Each project you manage is a unique enterprise but how can you make it outstanding? This can be achieved by having project management goals that go beyond meeting project requirements and just the bottom line. It’s important to reach further than fundamental expectations, to create outstanding results and align with your company’s vision.

Set yourself apart from other project managers by setting some smart goals for project management, and become a leader in your field. This distinguishes you as an indispensable resource to stakeholders and your superiors.

Learn below more about this topic in this article created by our team at TMS.

How to Create SMART Goals

Smart goals are more than just an intelligent way to reach an objective. SMART is an acronym that stands for: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This method for goal setting is a gold standard that sets you up for success.


How to Create SMART Goals

Use as many details as possible to communicate and describe your goal, including the who, what, when, where, why, and how of your vision and mission.


Having a measurable goal helps you to stay motivated by tracking your progress. It might be a dollar figure, a number of clients, or some other parameter that helps you define when your goal is met.


While it’s true that growth often occurs outside of our comfort zone, it is nevertheless important to set reasonable goals. Setting an impossible or unattainable goal sets you up for failure, so ensure that you won’t be constrained by financial or other limitations.


Your set goal should be aligned with your values and your career also coincide with the mission and vision of your company and your team. In this way, you will get much-needed support as you work towards your goals.


You should set a timeline for completing your goal which, helps you to devise an appropriate plan and stay on track. Be specific and realistic; will it take 5 days, 5 weeks, 5 months, or 5 years?

In addition to the SMART goal-setting method, some other guidelines to help document your goals are:

  • Use simple comprehensible language.
  • Include action words to describe how you will reach your goal.
  • Include numbers to give your goal clear values or quantities.

Now that we have laid out how to set SMART goals, here are some examples of professional goals that will help you be an outstanding project manager.

Cultivating Your Team

Cultivating Your Team

Collaborating with people who are highly skilled and knowledgeable is key to your success. This often means mentoring your team members to elevate them in the process of reaching your own goals. Encourage them to acquire any skills, certificates, or training that will help them succeed.

Accomplishing the project-related tasks requires hard skills as well as soft skills such as leadership and communication. It is vital to hire project managers with those soft skills. In turn, project managers have a duty to foster the development of these soft skills in their team members.

Improving Productivity

Project managers are often pressed for time. Reaching milestones and meeting project goals in a timely manner is one of the most important parts of your role. If your team struggles to complete tasks on time, this will be a good area for improvement.

It is best to begin by examining why your team struggles with productivity, then to determine the ideal method for improvement. Collaborative problem solving with your team members can be helpful. For example, if the responsibilities and roles of your team members are not clear, then you can discuss then implement a better way of communicating and documenting them.

Staying on Target

Staying on Target

Project budgets or objectives might become obscured if a team loses focus, and external factors can have an impact on both. Keeping a clear vision of the project objective and sticking to the projected budget requires razor-sharp focus. This is another great performance goal for project managers.

Another project management goal is to acquire resources and use them as efficiently as possible. Project managers must be able to effectively identify which team member has the optimal skill set for each task, which should mean it takes them less time to complete said task.

Tools like TeamGantt’s time tracker can help project managers observe how much time is actually being spent on different tasks. An observant project manager can check in with their team members if they notice that too much time is being spent on a task. This provides the opportunity to remind the team of the objective to regain focus.

Bulk up Your Portfolio

Project portfolio management skills can take years to develop, but they can be expedited by selectively choosing projects, for example, simple projects that can be executed quickly and easily. At the same time, selecting more impressive projects will bulk up that portfolio.

Those larger projects should add value to the company by aligning with their long-term goals, thus valuable resources can be redirected to high-visibility and high-impact projects.

Refining Communication

Refining Communication

Project management goal setting should always include good communication, as refining this skill as a team leads to improved collaboration.

First, as a team, assess the areas requiring improvement, then collaboratively analyze what will be the best solution. It could be as simple as switching to a newer project management software with better team communication tools.

Staying Relevant

Maintaining relevance can be a challenge for busy project managers. The pace of development in the modern world means that trends are constantly changing. It is important to stay relevant by monitoring trends, something that clients and stakeholders notice since they want to be cutting edge in their delivery. Staying attuned to trends can also act as fuel for ambitious project managers.

Exceed Expectations

Exceed Expectations

Many project managers meet objectives on time and within budget, however, the client is not always happy with the result. To really impress clients, project managers must ensure that they include all of the client’s wishes and specifications in the final product, thus the project manager will exceed expectations.

For example, a client may be pleased with the software but unhappy with the amount of training it will require. A good project manager can elevate the client’s experience by anticipating this, and make the software more user-friendly or include a training guide. Always make sure you are adding value to your client.

Ending thoughts on the project management goals any project manager should aim for

Project management careers have endless possibilities. It is a profession that can be used in virtually any industry. There are opportunities for growth, but it is important to impress your superiors or potential clients.

Having professional project management goals can distinguish a superior project manager from the rest. It takes time and effort to develop additional skills or refine the ones you already have. Setting smart goals for project management will always add value for yourself, your clients, and your company.

If you enjoyed reading this article on project management goals, you should check out this one about project management framework.

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