Here’s a great article, reminding us what SMART goal setting truly should be by Scott Wood, one of HNA’s involvement leaders.

The smart goal of a S.M.A.R.T. Goal

So…there’s smarty-pants, smart-casual, smart phone, smart-alec (my mom’s favorite; though I never knew who Alec was), smart cars, … and then there’s a smart goal. The acronym S.M.A.R.T has been in use for many years at Honda. It is a great technique for establishing a logical goal. However; I have seen it misused and abused over the last 25 years. First of all, let’s clarify what “S.M.A.R.T.” stands for (pardon my dangling participle).


  • S = Simple or Specific. This letter reminds one to make sure one’s goal is focused and easily understood by all. Not necessarily easy to attain, but easy to understand.
  • M = Measurable. To prove that you have moved towards a better condition, the goal must be quantifiable. How will you measure success?
  • A = Attainable. The measure or target should be within reach. By using good logic as a foundation (process capability, business plan alignment, etc.) even a stretch target can be defined as attainable
  • R = Relevant. The target must be set against the data collected to describe the current condition as it exists prior to any corrective action or countermeasures, If you collected data that defines the amount of injuries you have experienced, don’t set a goal to reduce downtime.
  • T = Timebound. No…it isn’t “Trackable”. Did ya ever hear the phrase “lost in translation”? Well, that happened here. For a solid, all encompassing goal you must have a date or time when it will be finished.

Your goal will ALWAYS be two-pronged. Improvement metric and time critical. So finally, do not set a goal and then use SMART as a means to explain it. That’s backwards and you are smarter than that. The smart goal of S.M.A.R.T is to ensure you have a smart goal.

-Scott A Wood-