We have all heard a variation of the quote, “If you have a goal, write it down. If you do not write it down, you do not have a goal - you have a wish.”

It is true. When written down, the likelihood of remembering and completing a goal increases. To take productivity one step further, apply this method to a SMART goal, and you have got yourself a home run.

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During our recent webinar, "Webinar Best Practices for Data Centers and Cloud Service Providers," Jennifer and Joshua Feinberg—co-founders of SP Home Run— cited SMART goals as one of their best practices for their management consulting firm.

“We always advise our data center clients to create SMART goals as opposed to just goals,” says Jennifer. “SMART goals are great for accountability and keeping everyone on the same page.”

 

What is a SMART Goal?

So, what exactly is a SMART goal, and how can they help move your data center forward? A SMART goal is a goal that is:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time Bound

As Jennifer stated, SMART goals are excellent for data centers because they allow the objective to be clearly outlined, defined, and analyzed. A regular goal might be something along the lines of: “I want to increase our social media presence.”

Taking that same goal and applying the SMART technique, it would say something along the lines of: “I want to increase our social media presence by increasing our Facebook likes (1,600) by 10% (+160), by the end of October, bringing the total to 1,760.”

With SMART goals, businesses can pinpoint exactly where their goals are faltering and take action to correct them.

Specific

Making your goals as specific as possible will help you reach them. Having broad goals can pull your business in too many directions. Specific goals allow you to strategically devise a plan with how to move forward to meet your SMART goal.

Measurable

Adding metrics to a goal allows the success/failure of the goal to become measurable. “Without metrics, you are setting your goal up for failure,” says Jennifer, “You need metrics and parameters to know whether or not you reached your goals.” If you did not meet your goal, how much was it missed by? Did you come close to meeting it or, perhaps, is your goal unrealistic?

Attainable

“I could get up tomorrow morning and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if I could run a marathon?’,” says Joshua, “Those of you that know what my fitness workout is like would probably say: Well, Josh, it would probably be more realistic if you trained for a 5k first…” Making sure your goal is attainable is essential to meeting it. Creating a goal that is unrealistic can discourage your team and set your business up for failure.

Relevant

“As a consulting firm, we see it time and time again,” says Jennifer. “We have clients who self-diagnose their problems and then devise a strategy that flops, and they do not understand why they did not get results.” This is all too common with businesses. Instead of assuming what needs to be done, do the research to determine whether or not it is relevant to your business.

For example, think about the previously stated SMART goal. In the goal, Facebook is specified as the platform to use to grow a business’s social media presence, but is this the best/most relevant method?

Should you consider other platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram? Do the research to determine where your prospects are and how to reach them. It would be irrelevant to target Facebook if your target audience primarily circulates Twitter and LinkedIn.

Time Bound

Just as metrics allow your goal to be measurable, time-binding your goal allows it to be measured. Setting a goal infinitely is not an effective practice; giving your goal a specific timeframe allows your team to devise a timeline and checklist of what needs to be done to meet that goal in a timely manner.

Also, see:

Does your data center set SMART goals to keep your team on track? Let us know in the comments below.

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