blog overview
Hasse Jansen, 14 Dec '16

What Does SMART Stand For

SMART goals stand for Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic and Time-related goals. Take a 3-minute crash course in defining SMART goals.

The original SMART goal acronym was defined by George T Doran in 1981.

SMART stands for:


For a complete up to date list of acronym variants have a look here.

Working with SMART goals

The stats say that those who write down goals achieve more than those who don’t. Many have heard about the SMART acronym, but far fewer are actually working with SMART goals on a daily basis. In practice, less than a third of goals are SMART.

Using SMART goals does make a lot of sense. We have all experienced how poorly defined goals cause confusion and lead to poor results. Right before a last-minute emergency meeting, everyone goes through a pile of old emails and presentations trying to dig up what the initial project goal was.

The small tweak 'SMART goals' needed to finally make them part of your daily routine Click To Tweet

Working with SMART goals can be effective, but the acronym does need some small tweaks to really make it part of your team’s daily routine. Here’s how you do that.

The new and improved SMART goal checklist

We’ve developed a quick and interactive checklist for marketing goals and objectives. It’s a syntax that will help you set perfect goals just by completing a sentence. For inspiration, we even added 153 best practice KPIs and 166 marketing tactics for you to choose from. 

working-with-smart-goalsHere’s how the SMART acronym is woven into the syntax…


Specific – Target a specific area for improvement.

  • Achievement (achieve) - What result needs to be achieved?
  • Audience - What is the customer segment or Persona?
  • Product - What is the service, product or offer?


Measurable – Quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.

  • Amount - What is the value to track progress?
  • Metric - What is the unit of measurement to track progress?
  • Start amount - What is the start amount?


Assignable  Specify who will do it.

  • Goal owner - Who is accountable for delivering the output?


Realistic State what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.

  • Deliverable (deliver) - What is the deliverable or output to achieve the result?


Time-related – Specify when the result can be achieved.

  • Date - When will the result (note: not output) be achieved?


As you complete the syntax, suggestions for ‘KPIs’ and ‘marketing tactics’ based on your previous goals pop up real-time. It’s pretty nifty.

SMART goal KPI lookup

We love the concept of SMART goals, but it needed a little push to make it pleasant to work with on a daily basis. Working with SMART goals is a lot easier using Boardview, and we are pretty proud we’ve made that possible.

Try Boardview for FREE now.