then put on your dungarees, grow a big moustache and use your TRAMS goals setting.

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