SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound)

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By Nicolai Mossing Madsen


Goals and objectives are essential components in all projects and project management, as showcased by Project Management Institute, Inc. in "Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge". Here they explain that the core purpose of projects is to achieve something and fulfil the desired outcome, i.e. a goal[1]. Consequently, goals are essential components in projects, making an effective project goal crucial for enhancing project performance as they create a direction, evoke motivation, and create a purpose and accountability[2]. In "Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2", it is stated that all project goals should follow SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) to be effective[3].

To assist managers when formulating effective project goals, Doran first presented The SMART Goal Framework in 1981. The framework has since gained substantial support and is considered the golden standard within goal setting[2]. It is widely utilized and popular as it is an easily applicable, clear, simple, and valuable framework for managing and setting up goals that give a focused direction[4][5]. The framework facilitates goal setting and enables project managers to clearly define and understand the project goal, as well as easily communicate the project goal to stakeholders. This allows them to ensure that the goal is the right one and move the project in the right direction. However, the acronym SMART has many different interpretations, which have evoked a rising resistance towards the framework within the field of project management[6].
The SMART Goal Framework is applicable throughout the project management process[7], but effective project goals are needed to clarify and concretize the project scope. Therefore, the final goal setting is done in the planning phase of project management, making the SMART Goal Frameworks application most evident here.

This article aims to explain the SMART Goal Framework and its application to project managers and participants, thereby enabling them to apply it to their projects and formulate effective project goals that benefit their projects. The article will give an in-depth explanation of the SMART Goal Framework, in which the framework itself and the idea behind it will be explained. The article will also provide the reader with an explanation of how to use the framework, a step-guide process, and a relating template will be provided. Finally, a critical reflection upon the framework is presented where limitations and benefits are discussed briefly.

Contents

Goals and the SMART Goal Framework

In this article, the terms goal and objective will be used interchangeably as the article will have a practical viewpoint, and the author of the article shares the SMART Goal Framework's founder's view. In the article "There's a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management's Goals and Objectives"[8], the founder Doran does not find it necessary to distinguish between the terms from a practical viewpoint and clarifies that goals and objectives for some organizations are synonyms, for others goals are short-term and objectives are long-term, and for some, the opposite is the case. Doran still stresses the importance of agreement on the two terms within the organization, especially at the executive level, but further emphasizes that the framework can be utilized on both terms.[8]
However, in "Making SMART goals smarter"[9], Macleod distinguishes between goal and objectives and emphasizes that an interchangeable usage of the terms leads to unnecessary confusion and is a misnomer. Macleod defines goals as concrete, generally formulated, long-term with a broad scope, and focused on the result; in contrast, he defines objectives as concrete, specifically formulated, short-term with a narrow scope, and concentrated on the required steps towards an end-goal.[9]

Goals and Goal Setting

Goals are widely used as 95% of all organizations employees set goals[10]. Researchers generally define a goal as: "the desired end-result of an action that is expected to be achieved at some specified time in the future, and toward which all effort and essential resources are committed to achieving"[2]. Goals can be long-term or short-term[8], create a direction for the project management process, and researchers agree that projects without a well-formulated goal lack purpose and accountability.[2] Similarly, proper usage of project goals provides increased motivation and performance[11], whereas poor use badly affects the planning and ultimately leads to frustrations, rework, and waste[12]. Thus, today's managers widely accept goal setting as a means to improve and sustain performance[13].

The setting of goals involves developing an action plan to guide and motivate people towards an end-result[13]. Goal setting theory has its domain within purposeful and directed actions and focuses on why some people perform better on tasks than others[14]. Locke derives goal setting theory from Aristotle's form of final causality, in which Aristotle speculated that purpose causes action[13]. Locke published the first article on the subject in 1968 called "Toward a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives"[11], where he emphasizes that specific and challenging goals with proper feedback contribute to better task performance, showcasing that goal setting is linked to task performance.
Therefore, the theory is founded upon that conscious human behavior is purposeful, meaning the principal of goal-directed actions is not limited to deliberate actions. It further stresses that if people have the same abilities and skills, then the difference in performance must be motivational.[14] The goal setting literature recognizes the positive relationship between performances and well-defined goals; for instance, Zwikael et al.[15] explain the link between goal and performance through motivational and goal-oriented, effort-directed mechanisms, stating that one can anticipate that setting goals will improve project performance. Likewise, Locke and Latham[16] accentuate that telling employees to do their best is not enough; it does not evoke specific behavior, which a goal does since it focuses the employee's efforts in a defined direction[13]. Moreover, have Locke and Latham, in "Building a Practically Useful Theory of Goal Setting"[17], describe four mechanisms that goals affect performance through:

  1. Goals serve a directive function,
  2. Goals have an energizing function,
  3. Goals affect persistence,
  4. Goals affect action indirectly by leading to the arousal, discovery, and use of task-relevant knowledge and strategies.

Altogether the research within goal setting agrees that specific and challenging goals enhance performance, and Locke and Latham state: "So long as a person is committed to the goal, has the requisite ability to attain it, and does not have conflicting goals, there is a positive, linear relationship between goal difficulty and task performance"[16]. Illustrating the key finding that individuals with specific and attainable but challenging goals outperform individuals with nonspecific and easy goals[13].

The SMART Goal Framework

The importance of having an effective goal has been illuminated, and all project and projects managers face the problem of formulating appropriate project goals. Consequently, goals and goal setting are vital for project management because studies have shown that effective project goals will enhance project performance[2]. The SMART Goal Framework seeks to help solve this problem by facilitating goal setting where an effective project goal that is clear and commonly understood is defined. This ensures that the project goal moves the project in the right direction and secures that the goal is the right one for the project.
The SMART Goal Framework is currently the golden standard for goal setting since it offers a clear direction for action planning and implementation. The framework can be classed as a valuable goal setting framework as organizations use it as an unfailing model to steer their goal formulation.[2] Moreover, in "Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2", it is stressed that all effective project goals should follow the SMART methodology[3].

The SMART Goal Framework builds upon the idea of "Management by Objectives", popularized by Drucker in "The Practice of Management"[18]; it is the idea of defining objectives within an organization to increase performance. The SMART Goal Framework itself is first presented in Doran's article from 1981 called "There's a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management's Goals and Objectives"[8], where Doran specifies that managers are confused by all the verbiage they face when writing goals. Doran presents the SMART acronym as a helping hand for managers when writing goals to ensure they are effective. Thus, the SMART Goal Framework's core purpose is to guide and help managers formulate effective goals. According to Doran, for a goal to be effective, it should be SMART; thus:

  • S: Specific - target a specific area for importance,
  • M: Measurable - quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress,
  • A: Assignable - specify who will do it,
  • R: Realistic - state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources,
  • T: Time-related - specify when the results can be achieved.[8]
Figure 1: The SMART Goal Framework. Own creation based on an illustration obtained from Wikimedia Commons, distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

Doran clarifies that every goal will not consist of all five criteria. Still, the closer one gets, the smarter will the goal be. Furthermore, Doran emphasizes the need for adjusting the SMART Goal Framework to the project's organization, scope, and purpose since it is the combination of the goal and its action plan that is important. Therefore, should serious management focus on these and not exclusively on the goal. Lastly, Doran extended his view away from solely looking at the goal's mechanism to investigate the goal's behavioral context and acknowledged that people failed to reach the goal because of behavioral elements and not their scope.[8]

The SMART Goal Framework has gained substantial support; however, the acronym has been subject to modification. The most common and most used modification is seen below and visualized in Figure 1.

  • Specific,
  • Measurable,
  • Attainable,
  • Relevant,
  • Time-bound.[6]

This acronym represents the current state-of-the-art and builds upon the idea of Doran[6]. Using the SMART Goal Framework, managers will formulate effective goals if they remember that these should follow the SMART criteria. Table 1 explains each criterion with descriptions of their characteristics, guidance questions, and an example. It builds on Meyer's description of these in his book "Attitude is everything!: If you want to succeed above and beyond"[19].

Table 1: Explanation of each SMART criteria
Characteristics Guidance Questions Example
S -
Specific
The project goal must be clear and well-defined; otherwise, will it not be specific. It should be specified what the goal seeks to achieve in specific terms. If the goal is not specific, then the chance of potential misinterpretation is increased, and everyone may not be pursuing the right goal. Answering the five W questions, seen in the guidance questions, can help develop it.
  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Which resources or limits are involved?
  • Why is this goal important?
  • Where is it located?
  • Who is involved?
If the project aims to add a new product to the product portfolio, it is important to be specific and think about which product group, which functions it has, what color should it be in, and so on.
M -
Measurable
The goal must be measurable. It must be stated how project progress can be measured and which metrics are used to measure the project's progress. Therefore, a quantitative measure of the project goal is needed, which offers a tangible measure for tracking the project. It will ease monitoring the project and help keep the project team focused and motivated. Measurable goals can be developed by addressing the guidance questions.
  • How will I know when it is accomplished?
  • How many?
  • How much?
To extend the previous example, it is needed to understand how adding a new product will be measured. If the aim is to have the product by next year, what are you then going to do every month to achieve the goal, like getting more details on the new product by prototype X number monthly or start the campaign by producing Y number of adds monthly.
A -
Attainable
Impossible goals can produce frustrations; therefore, the goal must be realistic and attainable. Even though the goal should be attainable, it cannot be trivial; if a goal is trivial, it can negatively affect the team's motivation. To obtain an attainable goal, the project manager can address the guidance questions, examine the feasibility and available resources, and involve the project team by letting them choose their project contribution based on their capabilities.
  • How can I accomplish this goal?
  • How realistic is the goal based on internal and external constraints?
It is necessary to understand whether adding a new product is achievable, within the financial reach and the current market situation.
R -
Relevant
Relevant goals are relevant for oneself and the organization and aligned with the strategic and organizational goals. A non-relevant goal increases the chance of losing support, whereas a relevant goal gives a more actively involved project team and organization. To define a relevant goal, one needs to know whether the proper resources are in place and capable of answering "yes" to the guidance questions.
  • Is this the right time?
  • Does this seem worthwhile?
  • Does this match our other efforts/needs, and am I the right person?
  • Is it applicable in the current socio-economic environment?
Adding a new product may be the project goal, but if the organization does not see the need to add a new product, there is no alignment. Consider whether it will make sense to add a new product or else the time can be invested in other activity.
T -
Time-bound
Project goals need to have a deadline as all project is time-bound. Time-bound goals give a sense of urgency, keeps the project team motivated, and counteracts procrastination since it helps the project team prevent that day-to-day tasks take priority over the goal. A time-bound goal helps the project stay on track, and by answering the guidance questions, it can be developed.
  • What is the deadline?
  • What can I do today?
  • What can I do in X weeks and Y months?
Setting the deadline will give the team and organization a fixed end date to plan, but it needs to be realistic. It is essential to take stock of the current financial situation, the market situation and so on. Setting a deadline is not something simple; considering all possible constraints and variables is important.

Application of the SMART Goal Framework

The SMART Goal Framework can be used throughout the project management process and is mostly applied in the planning, performance management, and monitoring phase[7]. Clear and effective goals are crucial for proper project governance[20], but the framework's applicability is most evident in project management's planning phase. Project Management Institute, Inc. provides the following introduction to the planning phase in "Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge": "The Planning Process Group consists of those processes that establish the total scope of the effort, define and fine and refine the objectives, and develop the course of action required to attain those objectives"[21], highlighting that goals final defining are made in the planning phase. Project goals help clarify and concretize the project purpose by assisting in defining a clear project scope and goals is pivotal input into the planning process. Accordingly, the SMART Goal Framework should be utilized in this phase to ensure effective goal setting.
The application of a goal setting framework like the SMART Goal Framework works well for both business goals and personal goals. As mentioned, this article focusses on its application in a business setting, more specific on the application in project management. Nevertheless, it must be noted that the reader easily can apply it to set personal goals and drive personal progress[13].

Prerequisites for Using the SMART Goal Framework

When applying the SMART Goal Framework, there are important prerequisites needed to harvest its benefits. The framework must be adjusted to the organization and the project[8], since organizations that rigidly adhere to the traditional approach by not setting goals in relation to the competitive environment and do not adjust it may be driven in the wrong direction[22]. Furthermore, the framework should only be applied in a certain environment since managing SMART goals when technology, demand, and competitors relentlessly shift is complex. Goals are needed in such environments to foster new ideas and experimentations; other goal setting strategies are more suitable here. Moreover, when the organization can shape its environment, the SMART Goal Framework may not be applicable.[22] In such situations, goals should be ambitious, broadly scoped, and externally oriented; the FAST goal framework[10] can be utilized in this regard. Also, is it the author's opinion that the project scope needs to be clearly defined. If the project scope is not clear, the framework's criteria will be tough to follow; for example, will it be challenging to be specific about what the project aims to accomplish and how it can be measured will consecutively be hard to define.

Best Practices When Applying the SMART Goal Framework

For reaping the framework's benefits fully, one should follow some best practices. First, Doran stresses that goals do not have to possess all five criteria[8] and that goals must be set with the environment in mind[22]. Second, one needs to keep the bigger picture in mind; it eases breaking down the goal. Upon breaking down the goal, one can start to be specific and pay attention to details; otherwise, the goal will not be clear. Third, involving the project team and stakeholders is beneficial as multiple perspectives are uncovered and involved. Here, one should ask many questions to gain transparency and a high level of commitment. Fourth, performing regular checkups and get feedback is crucial to ensure effective goal management. Fifth, following the acronym's order is not required; it is sometimes beneficial to investigate whether it is relevant before exploring and defining how to measure the progress. Nevertheless, a systematic approach is recommendable as the more structured the process is, the easier it will be to progress, track the process, and write document decisions. Multiple templates and worksheets exist to obtain a structured approach.[23]
In "Why written objectives need to be really SMART"[2], Ogbeiwi finds that although templates can help formulate goals, they are not a useful tool for determining whether the goal is SMART, and he reveals that project relaying to heavily on templates may lack the components needed for a goal to be SMART and concludes that projects designed on incomplete or non-sufficient templates are less likely to attain their goal.

The author of this article has developed a step-guide process with an accompanying template based on the significantly large amount of literature and templates on applying the SMART Goal Framework, and the best practices presented, each criterion's characteristics, as well as Ogbeiwi's critic. The aim is to gather the best from the literature and combine it into a simple and easily understood step-guide applicable to the reader. For the purpose of easing the use, it has been chosen to add a supporting template.

Step-guide and Template for Utilizing the SMART Goal Framework

The step-guide proposed is a way for the reader to be conscious of a more structured approach when utilizing the SMART Goal Framework. The template is a working document used throughout the process and works as documentation for all the steps. The two combined will help the intended audience reach an effective goal that is clear and commonly understood. An illustration of the process is below on the left, Figure 2, and the template on the right, Figure 3. Afterwards, a table with each step and a description of the steps is found, Table 2.

Figure 2: An illustration of the step-guide process for the SMART Goal Framework. Own creation.
Figure 3: A template to accompanying the SMART Goal Framework process to formulate the SMART goal. Own creation.
Table 2: Description of each step in the process suggested when applying the SMART Goal Framework
Process Step Description
Step 1 -
Understanding
Before starting the goal setting, understanding the bigger picture, why goals are important, and the project's idea and basis are essential; here, a business case can assist. Also, is it vital to understand the environment in which the project is being carried out and what goal type is needed. At the top of the template, the understanding should be written to facilitate a common and clear understanding throughout the project team that can be utilized further.
Step 2 –
Identify the SMART elements
The common understanding is then used to identify the SMART elements; remembering the characteristics of each criterion described is important. In the template, each SMART criterion is written, and the question one should answer is incorporated to aid. There is room for documenting the answers and identifying each criterion's elements to the questions' right. This sections functions as documentation and should be used further in the process. Involving stakeholders and the project team is highly recommended.
Step 3 –
Formulate the goal
Based on step 2, the goal should now be formulated in which all the elements are incorporated. A structure could be: "I want to achieve X, within Y by utilizing Z. This will allow W." Here, X is "Specific" and "Measurable", Y is "Time-bound", Z is "Attainable", and W is "Relevant". The project team should agree on the formulation. At the bottom, there is room for writing the goal, which acts as documentation for the final formulated goal.
Step 4 –
Evaluate
When the goal is formulated, it is important to take a step back and evaluate whether the goal is SMART; by doing so, it is identified whether the goal is effective. For evaluating the OITT (outcome, indicator, target level, time frame) framework[2] can be used to determine whether the goal is truly SMART or not. The framework states that SMART goals should specify four components: outcome, indicator, target-level and timeframe, to be truly SMART. The goal statement is dissected down to its different aspects to identify whether the goal statement consists of the components. If the evaluation uncovers that the goal is not SMART, then an iterating back to step 2 is needed; if not, one can move on to step 5.
Step 5 –
Feedback
When the goal has been positively evaluated, it is essential to get feedback on the goal and identified elements. Here stakeholders, project owner and other in the project management hierarchy can be used. If the feedback calls for a reassessment of the goal iterating back to step 2 is needed; otherwise, one can move on to step 6.
Step 6 –
Review
Review the goal until it is fulfilled regularly is key. In doing so, one can identify areas that need action, and it helps monitor the project. By reviewing continuously, one may find a need for alterations of the goal, leading to an iteration back to step 2. Reviewing is essential as goals are reliant on the environment and may need to be changed over time; generally, there can be three causes for this:
  1. The organization's environment has shifted,
  2. The organization have changed internally via capability development,
  3. The organization has developed and deeper understanding and insights into the goal.[13]

The template can be used in the review session to recap the goal and the SMART elements.

Common Mistakes When Applying the SMART Goal Framework

It is essential to be aware of and investigate the most common mistakes when using the SMART Goal Framework to ensure they are not repeated. Daudkhane presents common mistakes as to why SMART goals fail in the article "Why SMART Goals are not 'Smart' enough?"[13]; these are generally accepted throughout the literature and seen in Table 3.
Nevertheless, a common mistake that must be mentioned first is setting goals just to set goals. At times goals are not the best tool to get things done since they will work as constraints rather than guidance in some situations. Such could be when the aim is to innovate or explore.[22]

Table 3: The most common mistakes when applying the SMART Goal Framework
Mistake Description
Setting Unrealistic Goals Not ensuring realistic and attainable project goals will create unrealistic goals that are unachievable and demotivate.
Focusing on Too Few Areas Not focusing on all important areas of the project can lead to goals that do not consider all critical areas; it is crucial to reach the right balance.
Underestimating Completion Time Underestimate the completion time can cause failure, discourage, and demotivate the project team.
Not Appreciating Failure All fail at some point, but failure is commonly frown on, creating an unhealthy culture that does not foster learning from failed projects which is valuable.
Setting "Other People's Goals" Setting goals without involving the project team leads to a lack of ownership, which negatively affects motivation and execution.
Setting "Negative" Goals Goals formulated in negative terms are emotionally unattractive to accomplish and hard to focus on for the project team.
Setting Too Many Goals Having too many goals in the project entails that every goal will not get the required attention for it to be achieved.
Not Reviewing Progress Not reviewing the progress complicates monitoring the project, and the project team may feel that the project is not moving, creating demotivation.
Missing the "why" The "why" of the project is important and often overlooked. By not having the "why" of the project, the possibility that it ends up as nothing is increased.

Benefits and Limitations of the SMART Goal Framework

Limitations

The SMART Goal Framework's wide usage has led researchers and practitioners to uncover its theoretical and practical limitations. In 2018 Sull and Sull[10] emphasized that leaders must move away from using the SMART Goal Framework to fully harness the goals potential and propose a new framework called FAST. They argue that SMART goals undervalue ambition, focus narrowly on individual performance, and ignore the importance of discussing goals throughout the year. They emphasize that ambitious goals are preferable over achievable goals because employees pursuing ambitious goals are significantly outperforming their colleagues with less challenging.[10]
The SMART Goal Framework is also criticized for not being well-suited for long-term goals. Its non-flexible nature makes it inadequate of helping if circumstance changes and Macleod[9] highlights that the SMART Goal Framework does not guide in determining whether the goal is wise. Sytch[24] supports this view and points to the framework's tactical nature to not give the necessary insights into whether the goals developed are aligned or misaligned with the organization's overall strategy and vision. It is important to note that the "Relevant" criteria attempt to solve this issue.

Human resistance and biases are other potential limitations to the framework since it is highly reliant on people; Doran even mentions human resistance as a potential drawback when presenting the SMART Goal Framework[8]. Subsequently, Schweitzer et al.[25] show that individuals with specific goals are more likely to lie about their performance provoke unethical behavior, and Sytch[24] explained that goals developed through the SMART Goal Framework might create a stressful environment due to the immense pressure of completing the work within a given time frame.
Additionally, despite the SMART Goal Frameworks simplicity, its narrow focus on the outcome does not permit an emotional connection to the goal, leading to a demotivated team. The narrow focus further causes the framework to not work on more lofty goals, and that a minor setback can seem more significant.[13]

Finally, the SMART Goal Framework's wide usage has led to an "acronym drift" causing mass interpretations of the framework, with some drifted far away from the original idea[6]. Additionally, multiple researchers point towards the framework as not fully applicable to the current state-of-the-art research within goal setting leading to the extension SMARTER[9][26]. Macleod[9] includes E as "Engaging" and R as "Rewarding", whereas Yemm[26] includes E as "Evaluated" and R as "Reviewed". The acronym drift and extensions are potential causes of misunderstanding and misrepresenting of the SMART Goal Framework leading to incorrect usage. However, as Rubin argue, is it not a significant limitation since the framework's value is to focus people on setting effective goals and stimulating discussions[6].

Benefits

The SMART Goal Framework is a straightforward goal setting framework that is easy to apply, making it applicable for all types of projects and organizations, useful for all project participants, and even with its simplicity, it forces the participants to consider and clearly define the goal[22][4][8]. The SMART Goal Framework provides an opportunity to generate considerable success based on the needed efforts[8] and enable the development of performance indicators, thereby facilitating feedback and learning, keeping the project on track to success[7]. Furthermore, it accommodates the essential practices required to achieve motivation within the team and improve the likelihood of accomplishing the project goal and purpose[6]. Applying the framework significantly increases the success rate as opposed to more vague goal setting techniques, and it generates discipline, focus, and structure within the project team[27]. Lawlor and Hornyak show the SMART Goal Frameworks' benefits in their study "Smart Goals: How the Application of Smart Goals can Contribute to Achievement of Student Learning Outcomes"[5]. They argue that teams utilizing the SMART Goal Framework outperform teams that did not use the framework, showcasing that the framework's usage improved team performance.

Altogether, the SMART Goal Framework helps formulate effective project goals that are clear and commonly understood—enabling the project manager to ensure that the goal is the right one and moves the project in the right direction.

Annotated bibliography

This article's literature was found primarily through 1) searching DTU Findit and Web of Science for articles relating to the SMART Goal Framework, 2) snowballing from the reference lists of accessed articles. By doing so, relevant material ranging from scientific articles to webpages were found, resulting in a comprehensive study. A selection of the references will be described in the following. The selected references are the key references for this article and the interested reader.

Ogbeiwi, O. (2017). Why written objectives need to be really SMART[2]:
This article gives a firm introduction to the SMART Goal Framework and goal setting theory, as well as analysis examples of different project goals drawn from the literature to see whether they are truly SMART. The article concludes that none of the investigated statements can be deemed truly SMART, revealing the risk that organizations relying too heavily on templates to guide them will fail to achieve their goals. Further, Ogbeiwi concludes that none currently offers a complete and relevant way to aid when constructing project goals that should satisfy the SMART Goal Frameworks elements despite many templates and guides.

Lawlor, K.B. & Hornyak, M.J. (2012). Smart goals: How the application of smart goals can contribute to achievement of student learning outcomes[5]:
This article is a case study that discusses the SMART Goal Framework and how its usage in a classroom setting can enhance student learnings. The article initially gives a brief review of the frameworks history and then provides the case study where the key finding indicates that student teams utilizing the SMART Goal Framework outperform teams that do not utilize the framework. Moreover, is the article a good starting point for obtaining templates to use when applying the SMART Goal Framework since the appendices contain multiple templates for utilizing the SMART Goal Framework, which can be of interest.

Doran, G. T. (1981). There's a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management's Goals and Objectives[8]:
Doran, in this article, gives the first mention and explanation of the SMART acronym. In the article, Doran addresses the problem of writing effective goals as a challenging task, which most managers can do, and Doran stresses the correlation between vague goal setting and organizations that underperform. Doran argues that goals setting must become a way of life for managers and remember the acronym and its specification when setting an effective goal. Finally, Doran also emphasizes the complexity and obstacles the dynamic business environment offers, which highly influences goal setting.

Daudkhane, Y. (2017). Why SMART Goals are not ‘Smart’ Enough?[13]:
This article offers a concise overview of the SMART Goal Framework and the common mistakes made when utilizing it. In the article, Daudkhane discusses the meaning of goals and their impact, as well as the concept of the SMART Goal Framework, how it has evolved, and its benefits. Daudkhane uncovers the common mistakes made when utilizing the SMART Goal Framework for goal setting and seeks to give mitigation and whys of avoiding these in the goal setting. Daudkhane emphasizes how the missing of the" Why" is one of the greatest mistakes made when utilizing the SMART Goal Framework.

Locke, E. A. & Latham, G. (2002). Building a Practically Useful Theory of Goal Setting and Task Motivation: A 35-Year Odyssey[17]:
In this article, the two leading researchers within goal setting theory summarizes 35 years of empirical research within the area. The article gives a sound introduction to goal setting theory by describing the core findings and describing the relationship between performance and goal setting. Furthermore, the article discusses goal setting theory's direction, highlighting the relevance of goal setting in project management. Altogether, the article is a perfect starting point for understanding goal setting theory and its importance for project management. Lastly, can the reference be used to find additional material within the area.

Meyer, P. J. (2003). Attitude is everything!: If you want to succeed above and beyond[19]:
Meyer gives a comprehensive explanation and introduction to the SMART Goal Framework and its acronym in this small book. The book provides the reader with an in-depth description of the SMART Goal Framework characteristics and provides small practical examples of each acronym's letter to help the reader understand the framework and acronym. Meyer's explanation and work are greatly utilized in the literature when explaining the SMART Goal Frameworks acronym as the book highlights the SMART Goal Frameworks' utilization and is easily understood. Meyer further describes the importance of attitude when trying to succeed in doing anything.

Bibliography

  1. Project Management Institute, Inc. (2017). Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) (6th Edition) - 2. Initiating Process Group. Project Management Institute, Inc. (PMI). Page 4. Retrieved from https://app.knovel.com/hotlink/pdf/id:kt011DXQ4C/guide-project-management/initiating-process-group
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Ogbeiwi, O. (2017). Why written objectives need to be really SMART. British Journal of Healthcare Management. 23. 324-336. 10.12968/bjhc.2017.23.7.324.
  3. 3.0 3.1 AXELOS. (2017). Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 2017 edition. Page 319. Retrieved from ProQuest Ebook Central https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.proxy.findit.dtu.dk
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  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Lawlor, K.B. & Hornyak, M.J. (2012). Smart goals: How the application of smart goals can contribute to achievement of student learning outcomes. Dev Bus Sim Exp Learn. 39. 259-267. https://journals.tdl.org/absel/index.php/absel/article/view/90
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Rubin, R. (2002). Will the real SMART goals please stand up?. 39. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Will-the-Real-SMART-Goals-Please-Stand-Up-Rubin/420c9bf14b34d26b2e0e047b0da0a30e5d06f153
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Berry, S. & Thomas, R. (2008) Use SMART Objectives to Focus Goals, Plans and Performance. Retrieved February 7, 2021. https://www.projectsmart.co.uk/pdf/use-smart-objectives-to-focus-goals-plans-and-performance.pdf
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 Doran, G. T. (1981). There's a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management's Goals and Objectives. Management Review, 70, 35-36.
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  12. AXELOS. (2017). Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 2017 edition. Page 94. Requested from ProQuest Ebook Central https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.proxy.findit.dtu.dk
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.8 13.9 Daudkhane, Y. (2017). Why SMART Goals are not ‘Smart’ Enough?. Imperial Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3349004
  14. 14.0 14.1 Locke, E. A. & Latham, G. (1991). A Theory of Goal Setting & Task Performance. The Academy of Management Review. 16. 10.2307/258875.
  15. Zwikael, O. & C., Ying-Yi & Meredith, J. (2018). Project benefit management: Setting effective target benefits. International Journal of Project Management. 36. 650-658. 10.1016/j.ijproman.2018.01.002.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Latham, G. P., & Locke, E. A. (2006). Enhancing the Benefits and Overcoming the Pitfalls of Goal Setting. Organizational Dynamics, 35(4), 332–340. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orgdyn.2006.08.008
  17. 17.0 17.1 Locke, E. A. & Latham, G. (2002). Building a Practically Useful Theory of Goal Setting and Task Motivation: A 35-Year Odyssey. American Psychologist - AMER PSYCHOL. 57. 705-717. 10.1037/0003-066X.57.9.705.
  18. Drucker, P. F. (1954). The practice of management. New York: Harper & Row.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Meyer, P. J. (2003). Attitude is everything!: If you want to succeed above and beyond. Pages 1-26.
  20. Project Management Institute, Inc. (2017). Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) (6th Edition) - 2. Initiating Process Group. Project Management Institute, Inc. (PMI). Page 545. Retrieved from https://app.knovel.com/hotlink/pdf/id:kt011DXQ4C/guide-project-management/initiating-process-group
  21. Project Management Institute, Inc. (2017). Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) (6th Edition) - 2. Initiating Process Group. Project Management Institute, Inc. (PMI). Page 565. Retrieved from https://app.knovel.com/hotlink/pdf/id:kt011DXQ4C/guide-project-management/initiating-process-group
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 Reeves, M. & Fuller, J. (2018). When SMART Goals Are Not So Smart. MIT Sloan Management Review.
  23. Gregory, A. (2018) SMART Goal Setting 101. Retrieved February 7, 2021. https://www.thebalancesmb.com/smart-goal-setting-101-2951829
  24. 24.0 24.1 Sytch, M. (2015). Limitations of Smart Goals – by Maxim Sytch [Video]. Retrieved 08. February 2021. https://www.coursera.org/lecture/motivate-people-teams/02-04-limitations-of-smart-goals-2g69s?utm_source=link&utm_medium=page_share&utm_content=vlp&utm_campaign=top_button
  25. Schweitzer, M. & Ordóñez, L. & Douma, B. (2004). Goal Setting as a Motivator of Unethical Behavior. Academy of Management Journal. 47. 422-432. 10.2307/20159591.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Yemm, G. (2013). Essential Guide to Leading Your Team: How to Set Goals, Measure Performance and Reward Talent. Page 37-39. Pearson Education. ISBN 978-0273772446.
  27. Lamachenka, A. (2016) 10 SMART Goal Setting Best Practices For Project Planning. Retrieved February 7, 2021. https://blog.capterra.com/10-smart-goal-setting-best-practices-for-project-planning
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