George T. Doran presented SMART goals in the November 1981 issue of Management Review. The paper, titled "There's a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management's Goals and Objectives," discussed the difficulty and importance of setting objectives.
SMART is a mnemonic acronym with each letter giving criteria for setting objectives. The criteria outlined by SMART states that goals should be specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and time-bound. George Doran's SMART goals have been used to create project objectives and has allowed businesses to create and agree on goals. Other variations of the acronym SMART are often accepted, including using "achievable" and "relevant" in place of "assignable" and "realistic."