How many of your organisational goals do you really achieve? We all know that to stand any chance of success, we should clearly define a goal. Yet although we may know of  models such as SMART or Well Formed Conditions, do we really use these effectively when we set goals for the organisation?

Of course, the trouble with ‘tests’ is that they become too familiar and we assume the criteria has been satisfied – rather like the bad habits we get after years of driving! As a coach & facilitator for the past eight years, I have found many a goal wanting, so spending time with people to clarify what it is they really want is always time well spent.

In the context of organisational goals, I often adopt Lovejoy’s tests. Made up of eight criteria, the goal is examined both mercilessly and constructively to arrive at a clear definition. For each of the tests here are a few prompts:

The Customer Test – how will the stated GOAL benefit the customer?

The Means Test – does the GOAL specify the means by which it will be achieved?

The Identity Test – does the GOAL make it clear who does what?

The Measurement Test – is the GOAL measurable?

The Sufficiency Test – are there any circumstances in which achieving the GOAL would not be enough?

The Side-Effect Test – could achieving the GOAL produce any adverse side effects?

The Assumption Test – are you basing your GOAL on any untested assumptions?

The Jargon Test – can the GOAL be understood by everyone involved?

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