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Careful goal setting is part of strategic planning and should take place after a strategic analysis of the organization's external environment and internal circumstances.
This ensures that the goals and the subsequent tasks are feasible and match the organization's mission and vision. SMARTER goals communicated appropriately at all levels of an organization can motivate and are more likely to lead to success.
SMARTER goals are objectives that meet the following criteria:
Goal setting is required for an organization to carry out its strategic plan. It is equally important to monitor how well the objectives of the goals are being followed. The Developing SMARTER Goals and Actions worksheet (XLS 73KB) will help in developing goals and actions that relate to the mission of the organization.
Long-term goals should be SMARTER goals that have a timeline greater than one year. These goals are directly related to the mission of the organization. For example, if the mission of the organization is to increase farm profitability in Manitoba, a long-term goal might be to attract three new markets to Manitoba commodities in the next five years.
Short-term SMARTER goals are developed with the operations of the organization in mind and should support the steps required to reach the long-term goals. These goals are measured in months and mark the milestones on the way to achieving the long-term goals.
Considering the long-term goal example above, a short-term goal may be to research potential new markets for Manitoba products and prepare a detailed report for one market every three months.
A goal will only be reached if the actions required to meet that goal are followed. Reminding board members and staff of the organization's goals can help them monitor their own progress. Assigning specific tasks or strategies to individuals or committees will significantly increase the chance of success.