SMARTA Project Goals

SMARTA Project Goals Setting


Setting project goals is vital to the success of projects. They reduce the risk of challenges commonly associated with projects like unclear objectives, unrealistic plans, poor measurements and poor quality of both the project work and the end product. They also ensure that everyone involved in the project, or is impacted by the project, has a common understanding of what needs to be achieved. One way to set project goals is to use the SMARTA project goals method.


SMARTA Project Goals Objectives

SMARTA  project goals have 6 clear objectives. They are:

1. Specific

They ensure they the provide sufficient information about the desired outcome of the project, in terms of who is responsible for the project and who the project is for, what the outcome will be and how it will be achieved, and when the project will be completed.


2. Measurable

They show how progress and performance will be measured throughout the project, and how the success of the end product will be measured.


3. Achievable

They prove that the project goal is viable and achievable by assessing the skills and resources required to achieve the desired outcome. They assess the project risks and mitigating actions, as well as confirming how the project will be delivered in order to ensure success.


4. Realistic

They explore the impact on your organisation, customers, suppliers and wider community and check that what you want to achieve is truly realistic.


5. Time-bound

They ensure that the project is time-bound so that there is a fixed start and end point for the project.


6. Aligned

They confirm that the project goals are in alignment with the organization’s strategic goals and with the project department’s strategic goals.


SMARTA Project Goals Setting

There are several different techniques used in setting SMARTA goals, for instance mind-mapping, however I find the most detailed approach which eliminates confusion, ambiguity and reduces the risks of gaps is to use Well-formed Outcomes. These are a set of incisive and detailed project definition questions which project managers and sponsors use to establish exactly what they want to achieve.

Once you have clarified what you want to achieve in detail, you can then create the SMARTA goals. Always work in the correct sequence from Specific through to Alignment. Below is a sample abridged version of the SMARTA project goals template.



For more information on goal setting using Well-formed Outcomes, or to receive a copy of the SMARTA Well-formed Outcomes questions and SMARTA goal setting template, send an email to


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