SMART Aim Statement

Create a clear goal that gives the project purpose and direction.

In the early stages of the project, creating a project aim using the acronym SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) helps the team to be clear on what success looks like.


SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bond. As suggested above, the SMART Aim Statement serves as the team’s compass when making decisions, generating solutions, and comparing outcomes. In the list below, we explain each component of the SMART Aim Statement.

S = Specific – Identify the exact process, service, or customer group you are targeting. This helps to frame the scope of the project. Be sure to clarify what is in scope and what is out of scope.

M = Measurable – Identify at least one measurement that will change as a result of the team’s improvement effort. It may also be necessary to include a balancing measure. For example; in healthcare the team may want to reduce wait times by speeding up the process, but they need to be careful not to impact the quality of care by rushing through the task. In this example patient wait time is the primary measure and quality of care is the balancing measure.

A = Attainable – When thinking about the goal, be sure the improvement can be achieved in the time allotted with consideration to resource availability and other priorities.

R = Relevant – The goal is important to the customer and the business. In other words, the project is aligned to the customer’s needs and with the organization’s strategic goals.

T = Time-Bound – By including a due date for when you hope to achieve the goal, you create a sense of urgency and accountability to complete the work on an appropriate timeline.

To download the customizable SMART template (in PowerPoint), please add the SMART template to your cart and hit check out. As with all of our online resources, you can download a PDF of the template simply by providing your name and email address on the form below.

Template for creating a SMART statement. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound

Because of its simplicity and conciseness, the SMART format has been popular among leaders when summarize the business and project goals. To learn more about using an writing a SMART Aim Statement, please refer to the provided video.


Template for creating a SMART statement. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound

Download the Free "SMART" Template (PDF)

Purchase the template to customize for your own organization

All of our tools and templates are available in Word or PowerPoint format to allow organizations to purchase and customize the templates to their brand standards.

Creating clear project goals and helping project teams understand how their work aligns to the organization’s priorities is an important part of how Project Sponsors help set teams up for success. To learn more about the role of being a Project Sponsor, consider enrolling in our Introduction to Project Sponsorship Certification Course detailed below.

Introduction to Project Sponsor Training, continuous improvement certifications

The project sponsor plays a critical role in the success of an organization’s change initiatives. To get the total value out of its change initiatives, the organization must invest in leadership the skills they will need to help govern project activities. Effective project sponsorship helps ensure that the organization is working on the right projects and that the project teams have adequate support.

Need help applying SMART to your organization’s goal setting process?

Schedule a 30 minute coach call today and let’s talk through the details. 

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