With bigger and complex projects, managers have to look beyond standard requirements and timelines and start focusing on setting goals to boost performances.
Setting strategies and challenging goals lead to higher performance. For targets to be valid, there should be an agreement between those of the organization, the team’s, and personal ones. Every member of the team should be working towards a positive outcome and understand how their work is contributing to the bigger picture.
Here are seven leading goal strategies to improve your personal and collective performance:
MAKE SPECIFIC GOALS
The first and most crucial step to goal setting strategies is that they should be specific. A goal will be bogus and unattainable if there it is not tied to something that provides a clear picture of what a goal should look like. An example of a specific purpose would be “Building a web-app to foster brand growth.”
SET ACHIEVABLE AND MEASURABLE GOALS
Think about why you set the goals and what you hope to achieve before you communicate with your team. It is essential to envision the implication of the completion of the set goal on the organization. Every project manager should set goals that are actually achievable and mutually agreed upon by team members. Write your goals down once you have identified them as writing goals down gives a higher chance of achieving them.
Measurement, on the other hand, is an integral part of goal-setting, a measurable goal comes with various benefits. It is to ensure having technical knowhow of tracking and evaluating progress as well as completion, and how this impacts what you want to achieve.
Having the data of the overall progress indicates your actual stand in the progress chart and how much work is left to do. A measurable goal helps you analyze you’re your accomplished target for a specific period. It could boost the morale of members of the team or encourage them to put in more effort.
SET GOALS AT TEAM LEVEL
Setting goals for the team is the next step after determining what you want to achieve. An organization project or goal is split between subsets of groups with each group tackling a particular problem. When teams have challenging, meaningful goals to work towards, they come together as a productive and collaborative unit. It helps them work in agreement and have a common focus, rather than brewing an unhealthy competition amongst members of the group.
It is essential to know the strengths and weaknesses of team members so that you understand what should be assigned to whom. You can either let them work on what they want to or categorize it as per their strengths so that it can be delivered on time.
LET INDIVIDUAL TEAM MEMBERS SET PERSONAL GOALS
Team goals should be broken down into individual ones. After determining team goals, individuals should be given the autonomy to develop their own goals in line with the team ones. Based on their individual, they should be able to determine vital initiatives that will support the more significant team objectives.
Deadlines are essential in developing accountability to project managers and members of the team, making the goals more meaningful. A goal with no deadline won’t serve its purpose as it could end up constantly sideline and never achieved. If team members start to feel the goals aren’t being taken as a serious assignment, they will put up a lackadaisical attitude towards it. It also means that you can work on an array of initiatives throughout the goal that fosters company objectives.
Deadlines should be set for longer periods of time. The longer a goal is set to be achieved, the likelier it is to accommodate mistakes and changes. The long time frame should, however, be broken into smaller bits with harder targets taken on first before the easier ones.
It was mentioned earlier that targets should be measurable, deadlines help in tracking the success of a project and restructuring or changing underperforming individuals in sub set teams.
HELP PEOPLE MEET THEIR GOALS
One of the cores of project management is teamwork, and providing support to team members will help them learn how to develop meaningful and achievable goals. In project management, a team leader’s responsibility is to help your people achieve their goals in addition to giving the team direction. There are several ways this can be done:
Help them define measurable goals
Explain to them what it means to have an achievable goal
Give your team regular feedback so they know what’s going well, and what could be improved
Support them with advice on how to achieve their targets
LEARN FROM YOUR YOUR MISTAKES
Despite strictly following the steps to setting goals to boost performance, some of it will fail. Some may have been set on a high bar, some may not have been realistic, and some may suffer from changes made in the course of the project. All goals are not going to be met. Be sure the team members understand it’s ok not to get it right; the goal shouldn’t be put an end to future goal sets; it’s a way of guiding an individual’s work. Staying open to the possibility of failure doesn’t mean accepting mediocrity, or those goals don’t matter, it means you are ready and willing to learn from your fails and progress when another target is set.
It is important to note that communication is vital to ensure everyone understands the aim of setting goals. And of course, team goals should always be in agreement with the company goals. Don’t forget to spend time on personal development goals with your team members beyond project-related purposes that drive results. The difference between an average project manager and an effective one is the ability to set smart goals.