Goals and milestones are powerful components of a project plan because they define phases and tasks that need to be adhered to. This can help reduce overcomplicating tasks and maximise time efficiency.
Setting goals and milestones can also support project management by setting deadlines (e.g. finalise grant application) and noting important dates (e.g. start project promotion) while ensuring project related deliverables are met.
Using SMART goals in your project will help you to develop clear and measurable targets to track your project’s success and maximise its impact.
- Specific. Be specific about what you want to achieve. Consider who, what, when, where and why when defining your goal.
- Measurable. How will you measure that you have achieved your goal? Make sure that you use metrics that allow you to demonstrate how you have achieved your goal.
- Achievable. Ensure that your goal is realistic, and you have the resources you need to achieve it.
- Relevant. Your goal must be relevant for your project and align with your or your stakeholders’ overarching vision.
- Timely. Assign a deadline for your goal to be achieved so you have a timeframe to work towards.
Once you have developed your SMART goals you need to work them into your project milestones. These are key achievements throughout your project’s life cycle that help you work out how well it is tracking against your project plan, but do not impact project duration.