To be truly effective planning tools, your goals and desired outcomes need to be focused and measurable, so you can determine whether you are actually achieving them or not. The SMART framework will help you design outcomes that will be the most helpful as you plan your outreach programming.

We want our outcomes to be as focused and direct as possible. Think concrete numbers, aims, and target practices or behaviors.

To be able to effectively evaluate if we have achieved our outcomes, we want to make sure we can collect the relevant data.

Can you realistically achieve this outcome, in the desired timeframe, given the resources at your disposal? Where is the baseline of knowledge or practice adoption of your target audience?

Is this outcome helping you accomplish your desired impacts? Is this the most important outcome you should be focused on?

When will you accomplish this outcome?


By 2025 [time-fixed], 250 [measureable] farmers in Lafayette County [specific] will be familiar [specific] with cover crops, knowledgeable [specific] about their soil health benefits, and confident [specific] in their ability to implement [relevant] the practice [attainable].

You can use this framework to help establish your goals and outcomes (see Establishing Outreach Goals and Objectives for more on this). The worksheet below can help you apply this approach.

Download: Smart planning worksheet
Adam Reimer • January 18, 2023