2018 Goal-Setting Guidelines

It’s the time of year when organizations begin to solidify their goals for the upcoming calendar change.  It’s also the time of year when IT leaders and managers must begin to set their own goals. This can be a time-consuming process, but it is well worth the effort. Setting the right goals ensures that priorities will remain aligned throughout the year. As you begin to work through your annual goal-setting process, here are some guidelines to use to ensure that by the end of 2018, you will have checked every item off your list.

Eliminate Reactionary Management Through Goal Setting

Consider this: One of the biggest advantages to setting clear goals today is the ability to work proactively throughout the year. Much of the work of an IT department is reactionary, but if your group is constantly putting out fires, they cannot put proper time and attention into strategic initiatives.

Strong goals allow managers to focus on the things they have control over, rather than feeling like they are stuck on a hamster wheel, dealing with things they have little control over. Strategic goal setting allows managers to address constraints and build strategies for handling the inevitable fires, without sacrificing the projects that will help the company get where it wants and needs to go.

Before you sit down to hammer out your team goals, remember the right goals will help your team become more strategic and, therefore, more valuable to the organization.

Begin With the End in Mind

Stephen Covey, the guru of goal setting and author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People tells his readers and students to begin with the end in mind. You can’t just plot a course, you must have an understanding of where your course will ultimately lead you. To do that, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Align each team goal with the company’s mission, strategy and goals
  • Goals must be clear; they must be easy to understand and they must be published
  • Goals need to be accepted by each team member
  • Progress towards each stated goal should be measurable
  • Each goal must have a timeline with a defined start and end point
  • Goals should be challenging, but achievable
  • Goal achievement should be rewarded
  • Achievement of goals should be dependent on circumstances outside the team’s control

Goals give the team something to strive for and set a framework for each person’s individual priorities as they move through their year.

Have the Right Team in Place

Once goals are worked out, you must determine if your team has the skills you need to achieve those goals. Identify the critical skills you require and identify any gaps in the current team. From there, determine how to proceed. Some employees can be trained on new skills, but in other areas, you may need to hire full-time or contingent staff to close the gaps.

If you are looking for skilled IT candidates to round out your team this year, put a true tech hiring expert in your corner. The award-winning team at Talon can find the talent you need to keep your systems running smoothly and drive your business forward. Contact us today to learn more about the ways we can help you achieve your goals.


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