Setting realistic goals and tracking whether you achieve them is a crucial part of any professional’s development. Architects and designers are no exception. There are various strategic approaches to goal-setting for them to choose from, and one of the most popular methods is the SMART framework. An acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound, SMART outlines a structured path to setting and achieving objectives effectively. But how do you set SMART goals for architects and designers specifically?

At our 3D rendering studio, we often use the SMART model. In this article, we’ll share some relevant examples that you can easily adjust to your goals and needs. Let’s get into it! 

#1. Be Specific 

Setting Specific Goals for Architects

Being specific is crucial for setting effective goals. You need to define clearly what it is you need to achieve. For example, you want to improve your professional skills. When you phrase it this way, it’s not clear what and how exactly you are going to do. So, to ensure the goal is specific, you can add: ‘by reading a new specialized book every month and attending an industry-specific event every three months.’ Now you are able to actually move forward with achieving your goal. And, what’s also important, you can track whether you succeed.

Now, let’s consider another example of SMART goals for architects. Imagine you want to expand your professional network. To make it specific, you might decide to attend three architecture conferences during the year and make the best of LinkedIn for architects. The latter can be done by setting up your profile and adding at least ten new professional contacts per week. 

How to improve the vague goal of ‘embracing new technology’? You can do so by choosing a specific software you want to learn and spending 10 hours on courses or tutorials monthly.

#2. Measure Success

Diagrams Measuring Goals Success

Measurability in SMART goals for architects ensures that progress is tracked and success is quantified. For example, a vague goal of ‘staying within the budget’ becomes measurable when you decide to reduce project overruns by 15%. This is something you can track now. 

Another great example is boosting your presence on social media. To achieve that, you can, for instance, set the goal to ’increase the number of followers on Instagram to 10k.’ 

Even something as abstract as improving your credibility can be measured. As an example, you can set the SMART goals to encourage a certain number of clients to leave positive feedback and actually get them to do so. 

#3. Set Achievable Goals

Architect Setting Goals

Goals must be attainable within financial, time, and resource constraints. Simply put, architects should be very realistic when they assess their limits and set their goals. This way, they will prevent themselves from disappointment and demotivation.

For example, ‘expanding your niche’ might sound scary and inaccessible. Let’s say you only have experience with residential designs but also want to work on commercial projects. Then, start by setting a goal to get one small commercial project, such as designing a local coffee shop. You can try to achieve that by creating a few relevant concepts, commissioning photorealistic renderings for architects, and then sharing them in your portfolio and on social media to attract potential clients. When you put it this way, the goal starts to seem achievable.

Let’s consider a few more examples. While becoming worldwide famous in three months might not be something you can actually do, increasing your client base by 10% through networking, marketing, etc is an achievable SMART goal.

‘Creating an excellent portfolio’ is also attainable when you break it down to ‘adding five new projects and deleting outdated ones.’ And ‘increasing client satisfaction’ becomes realistic when you get feedback, take it into account, and improve client service. 

#4. Make Sure Your Goals Are Relevant 

Relevant Goals for Architects

Relevance ensures that your SMART goals align with your overall business objectives and industry trends, as well as with your values. For instance, relevant goals for architects and designers could be to ‘develop expertise in biophilic design and meet the growing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly architecture.’ This goal is directly linked to the industry trends and to the broader aim of staying competitive. 

Just as well, most architects and designers will agree that enhancing the work-life balance is always among the relevant goals. Apply the SMART method to get precise about it. You can, for example, set the goal of attending yoga classes three times per week to release stress.

#5. Specify Time Frames

Setting Time Frames for SMART Goals

Setting a deadline is essential to prevent goals from drifting indefinitely. Just like measurability, being time-bound ensures you stay accountable and will not procrastinate.  

For instance, the goal to ‘increase your studio’s professionalism’ sounds incredibly vague. It’s much more improved when you specify that you are going to do that by providing 20 hours of training for employees in the next quarter. This way, by the end of the quarter, you will be able to easily tell whether you achieved the set goals. 

Success in boosting your status within the community becomes trackable when you change it to ‘submit proposals for three professional competitions within the next three months.’ Improving your expertise becomes specific, achievable, and time-bound when you phrase it like ‘complete 5 LEED-certified projects by 2025.’

Present your architectural project like a work of art with AI-powered CGI

Setting SMART goals for architects and designers means breaking down abstract ideas and whims into steps you can measure, track, and keep yourself accountable for. By doing so, step-by-step, you can accelerate your professional growth and boost your business just the way you want it.

To make your goals of creating a great portfolio, stellar presentations, or boosting your social media presence more achievable, opt for 3D rendering services. Contact ArchiCGI and get CG visuals of the highest quality for all your needs!

Stacey Mur
Content Writer, Copywriter

Stacey is a content writer and a CG artist. Outside of work, Stacey enjoys musicals, Star Wars, and art talk. A proud Corgi parent.