Using SMART Goals to make the most of your Retrospectives and projects

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
May 14, 2020
Updated on
Oct 16, 2022
Table of Content

When working on a project or holding a team sprint retrospective meeting, it is very important to have your goals laid out and to be 100% clear on them. If the goals are not clearly laid out, then a lot of time is wasted on figuring out those goals as opposed to discussing them. A dev team’s effectiveness can be greatly affected by whether they have a clear vision as to what their goals are. By using SMART goals upfront, it will give your team clarity and will give your team the momentum it needs to achieve its wanted outcomes.

What Are SMART Goals?

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive. SMART goals possess all these qualities and ensure focused and productive meetings.

  • Specific: Assess the goal and determine if it is straightforward and clear or ambiguous and unclear. A SMART goal should be able to answer the who, what, when, where and why. 
  • Measurable: Can the outcome of these goals be measured as to whether or not they have been reached? is there clear criteria in place to determine the progress that has been made?
  • Achievable: Is this goal able to be attained or is it something that will end up being more trouble than it’s worth? It should be a challenge, but not impossible.
  • Realistic: Along with being achievable, the goal should be realistic. Do you have enough time to achieve it, or the resources necessary? 
  • Timely: Is there a definite timeline for this goal? A definite start and definite finish? If there is no expectation of time limits, then how can a goal’s progress be measured?

How Can You Get Started with SMART Goals?

The best way to begin working with SMART goals is by getting your team involved in creating them. By getting everyone involved, the goals will be of higher quality and more attainable. Also, your team will be sure to be on board with all of the decisions made and they will be more likely to work harder to achieve these goals. 

Once you have created your SMART goals, you and your team should come up with a plan of action. This will ensure that everyone is on board and working together to achieve the goals. This action plan may involve breaking the goals into smaller milestones. Doing this will make the goals seem much more achievable and everyone will have steps to take in order to work towards the end goals.

How Can SMART goals help my Sprint Retrospective meetings?

By having something to track (being the SMART goals), your Retrospective meetings will be very productive. You can use that time to discuss how far your team has come and what is left to accomplish. Using SMART goals can totally transform teams’ Retrospective meetings in the best way. They will give your meetings some purpose and allow everyone to play a role. Then, once the goals have been met, your team has a lot to celebrate!


About the author

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert

Highly experienced in leading multi-organizational teams, groups, in-shore as well as off-shore. The go-to person who is able to simplify the complex. An agile advocate, experienced in all common methodologies. Responsible for the entire software development lifecycle process from development, QA, DevOps, Automation to delivery including overall planning, direction, coordination, execution, implementation, control and completion. Drives execution, and communicates on status, risks, metrics, risk-mitigation and processes across R&D.

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