Break SMART goals into milestones
1. Set a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based) goal based on business objectives.
Many SMART goal templates exist that provide additional instruction on how to make sure your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. Examples of SMART goals include: Our marketing team will gain 500 new Instagram followers in six weeks. Our marketing team will increase subscribers to our blog 30% over the next quarter.
2. Break your SMART goal down into smaller incremental goals that can be individually taken and measured within a shorter time period than your overall goal.
Research may include looking at competitors, reading quality sources, discussion with peers, or talking to your sales teams. Consider how much time, money, people, and other resources will be needed to complete each step. Building on the prior examples, below are specific action steps that will taken towards the SMART goals: Our marketing team will gain 500 new Instagram followers in six weeks by increasing brand Instagram posts from two a week to four a week using curated content from customers and influencers. Our marketing team will increase subscribers to our blog 30% over the next quarter by posting blog content on a consistent weekly basis, promoting our blog in all of our email marketing, and adding an email capture form to our website.
3. List out every action step needed for SMART goal completion.
Think of each actionable step as a mini SMART goal. These steps should be specific, with a clear point of completion. These are examples of clear action steps that need to be created to complete each of the four weekly Instagram posts needed to reach the goal: Create a hashtag for customers to use. Write an Instagram caption that invites people to use a hashtag. Find a promotional photo in your company’s content folder. Post to Instagram with the photo, caption, and hashtag. Monitor hashtag usage over a one-week period. Choose one to repost. Repost with new caption and credit to the original content creator.
4. Assign an owner to each action step, and communicate the details to the owner.
One member can complete as many steps of each SMART goal as seen fit. Split up tasks based on skill set and workload. Assigning a team leader per SMART goal is also beneficial.
5. Set a deadline for each action step, and verify the owner can meet that deadline.
Deadlines for action steps may be time ranges or estimates but must allow sufficient time to meet a larger SMART goal deadline even with unexpected delays or incorrect estimates. Use a shared company calendar like Google Calendar or preferred product management tool.
6. Schedule and follow through with check-ins and progress updates to maintain accountability.
Check-ins can be full-scale meetings or quick email exchanges.
7. Track progress through specified project or task management tools.
Leverage status updates and reporting included in tools like Asana, or use spreadsheets in conjunction with calendars and email.
8. Update deadlines or redistribute resources based on changes to objectives or circumstances.
Set deadlines as a guide, and be flexible and adaptable, as unexpected changes to your schedule may arise, or company objectives may change. Having action steps, owners, and status clearly tracked means you can redistribute resources to team members who may need more help easily.
9. Reach your SMART goals one milestone at a time.
For your next SMART goal, use your prior experience to better assess realistic timelines and capabilities.