I talked about this in a previous newsletter on how SMART goals help make changes happen.

My daughters and I recently finished planning their race season (basically all of 2022) which includes some big SMART goals as well as some big objectives.

(she blinked…but she ran off and got on her bike before I could retake the pic…)

We practice what we preach here.

It’s the same when you’re managing an OFS team.

You want to see projects completed.
You want to see work continuously improving.

For that to happen, you need to have SMART expectations.

Goals and expectations are two sides of the same coin. The goal of your OFS is to meet your expectations.

By setting expectations that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

you’ve given your OFS a goal that they can achieve.

Why is this important?

Having SMART expectations ensures that you and your OFS team are on the same page.
Your OFS knows exactly what you want, and you know exactly what you’re getting.

Giving your OFS achievable goals also keeps them motivated even when things aren’t going their way.

It’s just how the human mind works. You’re more likely to keep working towards your goal when you’re making progress, no matter how small.

The best example I have for a SMART expectation is when I tell my employees that they have to send a daily email.

Even when they’re having a bad day at work and nothing’s going their way, the daily report is the one thing that can’t go wrong.

The daily email works on so many levels. It allows them to talk about their problems at work, so they don’t disappear. It lets us know what the problem is to start fixing it.

Lastly, it keeps them motivated because they know they did one thing right for that day.

Setting SMART expectations is also how we get projects done on Basecamp.

  1. I start by telling my team what I want.
  2. We talk, exchange ideas, and break down the project into achievable tasks.
  3. The tasks are assigned to the right people.
  4. Deadlines are set.
  5. Feedback is exchanged.
  6. Repeat steps 2 to 5 until the job is done.

It’s a system that works. It has worked so well that I needed help with project management because we had so many things going on.

I don’t think you need to go through the SMART acronym with everything you give your OFS…but being clear and realistic and having deadlines and being measurable… are all really helpful for your OFS.