Congratulations! You have set yourself a SMART goal, you have a clear and achievable goal, but where are you? How are you moving towards this goal? In this article, I will discuss the notion of predictive indicators and reactive indicators. To control your performance and make sure you achieve your goals, it is important to no longer look at your goals during the year … At least not too regularly.
SMART : a reactive indicator
In most cases, your goal is reactive, that is, it measures the outcome after it is reached. If I go back to my example: I’m going to get off work time by limiting my email time to two hours a day by May 15th, it’s not by measuring the time spent processing my e-mails, that will help me reduce it.
I necessarily have an action plan to get there. And the actions may not give immediate results, so my result, and especially my appreciation of the result may be distorted. That’s why we need to build predictive, behavior-based indicators to ensure that ultimately results are achieved.
The desired behaviors to reach the results must be chosen carefully, because they are the ones we will follow on a regular basis.
Define the behaviors that will have impact on the goal
You need to know enough about your operations and your performance framework to define what needs to be done. In the example above, I need to know what behaviors I will be able to measure. I will also look for behaviors that have the greatest impact in achieving this goal. For example :
- Deactivate email alerts
- Close my mailbox after consulting it
- Define an email work period in my calendar
- Treat my emails before working on my files
- Treat my emails after finalizing my tasks
Even before the time spent on my emails reduces, and even before measuring, if I apply (or not) the chosen behaviors, then I will know that my goal will be achieved (or not).
Behaviors are the way to get to the goal, it’s the controllable part of the goal.
Proactively monitor daily performance
It’s the same for everyday performance. If you want to achieve 150 sales per month and you measure, every month, the number of sales made, you will only have information after what happened in the month. If the result is not achieved, you may wait the next month to determine if the trend continues and if you catch up (or not) on your sells. If necessary, you will conduct an investigation to determine the causes and put a plan of action. By measuring the most impactful behavior for your sales, such as the time spent with clients by representatives (80%), you will be able to quickly determine if your goals will be achieved.
After setting SMART goals, you need to develop an action plan to achieve them, with predictive measures based on behaviors. Operational management, based on performance indicators to be achieved, also requires predictive measures, if you want to control your performance and not follow it..