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Writing SMART Objectives – Quick Primer

In this appendix from the Center for Disease Control, a quick description of how to write SMART objectives is provided. Generally regarded as a manner designed to assure effective objectives, SMART is sometimes hard to implement, but this document not only provides a sample objective, but also a tool for helping define the breakdown of any objective an organisation hopes to achieve. In this case, the objective is: “In County X, increase the percentage of adult patients with non-rifampin-resistant TB who complete treatment in less than 12 months (as measured by cohort review) from 80% to 90% (the national goal) by 2014. While that may be a foreign example to you, consider the elements that built the statement: The objective is specific because it identifies a defined event: adult TB patients will complete treatment in less than 12 months. The objective is measurable because it specifies a baseline value and the quantity of change the intervention is designed to achieve: from 80% to 90%. As in the example, it is worthwhile to note whether there is an existing data source for the objective. The objective is achievable because it is realistic given the 10-year time frame. The objective is also relevant because it relates to the elimination of exposure to non-resistant TB. Finally, the objective is time-bound because it provides a specified time frame by which the objective will be achieved (from 2004 to 2006). Under this section is a graph to help illustrate how the objective was built, and why it’s effective. SMART objectives assure that pertinent information is shared precisely in order to help in understanding and success. Try going through a few of your own objectives and evaluating how they stack up to the SMART method.

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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