SMART (project management)

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SMART is an acronym for S pecific M easurable A chievable R easonable T ime Bound , which can be traced back to the management researcher and management consultant Peter Drucker. It serves z. B. in project management , in the context of personnel management and personnel development as a criterion for the clear definition of goals within the framework of a target agreement . The requirements for a good target agreement are based on well-established results of the goal setting theory by Locke and Latham from 1990. Based on John Withmore (1994) one also speaks of the SMART-PURE-CLEAR formula.


Letter Meaning Meaning (german) description English alternatives
S. Specific Specific Goals must be clearly defined (not vague, but as precise as possible). Significant , stretching , simple
M. Measurable Measurable Goals must be measurable (measurability criteria). Meaningful , Motivational , Manageable
A. Activating Activating The goals must be appealing or desirable for the person, in some cases also “attainable”, i.e. attainable or “accepted”, then the “R” stands for “relevant”, originally “assignable”, i.e. - to a specific person in charge - assignable. Appropriate , Accepted, Achievable , Agreed , Assignable , Actionable , Ambitious , Aligned , Aspirational , Attainable , As if now (as already formulated)
R. Reasonable Realistic The set goal must be possible and realizable. Relevant , Realistic , Resourced , Resonant
T Time-bound Terminated It must be possible to set the goal with a fixed date. Time-oriented , Time framed , Timed , Time-based , Timeboxed , Timely , Time-Specific , Timetabled , Time limited , Trackable , Tangible

A goal is only SMART if it meets these five conditions.

Example: "I will study 2 hours every day for the exams due at the end of the month in order to pass them with a good grade."

The consistent application of "SMART" results in clear, measurable and verifiable goals:

  • Long-term goals = pointers = strategic goals
  • Medium and short term goals = tactical goals

Goals and tasks must be recorded in writing for all those involved and affected. From this, the project plan for implementation is developed. The implementation and the progress of the project must be checked regularly using the milestones :

  • What has been achieved
  • Has anything changed in the goals?

The project plan must be corrected if necessary .

Limits of SMART

In general, SMART goals represent a minimum description of goals. Depending on the context, the goals must be further refined (e.g. realistic goals must also be in the price budget, must be clear) or additional requirements for the goals must be added (e.g. . non-functional requirements in computer science).

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Peter F. Drucker: People and Performance: The Best of Peter Drucker on Management . Harper's College Press, New York 1977, ISBN 0-434-90400-7 .
  2. ^ A b G. T. Doran: There's a SMART way to write management's goals and objectives . In: Management Review , Vol. 70, No. 11, 1981, pp. 35-36, ISSN  0025-1895 .
  3. Bernd Birgmeier: Coaching knowledge: Because you don't know what you are doing? Springer-Verlag, 2009, ISBN 978-3-531-16306-2 , pp. 184 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  4. Renate Tewes: Leadership skills can be learned: practical knowledge for managers in health professions . Springer-Verlag, 2011, ISBN 978-3-642-12649-9 , pp. 30 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  5. ^ Rainer Niermeyer: Motivation: Instruments for leadership and seduction . Haufe Lexware, 2007, ISBN 978-3-448-07843-5 , p. 80 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  6. ^ Hugo M. Kehr, Kaspar Schattke: Motivation management in employee-oriented corporate management. (PDF; 2.0 MB) (No longer available online.) Technical University of Munich , archived from the original on May 23, 2012 ; Retrieved December 1, 2012 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. Graham Yemm: Essential Guide to Leading Your Team: How to Set Goals, Measure Performance and Reward Talent . Pearson Education, 2013, ISBN 0-273-77244-9 , pp. 37-39 ( Accessed July 5, 2013).
  8. Jane Massy, ​​Jeremy Harrison: Evaluating Human Capital Projects: Improve, Prove, Predict . Routledge, 2014, ISBN 978-1-135-09648-9 ( [accessed January 22, 2019]).