Technical writing is a critical skill that enables writers to communicate technical information clearly and concisely. Developing SMART goals can ensure that your writing projects are successful by providing a concrete framework.
To succeed as a technical writer, you must set effective goals and objectives to work towards. In this article, we’ll discuss some examples of SMART goals for technical writers to help them reach their targets.
What is a SMART Goal?
The SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based) system will enable technical writers to establish effective goals for success.
Still trying to understand? Let’s dive deeper into each SMART letter:
When setting goals for your technical writing career, specificity is key. Rather than simply saying, “I want to be a successful technical writer,” take the time to define what success means to you.
Want to become an expert in a particular field? Do you aspire to land top-tier clients or secure high-paying contracts? Once you’ve identified your specific goals, you’ll find it much easier to chart a course toward reaching them.
For technical writers to be successful, they must possess the ability to measure their progress to reach their ultimate objective. Following the SMART criterion will help you anticipate any obstacles that may come along and use them as invaluable learning experiences on your journey ahead.
Many of us dream big when it comes to goal setting. We often set our sights high and aim for the stars. While ambition is an admirable trait, recognize that not all goals are created equal. In truth, setting unrealistic goals can hinder our progress and discourage us.
That’s why you must strive to be practical. Take a step back and consider what’s achievable within your current circumstances. It may mean adjusting your expectations or breaking larger goals into more attainable milestones.
Crafting meaningful goals that reflect your core beliefs will drive you to achieve the desired outcome. Even during the most trying times, your steadfast core values will be a constant source of guidance and support.
A reliable timeline ensures that your progress remains steady and you never lose sight of your achievements. Success is not a one-night wonder but an ongoing effort of dedication and perseverance. Time will be needed to help your journey to greatness blossom into fruition.
13 SMART Goals Examples for Technical Writers
Here are 13 examples of SMART goals for technical writers:
1. Improve Writing Speed
“To increase my efficiency and productivity, I’ll double my average words per minute by the end of 7 months. I’ll achieve this using tech-based tools, such as automated copyediting software, to help me write faster and more accurately.”
Specific: This goal outlines what you need to do (use tech-based tools) and how much faster you’ll become (doubling your words per minute).
Measurable: You could measure your words-per-minute rate before and after.
Attainable: This SMART goal is achievable using the right tools and techniques.
Relevant: The statement applies to improving your efficiency and productivity as a technical writer.
Time-based: Success will be reached in the following 7 months.
2. Expand Technical Knowledge
“I will acquire a deeper understanding of complex technical topics by attending at least two seminars related to technical writing within 6 months. I hope this will help me keep up with our clients’ ever-evolving content development needs.”
Specific: The goal is concise and clear, detailing precisely the objective and how it will be achieved.
Measurable: By attending seminars, you can measure your technical knowledge.
Attainable: This goal can be accomplished by attending seminars related to technical writing.
Relevant: This is relevant to technical writing because it ensures you have the knowledge and skills to meet our clients’ content development needs.
Time-based: There is a 6-month end date for meeting this particular goal.
3. Boost Your Productivity
“I’ll increase my productivity by 20% in the next four months by implementing a few tactics to help me meet deadlines more efficiently. I’ll focus on streamlining workflows, maintaining a consistent schedule, and staying organized.”
Specific: This SMART goal explicitly wants to increase productivity by 20% in four months.
Measurable: Track your current productivity levels and measure any improvements after implementing the tactics.
Attainable: Increasing productivity by 20% in four months is realistic if you plan correctly and remain organized.
Relevant: This is relevant to those struggling to stay on top of deadlines or who want to increase their productivity.
Time-based: Goal completion is anticipated after four months.
4. Manage Time Effectively
“My aim is to spend no more than two hours per day on emails and other non-essential tasks by the end of two months. I will use time management tools to ensure I spend my time on productive tasks that help meet the organization’s overall goals.”
Specific: You have precise actions available—use time management tools and limit yourself to two hours per day on emails.
Measurable: Ensure you spend at most two hours on emails daily.
Attainable: Given the proper planning and strategies, this is an achievable goal.
Relevant: This goal relates to your primary objective of managing your time effectively.
Time-based: You should expect goal attainment within two months.
5. Enhance Research Skills
“Within two months, I’ll improve my research capabilities by attending a course on the latest techniques and strategies used in gathering data. That will help me to provide accurate, up-to-date information for our publications and other documents.”
Specific: This statement focuses on the advancement of research skills.
Measurable: Attendance in a course is the objective measure for improvement.
Attainable: Attending a course is the quickest and most effective way to gain knowledge.
Relevant: The research skills gained will be applicable in gathering data for documents.
Time-based: There is a two-month timeline to complete this goal.
6. Optimize Workflow Processes
“I want to identify and implement two methods to improve my technical writing workflow processes after three months. I will measure the resulting improvement in turnaround time and document best practices to ensure long-term efficiency.”
Specific: The individual wants to identify and implement two methods to improve their technical writing workflow processes.
Measurable: They will measure the improvement in turnaround time.
Attainable: This is feasible because the person has clearly outlined a specific action plan to improve their workflow processes.
Relevant: The goal is appropriate because it focuses on optimizing workflow processes, which will improve the quality of technical writing.
Time-based: The statement is time-bound because it has an end date of three months.
7. Strengthen Collaboration Skills
“For the 5 months ahead, I will develop a strategy to improve collaboration skills within our team and with other departments. That could include attending conferences, taking classes, and using collaboration software.”
Specific: This goal is evident because you plan to strengthen collaboration skills.
Measurable: You can track time and resources spent on each step of the plan.
Attainable: The individual has identified a reasonable timeline and activities to develop collaboration skills.
Relevant: Collaboration skills are precious in the workplace and can improve team performance.
Time-based: You should accomplish this goal within 5 whole months.
8. Advance Editing Abilities
“I want to increase my editing abilities by completing a course on copyediting within three months. The course will allow me to become more efficient and accurate when editing documents for my team’s projects.”
Specific: The statement outlines the objective, what steps need to be taken, and a timeline.
Measurable: Track your progress by keeping work samples and assessments from the course.
Attainable: With proper dedication, completing the copyediting course within three months is possible.
Relevant: This is relevant for technical writers because it will help them become better editors.
Time-based: You have three months to complete the course.
9. Grow Networking Opportunities
“I’ll actively reach out to industry professionals and groups to attend a minimum of two networking events each month. Over the course of 8 months, I hope to have a network of at least 10 contacts in the technical writing industry.”
Specific: The goal specifies what needs to be done and how long it should take.
Measurable: You could count the number of contacts made.
Attainable: This is possible if you dedicate time every month to meeting industry professionals.
Relevant: Networking can help you learn more about the technical writing industry, find job opportunities, and gain valuable contacts.
Time-based: Eight months are required to accomplish success.
10. Improve Quality of Writing
“I will strive to improve the quality of my writing within four months by taking classes and implementing feedback from my colleagues. I plan to be more aware of grammar and punctuation rules and ensure my writing is free from typos.”
Specific: This goal is clear because it focuses on improving the quality of writing by taking classes and incorporating feedback.
Measurable: Using classes and feedback, the writer can measure their writing quality against previous pieces.
Attainable: This SMART goal is achievable with the help of classes and colleagues.
Relevant: Improving the quality of writing is essential for any technical writer.
Time-based: You will meet this particular goal within four months.
11. Design Easy-to-Read Layouts
“I will design layouts for all technical documents to be easily read and navigated within 6 months. I’ll make sure that the information is presented logically, with headings, summaries, and other features that help readers quickly find the information they need.”
Specific: The goal outlines what you must do (design layouts) and how long it should take (6 months).
Measurable: You can measure the number of layouts you’ve created.
Attainable: Designing layouts is absolutely doable within the given time frame.
Relevant: This goal helps create readable and navigable technical documents.
Time-based: Goal attainment is expected within 6 months.
12. Create User Guides
“I’ll create user guides for all technology products I am responsible for by the end of 5 months. These guides must be written clearly and concisely and include helpful tutorials.”
Specific: The statement is explicit as it outlines the task of creating user guides.
Measurable: The technical writer can measure the completion of guides over time.
Attainable: Creating user guides is possible, given the deadline and resources in place.
Relevant: Designing user guides directly relates to the technical writer’s role.
Time-based: This goal must be achieved over the 5 months ahead.
13. Reduce Turnaround Time
“I will create an efficient process to reduce the turnaround time for technical writing projects by 25% within 9 months. Projects should be completed quickly while still maintaining a high degree of accuracy and quality.”
Specific: The goal is well-defined. The individual knows they need to reduce turnaround time for technical writing projects.
Measurable: The writer will reduce the turnaround time by 25% within 9 months.
Attainable: This is absolutely doable if given the necessary resources and time.
Relevant: The goal is appropriate for the individual’s need to reduce turnaround time.
Time-based: Optimal success will be met by the end of 9 months.
SMART goals are an excellent way to set and reach your professional objectives—and get the recognition you deserve. By fulfilling the 5 SMART criteria, you can design an action plan to bring your ideas to life.
Don’t be afraid to be creative and push yourself as far as possible: great accomplishments come from taking risks. So go out there and make your mark as a technical writer with SMART goals.
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