I remember struggling earlier in my career with goal setting. I didn’t understand why I needed to track how I was getting better, as long as I was getting better.
Then I joined a company where my overall performance score towards meeting my goals affected my annual bonus. I had to stop doing whatever my intuition told me to do and do whatever was going to accomplish my goals—even if it meant my overall impact would be less. This is how they were training us to think.
It made me feel restricted, a lot like how I felt as a troubled, high schooler: under-challenged and frustrated.
It was clear I needed to approach goals in a different way. My goals needed to align with my strategy and passion projects in order for me to be truly happy in my job. So I learned how to make an impact early and how to turn my passion projects into revenue-driving campaigns within my company, so that I could set goals around them.
This is exactly how I ended up building my very first developer advocacy program (think leveraging your customer super fans, not #DevRel team). I turned a passion project—wanting to thank those that praised us—into a program that drove success across all parts of the company by finding ways to accomplish or contribute to meeting company and team-level goals.
As a founder, or a creative person, it can be really easy to just do what your intuition tells you. But when you do that, it’s hard to set goals ahead of time, and build a strategy with a solid roadmap you can receive feedback and support on.
When you take the time to really think about what will provide your company the biggest impact, you can begin writing goals that make it incredibly clear to your team what they should be focused on, and you will suddenly find yourself with more revenue, more active users, and a thriving developer audience.
This is how I like to summarize the S.M.A.R.T. goal model.
When it comes to writing goals, I have a method that works really well for me. Let's look at this example.
EXAMPLE: ATTRACT 100 NEW DEVELOPERS.
Attract 100 new developers is a very clear and concise goal. It clarifies your focus and it gives you a measurable metric to track towards. Draft goals with an end result (or action), a measurable metric, and a focus with clarity.
Once you have drafted and received feedback and approval for your goals, you’re ready to start drafting a strategy plan and roadmap for how to accomplish these goals.
If you’re looking for fresh or different ways to accomplish your goals, check out the Trello board we put together: DevRel Project Ideas.
This article was originally posted on Devocate, which joined the Common Room family in August 2022. For more developer relations insights and resources, check out the Common Room blog. Learn more about Common Room’s solution for DevRel teams if you're looking for an intelligent community growth platform to educate, empower, and enable your community.