Being smart in ordinary parlance is built on a connotation of intelligence, knowledge and appeal. However, the Discipline of Organisational development gives a much detailed and pragmatic application of the word SMART. In OD, smart refers to a yardstick in creating sustainable change efforts: goals, visions, missions, etc.
Specific: This is a unique attribute of the OD practice. It emphasises the exact specification of every outcome stating in simple terms, a succinct description of the expected outcomes. Being specific eliminates assumptions and clarifies every outcome. This is important in OD because it offers the client as well as the consultant the unparalleled advantage of working towards a distinctly defined goal easily understood by all those involved in its achievement.

Measurable: Every outcome of the OD process should be measurable. A quantifiable appreciation in reference from a baseline is indeed necessary to ascertain the quantum of impact of an expected outcome. It follows logically in that, every specific desirable outcome should have an amount of measurement. This allows both consultant and client to work towards a respective amount of development. Furthermore, it serves as a monitoring and tracking mechanism to keep the OD process in check with the expected outcomes.

Achievable: This draws the link between the desired outcome and the facts on the ground. It rids the organisation off the luxury of dreams into a pragmatic analysis where the desired outcome is tested against the realities at stake. All expected outcomes must pass this test to make it worth the change effort. This theme of analysis takes due cognisance of the implementing partners of the process and its outcomes to ascertain its achievable status. OD is a science and hence faith and luck play no role in its outcomes.

Relevant: Relevance is what sets an outcome above others. Each expected outcome should be appropriate in promoting the vision and mission of the organisation. This underlines the “why” of the OD process and ensures complete buy-in from the organisation.
This is a key analytical procedure which may be used to select from a wide range of goals and outcomes desired by the organisation. Furthermore, the theme of relevance is used to project and forecast the benefits and impact of the expect outcome or goal.

TimeBound: Time is a luxury too dear to be accorded in excess. Therefore, the OD process makes use of time boundaries as a measure of progress while using it to effectively sustain focus of the organisation. With Time limits assigned to all processes and outcomes, the process is duly monitored and the outcomes clearly observed.

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