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Develop SMART Objectives

Evaluate a CoP

Once you have established the goals of your CoP, it is time to think about objectives and activities needed to accomplish these goals. First, ask yourself the following questions:

  • WHAT are we going to do?
  • WHY is it important for us to accomplish this activity?
  • WHO is going to be responsible for the activities?
  • WHEN do we want this to be completed?
  • HOW are we going to do these activities?

Once you have answered the questions listed above, define your SMART objectives to move those ideas into action. SMART objectives are:

  • Specific: Concrete, detailed, and well defined so that you know where you are going and what to expect when you arrive
  • Measureable: Numbers and quantities provide means of measurement and comparison
  • Achievable: feasible and easy to put into action
  • Realistic: Considers constraints such as resources, personnel, cost, and time frame
  • Time-Bound: A time frame helps to set boundaries around the objective

The following table lists questions for each SMART objective that will help your CoP translate objectives into SMART ones.

Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time-Bound

What exactly are we going to do in this CoP?

What strategies will we use?

Is the objective clear?

Is the objective described with strong action verbs such as conduct, develop, build, plan, or execute?

Who will be involved?

Is the outcome specified?

Will this objective lead to the desired results?

How will we know that change has occurred?

Are we able to gather these measurements?

Can it be done in the proposed timeframe?

Are the limitations and constraints understood?

Can we do this objective with the resources available to the CoP?

Do we have the resources available to achieve this objective?

Is it possible to achieve this objective?

When will this objective be accomplished?

What is the stated deadline?

The “SMART Objectives Template” can guide you through the steps needed to define goals and SMART objectives.

Innovation Tracking
The CoP environment is proving to be a fertile one for generating new ideas and products, improving existing ones, and disseminating what is learned to improve the practice of public health.

The “Innovation Tracking Tool” is provided for documenting and monitoring work on products, ideas, and innovations within your community.

The following table provides an overview of resources that may help you with preparing and conducting an evaluation. Each Resource described below is also located in the Resources section.

Related Resource Description Audience

SWOT Analysis Tool [DOC - 132KB]

A SWOT analysis will help you identify internal and external factors in the environment (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) that can help with the development of your CoP's goals and objectives.

Leaders of new and existing Communities of Practice (CoPs)

SMART Objectives Template [DOC - 187KB]

When it comes time to define the goals and objectives of your CoP, this template will walk you through the process of developing specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based objectives.

Leaders of new and existing CoPs

Evaluation Interview Template [DOC - 189KB]

This template helps you start-off your evaluation process by aligning it with the standard evaluation for CoPs. The template contains sample evaluation objectives and sample questions. Each CoP can modify the template by modifying or adding additional questions that are specific to its goals and objects.

Leaders of new and existing Communities of Practice (CoPs)

Innovation Tracking Tool [DOC - 227KB]

Creation and dissemination of new products and ideas are important outcomes of CoP collaborations. This template provides a means to record and track innovations that come from CoPs.

Leaders of new and existing Communities of Practice (CoPs)