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Are Your Priorities SMART?

By Kristi Burns

    Tue, Mar 6, 2012 @ 05:44 PM Annual & Quarterly Planning, Strategy Execution

    Creating Company, Group, and Individual priorities is a key success factor (a leading indicator) to achieving both your short-term and long-term goals.  

    In order to effectively create priorities with the highest probability of success, it is important that you smart-resized-600establish a measurable target that creates focus, alignment, and accountability.  

    One way to create the foundation for success is to follow the SMART priorities roadmap.  SMART priorities are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.  

    To ensure that your priorities are designed for success, test them against following SMART criteria:

    Specific:  Do your priorities make a clear, concise, and straightforward statement of what you want to accomplish?  Specific criteria has been established when you are able to answer who, what, where, when, why, and how.

    Measurable:  A priority that gets measured, gets managed.  They only way to know when you have achieved success is to know what your desired result is.  Measurable has been achieved when you have a clear understanding of how many, how much, by when...

    Attainable: A priority must be something that can be achieved by the responsible party.  The attainable test has been met when you can confidently state that you possess the right skill set and personal capability to do the work required to complete the priority.   

    Realistic:   In order to successfully reach a goal, it must be realistic to achieve within the established timeline.  However, realistic does not mean easy.  The realistic test has been met when you can answer that your priority requires focused effort and commitment, but is doable within the specified timeline.

    Timely:   Priorities should be time bound in order to ensure focus and accountability.  Timelines serve to drive completion, which allows you to keep progressing forward toward your goals and objectives.  The timely test has been met when you can answer that your priority has a specific start and end date.


    Patrick Thean's Book: Execute Without Drama