In an ever-changing business landscape, agile teams have become the go-to approach for organizations seeking flexibility, adaptability, and rapid response to customer needs.
But the nature of agile methodologies can make it difficult for teams to set goals that drive results. This is where the SMART framework can allow you to create well-defined goals.
This article presents 13 examples of SMART goals tailored for agile teams, helping them deliver success. From improving team velocity to launching innovative product features, these goals will promote alignment and results-oriented thinking.
So, let’s delve into the world of SMART goals and discover how they can empower your agile team to reach new heights of performance and overall productivity.
What is a SMART Goal?
The SMART system is invaluable for agile teams seeking to establish goals. For those unfamiliar, SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
Let’s delve deeper into each SMART element:
It might seem obvious, but the more detailed your agile team’s goals are, the higher your chances of achieving them. Ambiguous goals can be tough to reach, while specific goals encourage greater clarity.
For instance, if your team aims to boost product performance, you may set a precise goal: “Reduce the application’s loading time by 30% within three months.” This kind of agile goal shows clear guidance on what must be achieved.
Measurable goals are vital because they enable all team members to efficiently gauge progress. When developing goals for your agile team, make sure they include quantifiable criteria. That makes it easier for the team to measure their success and adjust their efforts accordingly.
Consider the team’s current capabilities and strengths during the goal-setting process. Setting unrealistic goals may lead to frustration and decreased motivation. By establishing goals that align with the team’s existing skill set, you’ll do everything necessary to succeed.
Focus on meaningful goals that hold genuine importance to your team and organization. Doing so provides the inspiration and resolve needed to overcome challenges.
Ask questions like: What do we value most? What contributes to our overall success? By understanding your team’s values and priorities, you can pursue goals that drive results.
A robust timeline helps prioritize tasks based on urgency, allowing your team to allocate time effectively. This way, agile teams can manage their time and avoid distractions hindering progress. They will find it easier to stay focused and on track to meet their targets.
13 SMART Goals Examples for Agile Teams
Here are various examples of SMART goals for agile teams:
1. Increase Team’s Velocity
“We want to improve our team’s velocity by 10% in the next quarter. To do this, we’ll analyze our current velocity and create a roadmap to optimize our workflow to increase our speed without compromising quality.”
Specific: The SMART goal explicitly states how to improve the team’s velocity and the expected outcome.
Measurable: Your team can measure the increase in velocity by 10% compared to the previous quarter.
Attainable: Boosting the team’s velocity is possible with proper workflow optimization.
Relevant: This statement applies to improving the team’s velocity and performance.
Time-based: Goal attainment is anticipated in the next quarter.
2. Foster Culture of Innovation
“To promote a creative work environment, I’ll develop a culture of innovation within the team by the end of 7 months. This will be met by rewarding ideas, encouraging innovation through technology, and creating a safe place to share ideas.”
Specific: The goal clearly details the objective to be achieved and the strategies to do it.
Measurable: You can track the number of ideas each team member shares and reward the best ideas.
Attainable: With the given timeline, fostering a culture of innovation within the team is possible.
Relevant: Team members must be allowed to think outside the box and develop creative solutions.
Time-based: Seven months are required to accomplish lasting success.
3. Create Knowledge-Sharing Program
“I want to create an environment where everyone can share their knowledge and expertise over the next 8 months. I plan to implement a knowledge-sharing program to help new team members better integrate into the agile process.”
Specific: You have a well-defined plan to develop a knowledge-sharing program.
Measurable: Establish deadlines for completion and include milestones for the program.
Attainable: It is feasible to create a knowledge-sharing program over 8 months.
Relevant: The goal helps team members integrate better into the agile process.
Time-based: You have an 8-month end date to reach this particular goal.
4. Reduce Cycle Time for Delivery
“I will strive to reduce our cycle time for feature delivery by 10% in the following three months. I want to ensure that the team can complete tasks on time so that we can deliver the best results.”
Specific: The aim is to minimize the cycle time for feature delivery by 10% over three months.
Measurable: Find how much time you save by counting the days it takes to complete tasks.
Attainable: This is an achievable goal with proper planning and execution.
Relevant: Reducing the cycle time for delivery assures that the team delivers impressive results.
Time-based: Achievement of this goal is expected after three months.
5. Conduct Retrospective Meetings
“To continually improve our performance, I will lead regular retrospective meetings every four weeks. That will allow us to review and analyze our successes and failures and brainstorm solutions for improvement.”
Specific: The goal is clear. The team will conduct regular retrospective meetings every four weeks.
Measurable: Success can be measured by the number of meetings held over time.
Attainable: This is absolutely doable if given the necessary resources and dedication.
Relevant: Retrospective meetings are essential for continual improvement in performance.
Time-based: You can consider this an ongoing effort every four weeks.
6. Implement Automated Testing
“I want to facilitate faster development cycles and reduce manual testing by implementing automated testing across all major applications within the next 12 months. This will help us to achieve high-quality results faster and boost our chances of success.”
Specific: The SMART goal is to implement automated testing for all major applications.
Measurable: Ensure automated testing is implemented correctly and accurately for all major applications.
Attainable: This can be achieved if the team schedules time to research, plan, and develop automated application testing.
Relevant: Automated testing is vital for any agile team that wants to increase efficiency and reduce manual testing.
Time-based: The statement must be accomplished after 12 whole months.
7. Streamline Deployment Procedures
“I would like to establish efficient and organized deployment procedures to help the team deploy more quickly. I want to reduce the time to deploy our applications from two days to one day within the next three months.”
Specific: This goal is explicit because it defines the objective of streamlining deployment procedures.
Measurable: The team can determine how long it takes to deploy their applications.
Attainable: Lowering the time to deploy applications from two days to one day is achievable.
Relevant: Streamlining deployment procedures is relevant to the team’s productivity.
Time-based: The goal should be achieved within the next three months.
8. Improve Communication Channels
“I will review, improve and implement better communication channels for team members to talk to each other within two months. I want everyone in the team to feel comfortable and valued when they communicate with each other.”
Specific: You’ll review, improve, and implement effective communication channels for the team.
Measurable: Measure the new communication channels’ ease of use and effectiveness.
Attainable: With two months, there should be enough time to plan and execute improvements.
Relevant: Enhancing communication channels is crucial for team members to interact and feel comfortable.
Time-based: The deadline is two months, which should be enough time to reach success.
9. Enhance Collaboration Among Teams
“I will create an online platform to facilitate team communication and collaboration within the next two months. This will help everyone quickly find information from other teams and progress on shared projects together.”
Specific: The individual aims to create an online platform to help facilitate team communication.
Measurable: Success can be evaluated by the successful launch of the platform in two months.
Attainable: This is reachable because you are actively boosting team collaboration.
Relevant: This SMART goal is suitable because it encourages better communication and collaboration.
Time-based: Goal achievement is expected over the two months ahead.
10. Use Story Mapping to Prioritize Workload
“I’ll introduce story mapping to help the team prioritize development work within two months. This method will allow the team to assess what needs to be done, prioritize tasks, and maximize output while keeping the quality of our deliverables high.”
Specific: The statement is clear and concise, stating precisely what needs to be done and how.
Measurable: You should be able to track the effectiveness of story mapping by comparing their tasks and workloads before and after its introduction.
Attainable: This goal can be done by working with the team to introduce and explain story mapping and letting them practice it.
Relevant: Story mapping can help teams prioritize development work; thus, this goal is relevant to maximizing output and the quality of deliverables.
Time-based: There is a two-month window for attaining this certain goal.
11. Encourage Continuous Improvement
“We will implement a system that encourages continuous improvement through feedback and rewards for team members. The system should be in place by the end of three months, with all team members receiving regular feedback and rewards for their efforts.”
Specific: You will strive to implement a system that encourages improvement.
Measurable: The success of this initiative can be quantified by how many team members receive feedback and rewards.
Attainable: This goal is feasible if the team has enough resources and time.
Relevant: Continuous improvement is an integral part of agile teams, so this is appropriate.
Time-based: You have a deadline of three months for goal completion.
12. Optimize Team’s Efficiency
“We should strive to make our processes and workflows more efficient without sacrificing quality. I will assess the team’s efficiency by looking at the number of tasks completed per hour, team meetings held, and how quickly projects are done within 6 months.”
Specific: The goal is to optimize the team’s efficiency and provide metrics for assessing it.
Measurable: Progress can be gauged by the number of tasks completed, meetings held, and how quickly projects are finished.
Attainable: This is possible if the team works together and follows a well-thought-out plan.
Relevant: Optimizing the team’s efficiency contributes to the company’s productivity.
Time-based: There is a 6-month timeline for achieving this goal.
13. Improve Product Quality
“To ensure we maintain our high standards of quality, I will create an in-depth quality assurance process that is completed before each product release. This process will include testing for usability, performance, and compatibility with existing systems.”
Specific: The goal explains what must be done (create a QA process) and what it should include (testing for usability, performance, and compatibility).
Measurable: You can track the completion of the quality assurance process regularly.
Attainable: Creating a QA process can be done with proper resources.
Relevant: Improving product quality will help maintain the business’ high standards.
Time-based: The goal is reoccurring; you’ll complete it before every product release.
Setting SMART goals is critical for agile teams looking to enhance their performance. Using the SMART goals above, your team can effectively measure progress toward key milestones.
As your team embraces the SMART goal-setting framework, you’ll likely notice improved results all around. But remember—adaptability is the key to victory in an agile environment.
Reevaluate and adjust your goals to ensure they remain achievable. With a solid dedication to SMART goals, your agile team will be well-equipped to deliver exceptional work and contribute to your company’s growth.
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