Writing SMART Goals (Also Called KRAs) From Job Descriptions

30 Dec

Many Managers (Including HR managers responsible for writing others Goals) often ask to help them oncreating Goals (Key Responsibility Areas) for different designations, which they can use for setting Goals and/or conducting performance appraisals. While most of these managers are completely aware of their job profile, they find it difficult to shape it in a written form.

Knowing your Goals and writing them effectively is an all-together different game. To describe your Goals (KRAs) you need to have effective writing skills and sound knowledge of terminology. Unfortunately, some executives/ managers may not have a flair for writing and thus unable to write their Goals (KRAs). This is true for HR also. So here are some tips that will help Talent Junction users to write Goals (KRAs) from the Job Descriptions.

SMART: A Smart Goal (KRA) is one which is:

  1. Specific : Clearly stated what to do and how to do?
  2. Measurable: States how the performance for this goal will be measured.
  3. Achievable: It can be achieved by employees if they work really hard (You can draw this conclusion by talking to employee, manager or someone who has done this job successfully).
  4. Relevant: The KRA (Goal) is relevant to the job and the performance on this goal will improve productivity of the employee.
  5. Time Frame: States a time frame to achieve the goals.

How to WRITE SMART Goals (KRAs)?

Here are the steps how anyone can write Goals (KRAs) from Job Descriptions:

  1. Go through employee’s Job Description. If Job Description is not updated talk to employee and his/her Manager or many be manager’s manager also.
  2. Try to find out exactly what the employee is supposed to achieve.
  3. Based on your reading and discussions, make a list of the functions and responsibilities which are critical to the employee’s job.
  4. Categorize these critical functions and responsibilities in two categories:
    • A : Which can be measured whether in numbers or percentages or yes/no.
    • B : Which cannot be measured in numbers and cannot be calculated.
  5. ‘A’s are the one which can be be converted to Goals (KRAs).
  6. Make a list of all critical functions.
  7. Write a self explanatory (1 sentence ) definition of each Goal (KRA).
  8. If you plan to follow BSC (Balanced Score Card) Pattern, then categorize each goal into one of the following categories: Customer, Financial, Internal Business Process, Learning and Growth.
  9. There after describe each Goal (KRA). Make sure you mention a measurable target to be achieved and time frame for achievement of the Goal (KRA).

An Example

I picked up job description of a Sales Manager in a company and here are the functions mentioned in the JD.

Functions of a Sales Manager:

  • Develops a business plan and sales strategy for the market that ensures attainment of company sales goals and profitability.
  • Responsible for the performance and development of the Account Executives.
  • Prepares action plans by individuals as well as by team for effective search of sales leads and prospects.
  • Initiates and coordinates development of action plans to penetrate new markets.
  • Assists in the development and implementation of marketing plans as needed.
  • Conducts one-on-one review with all Account Executives to build more effective communications, to understand training and development needs, and to provide insight for the improvement of Account Executive’s sales and activity performance.
  • Provides timely feedback to senior management regarding performance.
  • Provides timely, accurate, competitive pricing on all completed prospect applications submitted for pricing and approval, while striving to maintain maximum profit margin.
  • Maintains accurate records of all pricings, sales, and activity reports submitted by Account Executives.
  • Creates and conducts proposal presentations and RFP responses.
  • Assists Account Executives in preparation of proposals and presentations.
  • Controls expenses to meet budget guidelines.
  • Adheres to all company policies, procedures and business ethics codes and ensures that they are communicated and implemented within the team.
  • Recruits, tests, and hires Account Executives based on criteria agreed upon by senior management.

After going through the above list I identified the following six functions (actually there can be around 10 but for convenience I chose only 6) that are critical to a Sales Manager’s job and can be measured quantitatively:

Critical Measurable Functions of a Sales manager

  1. Improvement in Financial Performance of Account Executives
  2. Development of Sales Action Plans
  3. Reporting to Management about Performance of Sales Team
  4. Negotiates with prospective customers in order to maximize the profits
  5. Create and conducts proposal presentations and presentations
  6. Adhere to company policies.

Writing Goals (KRAs) for Critical Functions:

Here are the KRA (/Goals) based on above functions. First I wrote the definition for the KRA and then gave a description along with measure and time line.

Goal Definition Goal Description
  1. Improves Financial Performance of Account Executives
To ensure that all sales executive under him meets/exceed the sales targets provided to them. Track the performance of sales and guides the salesmen to improve their skills to ensure more sales. 

Target: US$ 500,000 per quarter for the whole team.

Development of Sales Action Plans Conducts market research and develops solid sales plans. Sales plan must be reported every quarter to management team for analysis and approval. 

Target: Renew and Renovate the Plan every quarter.

Target: Conduct 2 Sales Training per month.

Reporting to Management about Performance of Sales Team Create and send the monthly reports with accuracy and time to management. Reports should clearly indicate the strengths and weaknesses of the sales team. 

Target: Complete Reports to be send by 7thof Every Month.

Negotiates with prospective customers in order to maximize the profits Sales manager should ensure that all salesmen are pitching most competitive and profitable rates to the clients. 

Target: Average Selling Price: US$ 10,000 or above

Create and conducts proposal presentations and presentations Reply to Request for Proposals, Tender Notices, and Price Quotations in Time. 

Target: All Proposals to be submitted to management for review 2 days prior and to customer as on date.

Collections of Due Revenues Sales Manager should assist the Accounts Receivables manager in collecting all due invoices in time. He/She should ensure that customer has accepted the delivery of the product and the Invoice. 

Target: 80% of the due invoices to be collected within 30 days/ ad agreed in Purchase Order.

Adhere to company policies and procedures Ensure that all teams members attend the weekly sales meet and present their report. 

Target: 90% attendance in Sales Meetings.

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Posted by on December 30, 2012 in KRA's


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