Whatever industry or organization you are in, goal setting is an essential but underrated management skill. Setting clear goals not only unifies the members of the organization, but it also determines the steps you have to take to get there.
While management skills are developed through time with experience, incorporating technology in the mix could help you with performing and finishing tasks. In today’s article, we’re going to discuss some practices that could help you achieve your goals faster. Even if you’re not in the tech industry, we think that these practices could help everyone.
Improve Your Goal Setting Method
When we think of goal setting, most of us would only think about the output of our work. But what we need to realize is that goal setting also involves considering your limitations, setting doable action steps, and more.
To help you with the goal-setting process, it might be useful to apply some steps of the scientific method for this one. While it might sound far fetched, the scientific method is an organized way of problem-solving. So even if you’re not in the field of science and technology, using this method is useful. This is another take on what others call the S.M.A.R.T. way of writing goals.
Identify the Problem You Want to Solve
First things first, identify what problem you want to solve. It may be in the form of a question, or it may be the desired output. When doing so, make sure that you have considered the limitations so that your goal setting could be realistic and doable. Let’s say that you want to set up your website as your goal.
Break Down the Problem and Identify Appropriate Methods
Next, breakdown that down into smaller and more specific goals. Breaking this general goal into more specific and actionable problems could be improving your HTML coding skills or learning how to use WordPress. By doing so, we can determine the actionable and realistic steps to take to get there.
Identify the Metrics for Progress
After we’ve identified the methods you need to do to get closer to reaching your goal, it’s now time to determine how you could measure your progress or what we call metrics. Metrics don’t always have to be in the form of numbers. It could also be in the form of smaller outputs. In our example, the metric for your progress in learning WordPress could be to publish a few pages or posts on your test site.
Identify the Time Frame
The last step of goal setting is identifying a realistic time frame for your goal or project. Without a time frame, everything will be on what we call a “rubber band deadline.” This means that by not setting a clear and strict deadline on each action step, you can easily get derailed from reaching your goal. Setting a time frame also reinforces accountability on yourself and other members of the organization.
Get the Necessary Tools
In the planning phase, we mentioned that you should identify the appropriate methods you should use to solve your specific goals. Breaking it down in such a way also helps you identify the resources you need to achieve your goals.
Do you need a better router for your workspace? Do you need a computer with a larger RAM for rendering? Do you need more personnel to do the tasks? Do you need software like an archiving tool and cloud storage to make files accessible to everyone? Whatever your requirements are, identifying these requirements will help you think about what you currently have and what more you should get. This is also extremely useful if you’re planning your budget for a project.
Monitor Your Progress
Because you’ve established a time frame in the beginning, monitoring the progress of the subtasks now becomes more effortless. If you’re in a management or leadership position, tracking the development gives you an idea of where you are at in reaching your goal.
Compared to the traditional office setting, the culture in the tech industry is about giving your members their autonomy in doing their work (everyone hates micromanagers). At the same time, you should also ensure that they are still on track with working on your common goal.
You can use tools like email or a messaging service app if you need some updates or troubleshoot problems immediately. This way, meetings will be held only when necessary, which saves people a lot of energy and time to do their work.
Make Feedback a Habit
Feedback mechanisms should be part of an organization’s habit. Giving feedback to your members, and vice versa helps the organization on many levels. As long as we practice constructive criticism in the workplace and giving credit where it is due, the member’s morale is boosted. In turn, this raises the confidence of the whole organization as well, and the more everyone would want to reach your common goal.
Aside from that, if done regularly, you can assess the problems and troubleshoot them immediately. Always remember that when giving feedback, you are trying to solve a problem and not taking this as a personal attack on someone’s character. A good idea would be to let each individual assess themselves based on their output.
At the end of your goal or project’s timeline, it’s also a good practice to get everyone’s feedback about their personal and the whole organization’s performance. By doing so, you can take note of the lessons everyone has learned during the process and apply them in your future projects.
Setting goals and implementing them could be quite a challenge. It involves a lot of technical and interpersonal skills, especially if you’re working inside an organization. But with a realistic plan, proper monitoring and feedback mechanisms, and the right tools, achieving goals becomes more doable.
Of course, what we’ve listed down today are only some of the many good practices you can implement in your workplace. While there might be better practices out there, there is no harm in trying these out for yourself and adjust depending on your work environment.