Incorporating SMART goals to reach project milestones is key to your teams productivity and motivation.
What does SMART goals stand for; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
Project managers know the stress and importance of maintaining a project’s timeline. When the team encounters an unexpected delay they must coordinate their efforts into getting the project back on track. However, with the delicate timeline of a project this can become challenging to achieve. Delays usually lead to the project deadline being pushed back or the cancellation of the project as a whole. Meaningful project milestones must be put in place and the team’s incorporation of SMART goals should be used ensure efficiency.
Project milestones are key elements to the project’s completion. They allow the team to visualize the progression of the project on a timeline. Milestones are used to divide the project into sections to avoid the overwhelming feeling of the project as an entirety. SMART goals can be used in synchrony with project milestones on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. Setting these goals as a team holds everyone accountable and to the same standard. These defined and attainable goals with specific criteria can work to improve the motivation of your team.
Timeline and Goal Reinforcement
Using project milestones will ensure team motivation. The identification of each task completion as a milestone can take away from the momentum of the project. This is when SMART goals can become extremely valuable to project managers. Setting and reaching a weekly SMART goal gets your team one step closer to the completion of a project milestone while also providing a sense of progress. This gives your team the motivation to work towards the larger goal and allows them to see the importance of the milestone.
There is great importance to visibly scheduling project milestones on your team’s project calendar. These milestones must be presented with importance as their completion is essential to the project’s deadline. The team can set their weekly SMART goals in accordance to the project milestone deadlines. Therefore, using a project tracking software has great advantages for your team’s motivation and productivity.
Project milestones are set with the understanding that they will be met on time. In the event of the team falling short meeting a milestone, it is crucial the project manager addresses it. This may include re-structuring and examining resources to improve functionality of the team. Reinforcement of a project milestone emphasizes the importance of meeting these goals as individuals on a team.
Liability to Error
This is an important concept to consider when setting milestones as a project manager. The project milestones need to be challenging enough to pose a risk of failure. This creates learning experiences for the team when re-configuring focus points and gives opportunity for SMART goal setting to get back on track. The failure may provide room for improvement within the final project.