Improvement tools: SMARTT goals

Page last updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2017 - 11:54am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Goals are an important part of business improvement.  Having SMARTT goals makes it easier to stay on track to success and keep motivated. SMARTT stands for: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, targeted and timeframed.

The best way to understand SMARTT goals is to see examples of SMARTT and un-SMARTT goals. Here are two examples.

Example one

Un-SMARTT goal: Make more money from our farm.

SMARTT goal: Increase the gross margin ($/ha) of our canola crop by an average of 5% per year across all land types within three years.

So why is the second goal SMARTT?

  • It is specific: the goal applies to the canola operations,  not other crops. It also applies to all land types that canola is grown on.
  • It is measurable: the gross margin can be calculated.
  • It is achievable: the scale of improvement is reasonable.
  • It is relevant: increasing margins contributes to improving profit.
  • It is targeted: a 5% increase is the target.
  • It is timeframed: the increase is to be achieved within three years.

Example two

Here is another example of an un-SMARTT goal made SMARTT.

Un-SMARTT goal: Buy less feed.

SMARTT goal: Within one year, reduce feed costs by reducing the amount of hay fed to breeders by at least 100 tonnes by shifting the time of calving to start one month later.

The advantages of having SMARTT goals

Agriculture and food manufacturing business managers who have SMARTT goals say they are useful for several reasons.  They say they know exactly what they are aiming for, when they should achieve their targets, and how they will measure whether they have been successful.

If you are working with other people, having a SMARTT goal makes it is easier to ensure everyone is clear about the goal and to stay on track to achieving it.

Having SMARTT goals means it is easier to develop strategies and action plans.

Situations change and goals may need to change too, so they should be reviewed regularly.

Other tools to use with SMARTT goals

SMARTT goals can be used in steps 1, 4 and 8 of the CI&I - Continuous improvement and innovation process.

Develop critical success factors (CSFs) and key performance indicators (KPIs) after you have developed your SMARTT goal.

Support to use the tool

Please contact us if you would like help to develop SMARTT goals.

A worksheet to help you use the tool can be found in the 'Documents' section on the far right.