Project Management

Goal setting for work and at home

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3 mins read
Ben Willmott

This Blog Post Goal: To share the importance and benefits of setting goals at work and everything you do

I've written about my approach for setting goals in 6 simple steps for setting goals that really work but there is another use for goal creation.

This approach is starting to have a significant impact with me, my team and within our agency when it comes to setting goals at work, and that's creating goals for everything we do.

Now at first glance, this might seem like overkill and far to much work, but the value in doing this far outweighs the initial work needed (which isn't much).

I'm sure many of you have experienced receiving a request for your help from your boss, client or work colleague. Then when you've then shown them what you created, the feedback was "that wasn't what I  quite meant"

One way to help solve this is to get the briefing face to face, as hearing the request directly allows you to get more context from the requester.  Although this face time is invaluable, it still doesn't guarantee you will achieve what they need.  

You can keep going into more and more detail with the requestor, but this takes time, and you may as well just do the work together. So what do you do? You set goals.

By setting a goal, it gives you the flexibility on how you approach the ask because now as long as it meets the goal, you've delivered what's needed.

By taking this approach also helps the requester as they have to really think about why they're asking, and what they want to achieve from it.

Not only does it create a better brief, but they're also likely to get more than they expected, as you've made them think about what they really need from this.

Creating a goal can also provide you with additional insights that you may not have got previously.

You could get the emotional reasons why you've been asked to do this, or what the requester will then able to do once you've helped them.

Some Examples

This goal-setting approach isn't just for taking a brief. You can use it for many different scenarios at work and at home.  

There are a few examples below, but setting these goals for what you need personally can also give you the focus and direction required.

Workshop goals

E.g. By the end of the workshop everyone should understand what we want to achieve on the project and agree on the key activities needed to complete it

Document goals

E.g. This document should explain to the reader how to set up a new blog for the first time

Meeting goals

E.g. Provide everyone in the room with an opportunity to share their feedback and agree on next steps

Agenda items goals

E.g. To set expectations on the high priority items for discussion ahead of the meeting so the attendees can prepare accordingly.

You can also set goals for presentations, a blog, for today, holidays, your CV or savings. The options are limitless, but having that single goal is the easiest way to create alignment and direction.

What you do with these goals really depends on what and who they're for. The critical thing is to make them visible for you and the recipients.

For any documentation, you can add the goal at the start, so it's visible and clear for the reader.

For the goal or goals of a workshop, put them on the wall or in the presentation.

For meetings, start by verbally explaining the goal of the meeting, then check at the end if the attendees and you feel you've met the goal.

You can then improve the meeting approach for next time.

Remember the goals you're setting shouldn't take long to create, and in most cases, the requester should know the goal straight away.

If you get into the habit of creating these goals and sharing them with others, then it creates a habit for everyone around you to start doing the same.

You then begin to notice less rework, increased productivity and in general, a much happier workplace.

Now why not try setting some goals for work today and hopefully I’ve met the goal of this post? 😀

This Blog Post Goal: To share the importance and benefits of setting goals at work and everything you do

Ben Willmott
Ben is Delivery Director at the London based creative agency Wunderman Thompson where he creates bespoke ways or working for his clients and teams. Ben is also the founder of The PPM Academy specializing in coaching Project Management, Agile Delivery and how to be more productive at home and work.

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