FAST goals

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The purpose of a project explains the reason for its existence. However, to define the purpose of a project the project scope also needs to be defined. The scope of a project includes the processes that will lead to a successful project [1]. This can be achieved with goal setting which makes the purpose more concrete and is a critical part of accomplishing project objectives. The model „Management by Objectives“ was introduced in 1950s by Peter Drucker. It describes the process where employees define a set of goals to increase organizations performance and according to a recent survey, the method of goal setting is used in 95% of organizations [2].

The method of setting SMART goals has been used since 1981. They are effective but undervalue ambition, focus narrowly on individual performance, and ignore the importance of discussing goals throughout the year. In 2018, Donald Sull and Charles Sull introduced FAST goals, a new and more strategic method to goal setting, in the MIT Sloan Management Review. The acronym FAST stands for: Frequently discussed, Ambitious, Specific, and Transparent [2].

This article will describe the meaning of goal setting, the method of setting FAST goals, the difference between FAST and SMART goals, and how businesses can use this goal setting method to drive strategy execution in their project management process.


The Big Idea: FAST Goals

Application of FAST to a project

Frequently discussed




FAST Goals vs. SMART Goals


Annotated bibliography

Donald Sull and Charles Sull. (2018). With Goals, FAST Beats SMART. This article is the introduction of FAST Goals by Donald Sull and Charles Sull in MIT Sloan Management Review.


  1. Project Management Institute, Inc.. (2017). Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) (6th Edition). Project Management Institute, Inc. (PMI). Retrieved from
  2. 2.0 2.1 Donald Sull and Charles Sull. (2018). With Goals, FAST Beats SMART. Visited: 10.02.2021
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