Objectives are more immediate than goals and represent milestones that your program needs to achieve in order to accomplish its goal by a specific time period. Objectives are the basis for monitoring implementation of strategies and/or activities and progress toward achieving the program goal. Objectives also help set targets for accountability and are a source for program evaluation questions.
To use an objective to monitor progress towards a program goal, the objective must be SMART.
A SMART objective is:
Non-SMART objective 1: Women in Greene County will be provided educational sessions.
This objective is not SMART because it is not specific, measurable, or time-bound. It can be made SMART by specifically indicating who is responsible for providing the educational sessions, how many people will be reached, how many sessions will be conducted, what type of educational sessions conducted, who the women are and by when the educational sessions will be conducted.
SMART objective 1: By September 2016, Pink Organization will conduct 10 group breast cancer education sessions reaching at least 200 Black/African American women in Green County.
Non-SMART objective 2: By March 30, 2017, reduce the time between abnormal screening mammogram and diagnostic end-result for women in the counties of Jackson, Morse and Smith in North Dakota.
This objective is not SMART because it is not specific or measurable. It can be made SMART by specifically indicating who will do the activity and by how much the time will be reduced.
SMART objective 2: By March 30, 2017, Northern Region Hospital breast cancer patient navigators will reduce the average time from abnormal screening mammogram to diagnostic conclusion from 65 days to 30 days for women in the counties of Jackson, Morse and Smith in North Dakota.
Criteria to assess objectives
1. Is the objective SMART?
2. Does it relate to a single result?
3. Is it clearly written?
Source: Department of Health and Human Services- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. January 2009. Evaluation Briefs: Writing SMART Objectives. http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/evaluation/pdf/brief3b.pdf