SMART Objectives - An industrial best practice

SMART Objectives – A Best Practice For Companies

SMART Objectives - An industrial best practice

SMART Objectives – An industrial best practice

SMART Objectives: Previously we discussed the standard requirement for the quality objectives, here we are going to discuss an industry best practice. However, this is not an ISO 9001:2015 standard requirement.

Companies and quality professionals use this tool as an industry best practice to make the quality objective-setting task more smooth.

SMART is basically the abbreviation of Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound. Let us discuss all these attributes one by one and at the end of the article, we will discuss some objectives (SMART goals examples) and will try to analyze if they are SMART or not.

1. Specific – first attribute of SMART Objectives

The quality objective should be specific which simply means they must be to-the-point, clearly defined, and obviously not vague. So that if anyone reads it they must know what the writer wants to achieve. If you want to be more specific, avoid those words which are not easy to understand. Avoid jargon and those words which confuse readers and may have double meanings.

So despite writing “bi-annual” the phrase “twice a year” will be more suitable to make the objective specific. Because “bi-annual” can be confused with “after two years”. So to avoid confusion and make it more specific write alternate and clear words.

2. Measurable –second attribute of SMART Objectives

Use numbers! Figures (data, digits, grades, numbers, etc.) should be there. The objectives must be set in such a manner that they can be measured. Measurement enables us to decide if the objective is achieved or not, and if it is achieved then to what extent it is achieved.

For example “Production of 1000 cars per month”, if the company produces 1000 cars then the goal is achieved. If 700 cars are produced, then 70% goal is achieved.

3. Achievable – third attribute of SMART Objectives

Objectives must be achievable. They should be practicable, doable, and possible! The “A” in SMART objectives is sometimes used for “achievable” and sometimes for “agreed”. This means that whatever the objectives have been set they must be agreed upon between the organization and the doer (which can be an individual or a department), the affirmation of agreement from them is necessary.

The concerned person who basically is the “doer” in this case will define that if this is possible or not.

4. Realistic – fourth attribute of SMART Objectives

The term realistic is somewhat similar to achievable and can be used alternatively. By the term realistic it is obvious that the objective should be factual, real and there is a possibility that it can be realized. Apart from that “R” in the SMART objectives is also used for “relevant” which means that objectives should be relevant i.e. appropriate for the company, about the business the company is doing.

5. Time-bound – last attribute of SMART Objectives

Objectives must be time-bound or timely. They must have a deadline. Now it is up to the organization to set the deadline appropriately, and realistically. It can be a week, month, few months, or year. But it must have a date of estimated closure. For obvious reasons, so that near the deadline management can analyze if they are close to achieving it or needs more time, effort, and resources for on-time completion.

SMART objectives Examples

Below are some of the examples of SMART objectives:

Organizational Goals

  1. ABC Company will achieve ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 13485:2016 certifications from January 2022 to December 2022.
  2. Reduce defects in the production of Part No. 13211 from the current 10% to 5% before the end of 2022
  3. To make a minimum revenue of $10,000 in annual sales by December 2022; 5 new sales representatives will be hired to grow sales of our new lipsticks line by 10 percent in the first quarter, 15 percent in the second quarter, five percent in the third quarter and 20 percent in the fourth quarter.
  4. Increase the sale of production chemicals by 10% by the end of 2021 as compared to 2020.
  5. Zero documentation errors of data recorded by laboratory analysts through Swiss-cheese method review for the next three months of production (July – Sep 2022)
  6. Train 10 members of the organization in Fire Emergency and First Aid by the end of the year 2021.
  7. The Quality team must complete the validation process of the new product on 30th July and the product must be ready for launch on 15th August.
  8. Achieve a 10% increase in shirt sales profit for the next 2 weeks (W1 July 2022 to W3 July 2022).
  9. My quality Institute will start offering Introduction to Quality Management course to all A Management graduates living in Kigali City to increase the employability rate by 0.05% from 5th January 2022
  10. Successful ISO 9001:2015 certification by the end of 2020
  11. Training of 30 employees on QMS in the month of July 2020
  12. Dispatch at least 20 newsletters to our mailing list over 12 months starting from 1-Jan-2021
  13. Deliver 15% more orders by the end of this year as compared to last year
  14. Improvement in customer satisfaction scores by 5% by end of 2021

Personal Goals

  1. I shall lose two kg of body weight from the current 75 kg in the next two months by ensuring a proper diet and exercise for at least 4 hrs. per week
  2. I will go to the gym, twice a week during the next month of July 2022.


Hopefully, the above examples have cleared the concepts of SMART objectives. The objectives mostly are one liner, they are concise enough, they are realistic and achievable and are not dreamy or hypothetical, and they are measurable as every statement has mentioned a number (e.g. 30 employees, 20 newsletters, 15% more orders, 5% scores, 10% increase, the revenue of $10,000, etc.) and finally all the objectives are time-bound (i.e. end of 2021, 12 months, 2 weeks, three months, etc.)

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