Terms behind the letters
There is no clear consensus about what the five or seven keywords mean, or even what they are in any given situation. Typically accepted values are:
Letter Major Term Minor Terms
S Specific Significant, Stretching, Simple
M Measurable Meaningful, Motivational, Manageable
A Attainable Appropriate, Achievable, Agreed, Assignable, Actionable, Ambitious, Aligned, Aspirational, Acceptable, Action-focused
R Relevant Results-oriented, Realistic, Resourced, Resonant
T Timely Time-oriented, Time framed, Timed, Time-based, Timeboxed, Time-bound, Time-Specific, Timetabled, Time limited, Trackable, Tangible
E Evaluate Ethical, Excitable, Enjoyable, Engaging, Ecological
R Reevaluate Rewarded, Reassess, Revisit, Recordable, Rewarding, Reaching
Choosing certain combinations of these labels can cause duplication, such as selecting ‘Attainable’ and ‘Realistic’, or can cause significant overlapping as in combining ‘Appropriate’ and ‘Relevant’ for example. The term ‘Agreed’ is often used in management situations where buy-in from stakeholders is desirable (e.g. appraisal situations).
 Developing SMART goals
Paul J. Meyer describes the characteristics of S.M.A.R.T. goals in Attitude is Everything. Meyer, Paul J (2003). What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals. Attitude Is Everything: If You Want to Succeed Above and Beyond. Meyer Resource Group, Incorporated, The. ISBN 9780898113044
Good question on #hcsmanz made me ponder on the question of why using Twitter and other social media is attractice way to learn and interact with people removed from my immediate local circle of contacts.
The S.M.A.R.T. framework does seem to hold the answer. And I am grateful to the team from #hcsmanz for indentifying this concept here.
I have learned much more from social media interactions in the past 6 months than from other sources of information. And here is why.
The topics which matter are SIGNIFICANT to me. The format is MANAGEABLE and MEANINGFUL. The concepts are ALIGNED (not least because social media does tend to herd like minded people together) and APPROPRIATE for the moment. The sentiments are RESONANT with my own. Twitter chat sessions are TIME-BOUND and TIMETABLED, while many of the ideas are TANGIBLE. The crux of the discussion today is “evaluation”, and it feels to me that most discussions do meet goals for learning for the aforementioned reasons. But there is more to social medial chat too: I find the discussions ENJOYABLE, ENGAGING, and ETHICAL. Finally, after the event, I have discovered that the discussions are RECORDABLE (transcripts often available soon afterwards), and REWARDING because some ideas and suggested actions can be used in my clinical work or interactions with colleagues soon after.
It will be a shame if bureaucrats impose more concrete evaluation on the social media discussions because, in my opinion, the unstructured nature of the social media discussion would lose something precious if the conversation were reduced to measurable outcomes. David Haslam, former RCGP Chief Examiner once stated, that not all that is measurable counts while not all that counts is measurable. It is worth keeping this in mind when thinking about evaluation of social media.