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SMART Goals - Goal setting


When setting goals for the operations or business to achieve, it is important they are clear and well written with a defined scope. In this manner employees and managers will know exactly what needs to be achieved. SMART is an acronym to describe a goal setting and communication standard which has the following characteristics :

A goal to be achieved must be:

Specific: Be clearly set out in a specific manner. Refer to actual facts and concrete figures.
Measurable: The results or goal must be able to be measured in units or in any other exact way.
Attainable: the goal must be attainable or achievable, it must not be something out of reach or too ambitious. If the goal is too ambitious and never achieved, employee morale may suffer.
Realistic: the goal must be realistic in what it sets out to achieve with the available resources and time frame.
Time based: The goal must have a due date by when it should be achieved. The time line or due date for the goal must also be realistic and achievable.

An example of a SMART goal

Reduction of daily gross reject waste in terms of reject tonnes from production line 3 by 20 % by the end of this financial year in 6 months time, from 2 tonnes per day to 1.6 tonnes per day.

When goals, specially regarding the implementation of lean manufacturing to achieve efficiencies and improvements, are set out using the SMART standard framework, it provides a definite picture of what needs to be achieved and will help set the direction and resources the operations or lean team needs to achieve the goal.


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