Achieving your SMARTER Goals

Once you have a set of agreed goals, you will need to plan how you are going to achieve them and then monitor your activity against the plan. This involves answering the question ‘How will these goals be achieved?’

Key decisions are

  1. what work needs to be done?
  2. in what order, and
  3. with what resources, human or otherwise?

As with any aspect of control, you will need to

  1. make arrangements for progress to be monitored
  2. be ready to take appropriate control action – for example, implementing an alternative plan.

Remember, time spent on planning repays itself many times over later in the process.Of course, setting appropriate goals is not enough. As a manager, you will be expected to monitor progress towards these goals and to take action where appropriate if the goals are not being achieved – the buck will stop with you!An effective method for monitoring and working towards goals is the control loop. There are four key elements in an effective control loop.


Ensure you know what is happening, that you can measure progress.
For example:

  1. How many widgets are being producing each day?
  2. How much of your budget has been spent?
  3. How many complaints did you manage to resolve satisfactorily last month?


Once you have the appropriate measures, you obviously need to compare where you are now with where you need to be.


Decide on an appropriate course of action. Can you wait, or should you act now?
If so, what is the appropriate thing to do?


Once you have made your decision, act as soon as is reasonable. You will of course then need to measure progress once more, ie the control loop.

  1. Revisit your goals from previous sections.
  2. Ask yourself how you could effectively measure your progress towards them.