Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound (SMART) goals bring structure and tracking to the CJCC’s goals and objectives. They define a clear path toward an objective with clear milestones and an estimation of the goal’s attainability. They create transparency throughout the CJCC. Additionally, SMART goals clarify the way the goals came to be and the criteria required to achieve success.
- Time Bound
Tips for Setting SMART Goals
- Who – Who needs to be involved to achieve the goal?
- What – What is to be accomplish. Be detailed.
- When – What is the timeframe?
- Where – Is there a location or relevant event? Identify it here.
- Which – Are there any related obstacles or requirements?
- Why – Why you are pursuing this goal?
Be Measurable :
- What is the baseline or starting point?
- What metrics are you going to use to determine whether you meet the goal? This makes a goal more tangible because it gives you a way to measure progress.
- Can you identify the two or three most important pieces of information for moving toward your desired outcomes?
- Investigate whether the goal really is acceptable to you. Weigh the effort, time, and resources the goal will take against other obligations and priorities.
- Is the goal in line with the larger CJCC mission?
- Is the goal measurable over a defined period of time?
- Are there deadlines?
- Is the timeline realistic and flexible?
- Does this goal address an immediate and urgent need?
- Do your time constraints also create a sense of urgency?
A successful organization always has a set of goals and objectives they are working on, with objectives that can be achievable and measurable. CJCCs would also benefit from establishing measurable and achievable objectives and continually measuring the effects of what they are doing.
Data analytics regularly drive how and what organizations do. In the same way, CJCCs should be implementing evidence-based practices. This means an emphasis on empirical research. It means confirming what works in reducing crime and reoffending. Criminal justice should always be measuring relevant processes and practices to test assumptions. (7Things Criminal Justice Can Learn from Businesses|LinkedIn, n.d.)
Evaluating the Work of the CJCC
Over the past several years, transparency in government has become increasingly important both in terms of promoting public trust and confidence in government agencies and demonstrating fiscal responsibility. A key strategy for creating transparency is through performance measurement, establishing quantifiable benchmarks against which you can assess the progress toward the goals and objectives of an organization.
CJCC evaluation begins with the initial plan. It is important to discuss the evaluation of the work while in the early stages of the development of the CJCC. Early planning allows you to use historical data and historical benchmarks to measure success later. What is evaluated will largely depend on the type of work you complete. Outcome measures for each SMART goal should be part of the strategic plan. The following steps can help you begin evaluating the outcomes of CJCC work.
- Define your performance measure for each goal.
- Map how this data will be collected, stored, and analyzed.
- Begin collecting data.
- Analyze and share data with council regularly.
- Compare data to other benchmarks (see data section for more on this).
- Set target data points to reach that represent the goal.
- Evaluate performance against your target.
Another key outcome that a CJCC should measure is its level of collaboration and engagement. These are extremely important topics for a CJCC to evaluate regularly. An annual survey could be a great way to measure success in these two areas.