Writing Goals That You Can Measure

As a leader you are ultimately measured on the results that you achieve.  If you are to achieve results you have to know what you are trying to achieve.  Those who are part of your team also need that clarity on what they are required to deliver.


Sometimes goals are crystal clear.  At other times there can be so much ambiguity that it is almost impossible to work out what is required.


While leaders and managers don’t set out to have ambiguity, they often struggle to write and communicate clear and compelling goals.  It is all too easy to fall into the trap of writing goals that contain vague words like quality, safety, efficient, effective and the likes.  Now there is nothing wrong with these words as such.  The problem is that they can be interpreted differently.


Take quality in the context of a healthcare organisation.  If our goal is to provide a quality service what does that mean?  If we don’t know what it means then how can we ever expect to know if we have achieved.


It is therefore vital to define in detail what a quality service means generally and in specific areas of the organisation.  Once we have this we need to think about the measures that will provide evidence of whether we are on or off track.  Whether we need to adjust or change what we are doing.


A great question to ask yourself whenever you write down a goal is how will we measure this?


If ways of measuring the achievement or progress towards the goal are not being identified with ease, your goal is possibly too generic and not specific enough.


Think about how you might break that goal down or think in terms of the outcomes or results that you are hoping to achieve.  This can often be the catalyst for writing goals that are meaningful, measurable and a catalyst for raising performance.


The Bottom Line: Goals provide clarity of direction if they are written well and easy to measure.


Goals and Achievements help healthcare organisations deliver great performance.  Learn more here.