Product ownership is challenging, requiring both the practical skills for managing products and the strategic vision to guide their development.
Setting clear goals can allow product owners to focus on their objectives and get the most out of their team. Fortunately, SMART goals are an effective tool for helping product owners prioritize tasks and manage resources.
What is a SMART Goal?
Product owners should take advantage of the SMART framework to develop practical goals. In case you didn’t know, SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.
Let’s dive deeper into all 5 SMART components:
Detailed goals give focus and direction to your actions and decisions. Instead of just saying, “I want to be successful,” break down that statement into smaller goals, such as “I want to get a promotion at my job this year.”
It is essential to have an effective system in place for tracking and measuring progress so that you can remain motivated and focused on reaching desired outcomes. After all, with a way to monitor progress, it can be easier to tell if you are making headway or spinning your wheels.
Goals should challenge you, but they must also feel attainable by taking reasonable steps. Unrealistic goals can leave you feeling overwhelmed and discouraged when they are not met. That is a situation you must avoid at all costs.
Goals should be developed based on what you value most in life, as this gives you greater relevance and helps keep them top-of-mind when times are tough. By creating relevant goals that reflect your values, you’ll be able to draw strength from them and push on even in times of difficulty.
Setting a timeline for success is an integral part of staying accountable on your journey to success. It’s easy to get sidetracked or lose focus when you don’t have any clear goals in sight. A timeline will help you stay organized and motivated, so you must create one from the outset.
13 SMART Goals Examples for Product Owners
Here are 13 SMART goals examples to help you succeed as a product owner:
1. Develop a Minimum Viable Product
“I want to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for our new product within 6 months and ensure it meets customer expectations. I’ll create a prototype, conduct user testing, and make any necessary adjustments before the official launch.”
Specific: The SMART goal is explicit by establishing a timeline and outlining the necessary objectives to be completed.
Measurable: The product owner can evaluate progress through customer satisfaction surveys, user testing, and prototype feedback.
Attainable: Developing an MVP within 6 months is achievable with the right team.
Relevant: This particular goal is pertinent to product development.
Time-based: Six months is the allotted time for creating an MVP.
2. Improve Communication Skills
“I will take a course in effective communication skills and complete all related assignments by the end of three months. I want to communicate better with customers, colleagues, and other stakeholders to ensure important information is always relayed most effectively.”
Specific: The product owner will take a course in practical communication skills and complete all related assignments.
Measurable: You can check the progress and completion of the communication course.
Attainable: This goal is achievable with proper dedication and effort.
Relevant: Improving communication skills will help the product owner better communicate with customers, colleagues, and other stakeholders.
Time-based: You can anticipate goal attainment after three months.
3. Enhance Product Quality
“I will increase product quality by 20% in three months. To do this, I’ll create a detailed plan outlining the necessary steps to improve product quality, such as better testing procedures, more comprehensive design reviews, and increased customer feedback.”
Specific: The goal is clear and explains how to increase product quality.
Measurable: Product quality can be tracked by measuring success against the 20% increase in three months.
Attainable: This goal is achievable with a detailed plan of action and timeline for completion.
Relevant: Improving product quality will ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Time-based: The goal should be accomplished in three whole months.
4. Launch New Features
“I want to launch two new features each month for the 6 months ahead, with 12 new features launched. I will ensure that these features align with our product roadmap and that they have been tested thoroughly before launch.”
Specific: The aim is to launch 12 new features in 6 months.
Measurable: You could count the number of features launched each month.
Attainable: Launching two new features every month is absolutely doable.
Relevant: The features should align with the product roadmap and be tested thoroughly before launch.
Time-based: You’ll want to achieve this goal within 6 months.
5. Monitor Competitor Performance
“I will track our competitor’s performance every month, gathering information such as their new products, services, pricing, and any customer feedback they’ve received. This data will provide a complete picture of our current position in the market and help us plan for future growth.”
Specific: The goal is well-defined and outlines the objective, what will be done to achieve it, and how often.
Measurable: You can measure the data collected and review it to identify trends in the industry.
Attainable: This is achievable as long as proper resources are assigned to the task.
Relevant: The data gathered will provide critical insights into competitor performance and help inform decisions.
Time-based: This is a reoccurring goal that you pursue on a monthly basis.
6. Redesign Product Pages
“By the end of four months, I want to improve the user experience of our product pages by redesigning their layout and adding helpful visuals. I plan to accomplish this task by user testing and implementing the changes based on feedback.”
Specific: The goal states the objective, timeline, and action plan.
Measurable: You could determine the usability or sales numbers after making the changes.
Attainable: This is possible because it requires only the necessary effort and resources.
Relevant: This goal is essential for improving the user experience and increasing sales.
Time-based: There is a four-month end date for meeting this goal.
7. Learn the Customers’ Needs
“In order to ensure the highest satisfaction for our customers, I will set a goal to research and understand their needs by conducting customer surveys over the following two months.”
Specific: The SMART goal is to research and understand the customers’ needs by conducting customer surveys.
Measurable: You can measure this goal through customer surveys.
Attainable: This is achievable because you are taking active steps to research and understand customers’ needs.
Relevant: The statement is appropriate because it will help you identify improvement areas to ensure customer satisfaction.
Time-based: You want to attain this particular goal after two months.
8. Facilitate Team Collaboration
“I want to improve inter-team communication and collaboration by creating a central hub for information sharing and developing processes for better team collaboration. To facilitate this, I plan to implement an online collaboration tool and train team members to use it by the end of 8 months.”
Specific: You’ll create a central hub for information sharing and develop processes for better team collaboration.
Measurable: Pay close attention to the team’s improved collaboration and communication.
Attainable: Creating a central hub for information sharing is realistic if the team members have enough time and resources.
Relevant: This SMART goal is appropriate because it improves inter-team communication and collaboration.
Time-based: Eight months is required to reach this particular goal.
9. Improve Delivery Times
“I want to reduce product delivery times by a third so customers can receive their purchases faster. I will implement new processes and technologies within two months to decrease delivery times and enhance the customer experience.”
Specific: The goal is to reduce delivery times by a third.
Measurable: This can be measured through the number of successful deliveries within a set timeline.
Attainable: This goal is achievable if given the proper time and resources.
Relevant: Improving delivery times is essential for a product owner.
Time-based: There is a two-month timeline for goal completion.
10. Reduce Development Cycle Times
“Over the course of one year, I want to reduce the development cycle times for all new products by 20%. I’ll streamline our processes, review ways to improve communication between teams, and assess the impact of changes on timescales.”
Specific: The statement clearly outlines the objective and action plan.
Measurable: Monitor the development cycle times for products over one year.
Attainable: This should be reachable with the right strategies.
Relevant: Reducing development cycle times can promote faster product launches.
Time-based: You will accomplish this goal in one year.
11. Leverage Automation Technologies
“To ensure our employees have the most efficient and up-to-date tools, I will leverage automation technologies to streamline processes after four months. This will enable our team to work more efficiently and effectively so they can focus more on their core tasks.”
Specific: The goal is easy to understand, stating the exact objective and how it will be reached.
Measurable: Automation technologies can be measured by the number of processes streamlined and tasks completed in a given time frame.
Attainable: You must actively familiarize yourself with automation technologies.
Relevant: This is important for ensuring that team members are equipped with the most efficient and up-to-date tools.
Time-based: There is a four-month deadline for the SMART goal.
12. Develop Unique Selling Points
“I will brainstorm and create a list of our product’s unique selling points to identify areas where we can improve customer engagement in two months. I want to demonstrate how our product stands out from competitors and attracts more customers.”
Specific: You know exactly what you need to do to reach your goal (brainstorm and create a list).
Measurable: You can track the progress of your brainstorming and list.
Attainable: Brainstorming and creating a list of unique selling points is possible.
Relevant: You want to maximize customer engagement by showcasing the unique features of your product.
Time-based: You plan on completing this goal in two months.
13. Implement Scalability Solutions
“I want our product to scale with growing user demand seamlessly. To achieve this, I’ll research and implement scalability solutions that can be deployed in three months. This will prevent bottlenecks and slowdowns and ensure we’re ready to take on new challenges.”
Specific: The SMART goal is evident as it outlines the steps needed to implement scalability solutions.
Measurable: You can measure the implementation for the duration of three months.
Attainable: This is achievable with research, dedication, and effort.
Relevant: The ability to scale with user demand is a must-have for product owners.
Time-based: Goal achievement is anticipated after three months.
SMART goals are essential for product owners to guide their development process and ensure their team delivers the right products. The acronym makes it easy to remember how to create achievable goals and track their progress.
Using SMART goals will encourage product owners to drive their teams toward success and get closer to delivering the best products possible.
As a product owner, clearly understanding SMART goals can help you develop better projects and more productive teams.
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