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Many business textbooks suggest that both corporate and functional objectives need to conform to a set of criteria referred to as an acronym SMART.

The SMART criteria are summarised below:

Specific
The objective should state exactly what is to be achieved.

Measurable
An objective should be capable of measurement – so that it is possible to determine whether (or how far) it has been achieved

Achievable
The objective should be realistic given the circumstances in which it is set and the resources available to the business.

Relevant
Objectives should be relevant to the people responsible for achieving them

Time Bound
Objectives should be set with a time-frame in mind. These deadlines also need to be realistic

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