In a previous post we talked about how to create SMART targets for your youth work. Well, why just work SMART if you can work SMARTER?
We start with the same SMART acronym:
S – Specific
M – Measureable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Timebound
but now we add the ER to make SMARTER targets:
E is for Evaluate
Come back and evaluate the success or areas for improvement within your goal and target setting. For example:
- I want to increase attendance at my youth group by 20% by May 15 next year. You can evaluate both during and at the end of your SMARTER target’s timeline. Therefore, in December of the previous year you might evaluate how close you are to achieving that goal. Maybe you increased by 18% – decide what worked well and what didn’t and how you might achieve the other 2% growth by May. Or maybe you increased your attendance by 50% and it’s time to set a new goal for May. Monitoring and Evaluation is a fluid process and should be happening regularly in your youth work.
R is for Reassess or Re-evaluate (it can also mean Record)
Once you reach the time allotted for achieving your goal (remember T in SMART is for time-bound), take the time to reassess the goals for your program, your youth work and any personal goals you may have had as a practitioner.
Even if you didn’t reach your goals, take the time to re-evaluate what went well and what could be improved (use the SMART acronym to help you identify areas for improvement: was it Specific, Measurable, etc.) and how you might achieve the goal the next time around.
You might also find that this is the time (as well as throughout the process) to record your youth work in a report form, case studies or other measuring tool to identify which goals you reached, which you did not and why. This helps create evidence-based programs which will give support to funding applications and requests to continue with programs within your organization.
- Reassess all of your goals at the end of the time you have given yourself to achieve each one. Record the outcomes in a report or spreadsheet. Did you grow your youth group by 20% by May of the following year? What are some case studies of the change that was affected by your program in the lives of your young people during that time?
Creating SMARTER targets will help you work within a framework for creating, managing, evaluating and recording goals for your youth group or youth program.
If you would like further support in creating SMARTER targets or helping you with the monitoring and evaluation of your project, please check out our consultancy services or contact us to schedule a free 30-minute virtual consultation.
Question: How have you used SMARTER targets for your youth work? Has it helped? Let us know in the comments below.
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