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Are SMART and SWOT Goals Effective Resource Management?

written by: Jean Scheid • edited by: Jean Scheid • updated: 7/6/2011

Both SMART Goals and and a SWOT analysis can be used in conjunction with each other to develop effective resource management so all team members understand how projects will flow.

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    Defining SMART and SWOT Goals

    SWOT by Ajka Korotarz When looking at SMART goals and how they can be used in effective resource management, first look at their definitions. They are Specific, Measurable, Agreed Upon, Realistic and Time Based goals. Resource management requires utilizing all of these together for successful project flows and outcomes.

    A SWOT analysis which represents Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats is more often used by the business plan community but when used side-by-side with SMART goals, you can attain higher resource management relationships and define each part of the project by cross-referencing these two tools for in sync projects.

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    Cross-Referencing the Two

    Let's take a quick look on how cross-referencing and implementing both SWOT and SMART goals could work at your office.

    • "Strengths" should be "Specific" - When defining your projects, understand that by outlining or being specific about your strengths you will be able to develop and identify what elements of the project are strong and be able to point to each of those elements with good definitions.
    • "Weaknesses" and "Measurable" Outcomes - Here, if you first decipher your weaknesses you can then predict measurable outcomes. Rid your project of any weaknesses after you measure how they will affect your project.
    • "Opportunities" and "Agreed Upon" - Effective resource management requires all personnel on the team have opportunities that can be agreed upon. Let each team member share in the responsibility of the project and let them agree to be part of the team by being open to suggestions on their skill sets.
    • "Threats" and "Realistic" - Often if you can define threats to any project upfront, you can use these threats realistically and define or change them to enhance the project to the realistic positive outcome you want.
    • "SWOT" and "Time-Based" - Looking closely at your SWOT elements and comparing them with your SMART goals individually and together will land you ideal time-based goals and completion goals.
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    Intertwining for Success

    Work with your resource management personnel in advance of all projects and use white boards to define and compare your SWOT analysis and your SMART Goals. By intertwining the two to come up with definite project planning that will be successful, you'll have a better chance at succeeding.

    For example, say your project has a time frame that you and your team feel is "realistic." Determine the "threats" to your project to make sure you are able to achieve that realistic time frame. In resource management, "opportunities," for every portion of the project should be "agreed upon" by your team so everyone understands how the project will flow and what they have agreed to work on and be accountable for.

    Utilizing every resource management tool available can be gold if you stay determined to use them at the beginning, middle and evaluation portions of your project. Good project management forms can be helpful in your resource management meetings to help you intertwine SMART goals with the SWOT analysis of all your projects.