I’m guessing most people in business haven’t heard of George T Doran even though he may well have had a massive impact on their business success or failure.
He was a SMART man was George T Doran as he is widely acknowledged as the person who created the SMART acronym. You know the one that is widely used for setting goals. What is often not recognised is George created the SMART process to help teams and organisations achieve results and not as a template for individual personal goal setting.
What did George mean when he created SMART for organisational goals? His original definition for SMART was.
- Specific: target a specific result
- Measurable: quantify, or at least suggest, an indicator of progress.
- Assignable: specify who will be responsible for what part of the activity needed to achieve the result.
- Realistic: state what results can realistically be achieved given available resources.
- Time-related: specify when the result can be achieved or need to be achieved by.
You will notice that the “A” is listed as “assigned too” and not achievable as its most commonly listed as. This is because George knew that for an organisational goal to be achieved everyone involved needed to know who was responsible for what activity that would deliver on the result.
Over time another two criteria have been added to SMART. The letters E and R have been added to create SMARTER. These stand for.
- Evaluated: appraisal of a goal to assess the extent to which it has been achieved.
- Reviewed: reflection and adjustment of your approach or behaviour to reach a goal.
These really help an organisation focus on the full aspect of organisational goal setting. Evaluating the success or failure of a goal and then being able to make any adjustments needed for future organisational goals.
Any successful business has a plan and systems and processes designed to help bring out the best of the people within it. No plan, no good systems and processes will increase the chances of a business failing.
So hats off to George T Doran for giving the business World a great template for success that has stood the test of time.