The ultimate management training course cliche – “Has anyone heard of SMART goals?” – oh no, not again……
My first objection is that I’m bored with it. They trot it out every time as if it’s some clever new thing. But I do understand that there are those who haven’t seen it, and maybe it’s so ubiquitous because it’s good. But then, …. ….is it?
My second objection is that Specific and Measurable mean pretty much the same thing, and Achievable and Realistic mean pretty much the same thing. So it really should be just SAT goals. And what a waste, because instead of redundancy they could have had some much better things like Challenging and Learning. But then it wouldn’t have fit into their annoying little word.
A management trainer friend of mine has extended it to S.M.A.R.T A.R.S.E. but I’m afraid I can’t remember what the extra four things are. Suggestions on a postcard please.
My third objection is that it doesn’t take account of the fact that there are two completely different types of goals. There are thorough methodical boring work goals – to make 15kg of Granules before 4pm – and you could use SMART for this. SMART almost forces your goals to become boring – “realistic and achievable – don’t shoot for the moon, it’s not definitely achievable”. And there are the inspiring longer term life goals where SMART is completely inadequate. I prefer SPVEM (I tell people it’s Swedish for vomit) which stands for Scary, Positive, Visual, Exciting, and Measurable (damn, I’ve overlapped with SMART at the end there!).
So out with SMART and in with The GRAPEFRUIT!