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What are smart objectives?

Posted on 08 February 2023

What are smart objectives?

​4-minute read

Whether you are trying to get a promotion at work or fulfil a personal ambition in your spare time, setting objectives is a sure way to help progress along the path of success. At work, objectives help provide you structure in your day-to-day tasks, offer accountability and help define what level you are within the business.

We often refer to the phrase ‘SMART objectives’ not just in our day-to-day work at Peritus Partners but also in a number of our articles, but what exactly is a SMART objective?

Throughout this article we will break down the acronym of SMART, sharing the specifics that make up a SMART objective as well as package up examples that you can alter for your unique needs, simplifying your learning of them.


What are SMART objectives?

SMART objectives have been in and around the business world circa 1981. They have been the ‘go-to’ choice of objective setting for many organisations, executives and high performers across all industries.

SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic (Sometimes Relevant) and Time-Bound.

When used correctly, it makes objectives clearer allowing you to plan your time and energy more effectively.



Many goals and objectives fail simply because they are too vague. A fundamental component of a SMART objective is the fact that it is specific. It clearly highlights a specific outcome you wish to accomplish and can be easily understood by anyone who reads it.



The objective you intend to set needs to be easily measurable. You need to clearly be able to tell if you are making progress as intended or not.

If you cannot measure the success of the objective, it might be too vague still, if this is the case go back a step and try and make it more specific.



Aim high in everything you do, but within a SMART objective, the objective needs to be attainable. Encourage development of new skills and stretch your abilities, but having lofty over the top objectives that are not within reach at this stage will only demotivate you when you do not hit them.



Given your current resources, is the objective you have set realistic? Do you have the money, time and equipment needed to complete the objective?

Making sure the objective is actually realistic from the get-go will help reduce wasted time and energy, allowing you to focus on the right objectives every time.



The final aspect of a SMART objective is time-bound. Including dates by which the objective should be completed will help have something to aim for, it will encourage action and (hopefully) remove complacency throughout the process.


SMART objectives can be set on an individual, team or company basis. It doesn’t matter who the objective is set for, the process doesn’t change. We recommend using our examples below to help you get started, but if you decide to dive right in yourself, just remember to make sure they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.


Example for an individual:

Get promoted to a Senior PHP Developer with more code responsibilities whilst providing mentoring support to develop my interpersonal skills by the end of March 2024.


Example for a team:

To recruit 4 new front-end developers into our ‘core’ team by end of September 2023.


Example for a company:

To generate 15% revenue from online pre-order sales before 31st December 2023.


Share this article with your network if someone could benefit from it, and if you decided to set an objective around securing a new job, reach out to us today to see how we can aid you in your objective.

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