The S.M.A.R.T. system for evaluating employee performance is simply an organized approach to measuring how well workers are achieving corporate or personal goals. SMART -- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely -- is a way of evaluating how well employees are doing at defining goals, tracking progress, and executing within a specific timeframe. A manager may ascribe a numerical value to each category, with the aggregate number being used as a "grade" for employee performance, or simply use the SMART system to identify strengths and weaknesses in each employee.
Goals are expected to be well-articulated, with results beneficial to the organization, and progress towards their achievement easily measurable. Such strategies are used in business, government, and education. Congress often uses SMART criteria in legislating requirements for a project that has gone over budget and past its anticipated deadline. By inserting SMART-type criteria into the law, the federal agency and/or private contractor involved is forced to demonstrate measurable progress towards achievement of the goal within a specified period of time.
Within employee evaluations, the same type of criteria are used as an objective standard by which to assess each worker's performance.